Mexico Now Requires Import Permits for Rifle Scopes

Hunters booked for a trip to Mexico should be aware that they must now have import permits issued for their rifle scopes. The new requirement went into effect this past January, and two SCI members from the US report having their rifle scopes seized by officials in Mexico City because they did not have import permits for them. The agents involved on the two separate occurrences were from the Ministry of National Defense and accepted the hunters’ rifle import permits but would not allow them to enter the country with the rifle scopes.

The requirement was apparently so new that even Mexican outfitters were unaware of it and reported no problems with clients entering through other port cities. The application form to import firearms to Mexico does not include a section for scopes and hunting outfitters were unaware of any separate application forms specific to scopes. Outfitters contacted by SCI’s Hunter Information Service urged hunters not enter through Mexico City in order to avoid issues; however, the Mexican Government website for Customs Services (!/sedena) now lists rifle scopes as restricted goods regulated by the Ministry of National Defense. A link on the page to download an application for a special import permit from the ministry was not functioning at press time. SCI’s Travel with Firearms subcommittee is investigating the issue further.

In the meantime, hunters with booked hunts to Mexico should contact their operators about obtaining the permit or options for taking firearms with scopes. Any hunters who have had similar experiences or other problems importing sport firearms to Mexico for a hunting trip should contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at Any documentation provided by Mexican officials would also assist with the subcommittee’s investigation. SCI members can stay abreast of further developments in SCI’s monthly newspaper Safari Times.

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