What food can I bring to Rocky Point? [version Nov. 2019]
By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero (Last updated, Nov 25, 2019)
The SENASICA office (National Service of Health, Food Safety and Quality) of SEGARPA (Secretary of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fishing and Feed) defines what type of food you are permitted to bring across the border. Prior to 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
- Food: fresh cheeses, farm raised chicken, live/raw/dried crustaceans, fresh meat of any kind, homemade or artisanal food products, unpackaged sandwiches/hamburgers/pizza etc. with meat or lactose products
- Animals: any regulated animal species including fish, crustaceans, or turtles; animal containers or remains (blood, feathers, wheels); animal food (except for dogs and cats – regulated type/amount), cat or dog food with beef, mutton, or goat product; regulated products in poor condition
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 over five years in an effort to enforce regulations regarding bringing meat, lactose, and other items (including pet food) across the border.
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. If you travel frequently across the border with your pets, check information on the “Frequent Traveler” pet program: Frequent Traveler Program for Pets 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]
- Other prohibited products: land or soil, untanned leather products, articles or vessels with animal, vegetable, or unknown content; genetic material of any kind; hunting trophies (mounted, fresh, etc.); garments with animal bones, skin, and feathers; folkart made with carved or polished horns or bones; bull-fighting and bull-riding garments and accessories with blood stains or animal tissue; pharmaceutical products, chemicals and biological products for animal use or consumption;
- Touristic entry of the following listed products is prohibited if the importer does not meet the requirements set forth in the following link: (https://sistemasssl.senasica.gob.mx/mcrfi/)Propagation materials (seeds, bulbs, slips, buds, stakes, etc.)Flowers, plants, vegetables and fresh fruits.Grains (corn, bean, rice, quinoa, wheat, sesame, sunflower, green bean, lentil, etc.)Green coffee and tobaccoFresh chestnuts NOTE: This list is expository though not limited
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!