What food can I bring to Rocky Point? [version Dec. 2017]
By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero (Last updated, Dec 15, 2017)
The 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 List of food and agriculture products and byproducts for tourist import
Poultry – Pork – Beef
The current list of regulated or prohibited products states the importation of the following products is prohibited (2017):
- Pork, 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 some of the documents are available in English (not as easy to find), 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. Pets are subject to physical inspection and review of documentation:
- Original and copy of health certificate, issued no more than 15 days before by a veterinarian, on letterhead and indicating professional ID No. (or equivalent)
- Rabies vaccination records, and expiration (animals less than 3 months old are exempt)
- Documents indicating deworming, internal and external, within six months prior to travel
- Ensure animals are healthy prior to travel
- Transported in pet carrier, without a bed or toys
- You can 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.
In Spanish: Si viajas con tu perro o gato
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!