Mexico, the 2nd largest Latin American economy, is experiencing shifts in its economic model, putting itself on the path to more lucrative opportunities. Trade and investment opportunities throughout the region are both accessible and profitable. Mexico’s strategic location in the middle of the Americas, access to 2 oceans, government policies that encourage foreign participation (12 FTA with 45 Countries) and the modernisation of Mexican customs have strongly contributed to the economic and commercial success of the country. A big part of this success can be attributed to the growth in international trade, notably importing into Mexico.
Reduced trade barriers and simplified documentation processes have facilitated the growth of international trade in Mexico. However, despite a simplified process, complications may present themselves during the process – resulting in fines, delayment at customs or the confiscation of merchandise.
Mexican Importation Requirements
To be able to import merchandise into Mexico, there are requirements that all exporters/importers must satisfy. Importing into Mexico is not without its complexities, however, a thorough understanding of the importation system and employing the services of a Mexican trade lawyer can remove a lot of the headache. With the help of your trade lawyer you can successfully manage this list of 5 things you must consider when importing to Mexico.
1. You Need a Mexican Customs Broker (MCB)
The use of a customs broker is compulsory when importing into Mexico. Contracting a professional Mexican Customs Broker, with a comprehensive understanding of the Mexican importation process, will ensure the facilitation of your product into Mexico.
2. Must be Registered in the Official Register of Importers
In order to begin the process of importing into Mexico, you must be registered in the Official Register of Importers, known as the ‘Padron de Importadores’ in Mexico. This registration will ensure that the importer is part of the Mexican Tax Authority (SAT).
Part of the Official Register of Importers is the Secretary of Treasury and Public Finance; this entity is responsible for the special sectors register which regulates the importation of 400 different kinds of merchandise. To be eligible to import products which are part of the special sectors register, you must first apply with the Secretary of Treasury and Public Finance. This gives you the right to import agriculture, products, textiles, chemicals, electronics and auto parts. The use of a trade lawyer in Mexico can help you apply for this special sectors list.
3. Harmonized System Tariff & HS Code Classification
The Harmonized System Tariff (HS Code) is an international classification system used to classify products involved with the importation and exportation process across borders. The HS Code will assign your product a specific code which will then be used to determine specific import requirements and tariffs you will have to pay.
4. Present Importation Documents (Pedimento de Importación)
In order to import into Mexico, you must present an importation document, known in Mexico as the Pedimento de Importacion. This form must be filled using a Mexican customs agent and then presented and approved by the Secretary of Finance and Public Finance. The Pedimento de Importacion must be accompanied by the following documentation:
- Invoice – place, and date of issue, name, and address of final destination, detailed commercial description, name and address of seller
- Verification of adherence to non-tariff restrictions and regulations
- Certificate of origin
- Identification information – Serial number, part numbers, brand information etc
- Certificate of weight and volume
- Verification of bond granted
The Pedimento de Importacion will confirm the legality of merchandise in Mexico.
5. You Need a Certificate of Origin
All goods arriving in Mexico must be accompanied by the certificate or origin. As the name suggests, this official certificate will identify the origin of the goods. Without this certificate, goods will not pass through customs.
Goods arriving in Mexico from North America must be accompanied by a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. Equally, goods arriving from countries in the European Union must be accompanied by an EUR.1 Certificate of Origin.
How to Proceed with Importing Goods to Mexico
Many exporters make the mistake of taking on the responsibility for the entire shipping process, often resulting in the incorrect documentation. As can be seen above, despite a simplified importing process into Mexico, there are a variety of processes that need to be performed before you can get your product into the country. These requirements make the need for the Mexican trade lawyer that much more vital.
With this being said, trading with Mexico is without a doubt a great way to expand your business operations. The Mexican marketplace is attractive, and a growing consumer middle class gives way to a variety of trade opportunities for foreigners interested in exporting to Mexico. This, combined with plenty of free trade agreements means that the option to export to Mexico is more feasible than ever before.
The Biz Latin Hub Group was established in 2014 to help both individuals and companies do business in Mexico and the Latin American region. Get in contact with one of our trade specialists and see how we can assist you through the Mexican importation requirements, process, and documentation. Reach out to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.