Travel through Mexico to Central American Countries (From Banderas News):
Mexican authorities require that all international transit of persons ( transmigrantes ) and merchandise from the U.S. through Mexico, destined for Central America, be handled only at the Los Indios Bridge located south of Harlingen, Texas, on Route 509. Every transmigrante must obtain the services of a Mexican customs broker to prepare the documents required by Mexican Customs for their entry into Mexico.
Transmigrantes must declare everything they are bringing through Mexico or any undeclared items found by Mexican Customs will/will be confiscated. Although items for international transit are not taxed, transmigrantes will have to pay a fee to the customs broker for their professional services. The customs broker is responsible for informing the transmigrante about items that are prohibited for international transit.
Crossing into Mexico by a bridge other than Los Indios is considered importation of goods and will result in everything being taxed. When the transmigrante leaves Mexico through Chiapas, he must then also pay export taxes. The earlier “import” tax is not returned.
Transmigrantes on their way to Central America have ten days to leave Mexico through Chiapas. Mexican Customs now has a barcode system that controls the entry and exit of transmigrantes.
Americans who intend to transit Mexico are cautioned that some unscrupulous vendors on the U.S. side, known as “ grupos, ” purport to be Mexican customs brokers but are not. “ Grupos ” have been known to charge large sums of money but do not provide the required services that only bona fide Mexican customs brokers can, potentially leaving the American transmigrante bilked and his goods confiscated.
Currently, there are only two Mexican customs brokers handling transmigrantes. For further information, travelers can contact the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros prior to departing the U.S. at (011-52) 868-812-4402 and ask for the American Citizens Services Unit, or visit the Consulate’s Web site at http://mexico.usembassy.gov/matamoros/matamoros.html