What food can I bring into Mexico?

What food can I bring to Rocky Point? [version Feb. 2016]

By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero  (Last updated, Feb. 12, 2016)

senasicaThe SENASICA office (National Service of Health, Food Safety and Quality) of SEGARPA (Secretary of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fishing and Feed) defines just exactly what type of food is permitted to bring across the border. Presently, it appears that bringing meat of any kind, other than fish, is no longer much of an option. Prior to considering bringing agricultural, meat, or cheese products into Mexico be sure to review information on the SENASICA site (available in Spanish/English) – once there, scroll down to open the document “Products with Regulations and Prohibited Products”:   Bringing Agricultural Food Products

Poultry – Pork – Beef

The current list of regulated or prohibited products states the importation of the following products is prohibited (2016):

  • Pork meat, fresh, dried or frozen.
  • Poultry meat, fresh, refrigerated or frozen.
  • Fresh, refrigerated or frozen beef.

Ham – Milk – Cheese, etc.

Additional items including ham, cheese, milk products from butter to cream, etc. are often allowed though in limited quantities and nearly all with the following indication:  “unbroken packaging, labeled in Spanish, English or another understandable language (Italian, Portuguese, French, etc.) and with the health authority’s seal.”

Smoked chicken or turkey

“It should arrive with packaging completely intact, labeled in Spanish, English or other understandable language (Italian, Portuguese, French etc.) and with the health authority stamp. It must only originate from countries that fulfill the combination of MCRZI zoo sanitary requirements.” – Up to 6kg or 1 -3 packets per family, provided that they do not surpass the allowed weight

Food Inspection at Border

Upon driving into Mexico, the different officials one sees at the border include Aduana (Customs), as well as SENASICA inspectors who are part of the Secretary of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fishing and Feed (SAGARPA). The SENASICA office has been operating in Sonoyta for the past four years in an effort to enforce regulations regarding bringing meat, lactose, and other items (including pet food) across the border.

In October, 2011 we ran our first note on guidelines on animals, plants, and products that may enter Mexico based on information from the official SENASICA site (www.senasica.gob.mx). These links are frequently moved, and though there is an English option in the upper right hand corner, much of the text is often only found in Spanish.

Pet food / traveling with a pet      In Mexico, only cats and dogs are considered to be pets, and must have vaccination records (health certificate) issued by a vet. No fee for travel with one or two pets.

Please view:  “If traveling with your dog or cat”

“You will be able to enter with the daily ration of loose, balanced pet food. We will remind you that, in Mexico, this type of food is available at Registration and Authorization at SAGARPA-SENASICA.”

On the list of regulated or prohibited products, it is worth noting SENASICA indicates it allows “Packaged and labeled dry feed, without anything of ruminant origin (for pets)” [or rather, no beef product]

NOTE: There are NO FINES for carrying food (or pet food) goods, though upon detection you will need to either return these to the US (for example, take back and drop off at Lukeville gas station) or have the items taken from you.

Just about everyone in town has an experience to share about having their groceries inspected at the border and sometimes having certain items “confiscated”, so in the end you just plan on visiting Rocky Point’s local markets!




  1. Kevin

    August 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    In the U.S. they inspect the meet amd know there is a broblem (Mad cow disease) In Mexico they don’t. But they don’t want our stuff? Whats up with dog food?

  2. Scott

    November 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

    As Captain Ron I have a standard saying about the changing border situation. You bring in a flatbed trailer with an endangered species elephant on it and they poke sticks into the droppings looking for the illegal peanuts and never see the elephant. Go figure. These are the same people that tear down a bridge without building up a detour during a flood. Lets all go to Mexico to exercise our American Freedoms. Some days are diamonds and some rust. It looks like the real estate market has finally bottomed out in RP. See you at Capone’s!!!

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