Mexican fuel, a temptation for border residents

Posted By on June 25, 2008

Extra Tanks
Let’s say you live along the Mexican border and know that fuel is subsidized to your south (diesel is half the price), so you’re tempted to fill up a spare tank in Mexico and drive back to the U.S. Illegal? Yes and no, depending if the tank is “connected” to your fuel line … according to this article. Hmm … might be worth having a larger fuel tank?

Texas man fined for bringing Mexican diesel to U.S.
By LYNN BREZOSKY, June 25, 2008, 11:59AM
In a sign of the times for a federal agency that routinely announces million-dollar cocaine and marijuana busts, Customs and Border Protection has announced that a man was fined $400 because of an extra tank of fuel.

The fine was levied Sunday against a 22-year-old Edinburg man who crossed the border with an extra tank of diesel in the bed of his pickup.

Because of Mexican government subsidies, diesel fuel currently sells at about half the U.S. price across the border. Customs agents have noticed a sharp rise in the number of people trying to bring full containers back to this country.

While it’s not illegal to import fuel, anything that’s not hooked up to the vehicle’s fuel line must be declared and brought in through commercial lanes. In Hidalgo County, that would mean the Pharr International Bridge.

CBP spokesman Felix Garza said the man’s extra tank was not connected to the pickup truck’s fuel lines and, therefore, was determined to be “commercial,” which made the driver subject to the fine.

Garza said this was one of the first instances of someone being fined for fuel. But he said people were always asked what they were bringing in, and it was assumed they would know they are required to declare an extra, unattached tank of gasoline or diesel.

“Diesel fuel is a foreign commodity,” he said. “Anything you buy or acquire or obtain as a gift is a foreign commodity and must be declared.”

Thanks for the link Drew.


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