Los Cabos | San Jose del Cabo International Airport
Duty-free allowance in Mexico is as follows: merchandise additional to the baggage, which monetary value may be proved by invoice or sale receipt and such value doesn’t exceed $300 USD, or the equivalent in MXN currency when passenger entries to Mexico by maritime or airport; or $75 USD when the passenger entries to Mexico by land. Alcoholic drinks, tobaccos, and gasoline may not be part of the duty-free allowance. (please review Frequently Asked Questions for more)
During the holiday period, Holy Week, summer, New Year, Mexican passengers entering Mexico by land may import, under their duty-free allowance, merchandise with a value up to $300 USD or the equivalent in MXN currency, except for the persons that reside in the border. Please look up for the beginning and end of these holy days periods at the customs desk or online.
Tax Payments Passengers may import merchandise other than their personal baggage without hiring a customs broker, paying the general tax of 16%, provided that the value of merchandises, excluding duty-free allowance, doesn’t exceed 3,000 USD or the equivalent in MXN currency, and provided that the passenger has the invoice, sale receipt, or any other document expressing the commercial value of merchandise.
In Mexico, the standard Value-added tax (VAT), locally referred to as “Impuesto al Valor Agregado” (IVA), is set at 16%, although there are instances where a 0% rate is applicable. This tax system is overseen by the Mexican Administration Tax Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria, or SAT) based in Mexico City. Notably, certain essential items like books, food, and medicines are exempt from VAT. The IVA was first implemented in January 1980 and serves as Mexico’s primary form of consumption tax.. Tourists can apply for a refund on the Value Added Tax (VAT), known in Spanish as “Impuesto al Valor Agregado” or IVA. The standard VAT rate in Mexico is 16%, which is applied to most goods and services. As a tourist, you may be eligible for a refund on the IVA paid for certain purchases made during your stay.
To be eligible for a VAT refund in Mexico, you must be a non-resident tourist, typically on a tourist visa and not living or working in Mexico. You need to make eligible purchases from registered businesses that participate in the tax refund program, and there is usually a minimum purchase amount required to qualify, which may vary by state. Eligible items for a VAT refund typically include souvenirs, electronics, luxury goods, artwork, perfumes, and cosmetics.
The VAT refund process in Mexico requires paperwork and is not digital. It’s important to note that there are no VAT refund kiosks in Mexico, and VAT refunds cannot be provided in cash or processed as a credit card refund. The VAT tax is intended to tax consumption of goods within Mexico, not goods exported to a foreign country, so Mexico allows tourists and others who purchase goods within Mexico for export to receive a refund of any VAT taxes paid.
Visa, Master Card, and American Express are generally accepted by businesses catering to foreign tourists. You can expect to use credit cards in Cabo for car rentals, hotels and resorts, shops, and restaurants. Before you travel check with your credit card company- may charge a specific Foreign Transaction Fee and some, like American Express do not.
There are ATM’s throughout Cabo with many being connected to national banks. Many will dispense both US dollars and Mexican pesos, however, many will have a daily max limit.
Please see our page on US dollar to Peso forecast and Mexican Peso exchange rates.
Get the Best Exchange for Pesos
Exchanging your currency for Mexican pesos at the SJD Cabo Airport is a convenient and straightforward process for travelers. Upon arrival at the airport, you can easily locate currency exchange counters, which are strategically situated near the arrival gates or in the main concourse area, ensuring they are accessible to all incoming passengers.
These counters typically offer competitive exchange rates and operate with extended hours to accommodate different flight schedules in the terminal and at exit. The staff at these counters are knowledgeable and often bilingual, ready to assist with a smooth and quick transaction.
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