Mexico airports to simplify the entry process of international visitors

The Tax Administration Service (SAT) is testing a new program in Mexico City that would render luggage checks and customs declarations obsolete.

As part of a more general reform of the Mexican customs law that started being enforced this year, the aim of which is to modernize airport facilities using the latest technology available, SAT is implementing a new program which no longer requires foreign travelers to make a customs declaration, in an effort to hasten the entry process of international visitors.

The testing began this month at Terminal 2 of the Benito Juarez International Airport (a.k.a. Mexico City International Airport), in which the red light/green light traffic signal for foreign baggage was removed, together with the entire customs declaration process.

In a statement, SAT declared that the luggage will be scanned with the help of mobile x-ray equipment, after being unloaded from the plane and before passengers collect it. This inspection would be performed in conjunction with Mexico’s Federal Police, and passengers who bring additional merchandise in their luggage would only pay by claiming the items.

The next step is to apply the same model first at Terminal 1 of the same airport, and then eventually to the facilities of the international airports in Los Cabos, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Cancun, which combined receive around 85 percent of all international passengers arriving in Mexico.

During January and February of this year, more than 5.8 million of such international passengers entered Mexico, 4.1 percent more than last year. SAT decided that a simpler and quicker customs program would help maintain and even encourage travelers’ interest in the region.