How much liquor and wine can you bring into the country? Most people visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico will want to take back a bottle of tequila or kahlua to remind them of their vacation, or even Mexican wine, which is becoming evermore popular.
On the other hand, you may also wish to bring your favorite alcoholic beverages with you on vacation to Mexico; therefore it is important to be aware of the restrictions on alcohol when crossing borders.
Each country will have its own customs’ laws, including limits on the amount of alcohol you can bring with you in your baggage without being subject to duty and additional taxes.
It is always wise to check the current regulations before traveling to ensure you will not be pulled up at customs and forced to pay outstanding taxes or forfeit your goods.
Below is a general overview of how much alcohol you can take back to the USA and Canada as well as the limits enforced by Mexico for visitors entering the country with liquor, although these quantities may be subject to changes. It is worth remembering that the quantities quoted are the limits for the amount of alcohol you can bring duty free, meaning that you may enter with additional qualities but will have to pay the taxes and duty stipulated by the country in question.
Arriving to Mexico Although you can find pretty much any type of liquor in Mexico, especially in the tourist areas such as Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, some people like to bring their favorite “tipple” just in case. For Mexico’s customs, the current limits for adults aged 18+ are three liters of liquor or beer and six liters of wine. If you have more than this quantity you must declare it and pay any duties.
Beware, however, that when you pass customs in Mexico, you have to press a button which will show a green or red light to indicate a random search. If you get a red light, your baggage will be checked, so you must make sure that you have declared any alcohol before you press the button.
Arriving to the USA When returning to the USA from Mexico, you are allowed to bring 1 liter of alcoholic beverages whether that be wine, beer or spirits for personal use or as a gift without having to pay any extra taxes. There is no current limit to the amount of alcohol you may bring if you are willing to pay the taxes, although it must be for personal rather than commercial use. Don’t forget that travelers must be over 21 to be able to bring alcohol into the country, even if it is a gift for someone else.
Arriving to Canada In order to bring alcohol into Canada, residents must have been out of the country for more than 48 hours and be aged over 19, unless returning to the states of Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, in which case you must be over 18. You may bring 1.14 liters of liquor or 1.5 liters of wine or 8.5 liters of beer or ale.