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ASK MANNY! Manuel Velazquez, Commercial Specialist in our Monterrey office, counsels U.S. companies on a daily basis in the customs and shipping areas. Manny can be reached at manuel.velazquez@trade.gov or +52-81-8047-3248

The Mexican customs authorities are strict about importation documentation and procedures, here you have the import process simplified:

1. Mexican Customs 101 – The Basics

A. The great majority of the time the Mexican buyer (importing company) is responsible for obtaining permits, making payments to Mexican authorities, and contracting a Customs Broker Agent. The customs broker will then follow up with the entire importation process.

B.

C. Before any goods are shipped, we highly recommend that U.S exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their Mexican customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities. To comply with Mexico Customs regulations, every single shipment that intents to enter into the country must have an Importer of Record.

D.

E. Basic words in Spanish to learn:

F. 1. Padron de Importadores - Importer of Record

G. 2. Comercializadora – Trading Company

H. 3. Fraccion Arancelaria (HS Code)

I. 4. Certificado de Origen (NAFTA Certificate of Origin)

J. 5. Agente Aduanal (Customs Broker Agent)

K. 6. Pedimento Aduanal (Mexican Entry Form)

2. The Specifics

HS Codes: Is the key to know in advance the official requirements, permits, taxes, duties, restrictions and the eligibility of your export to Mexico. The best option is to check with a Customs Broker and obtain the proper HS Code classification of your product prior to send your shipment to Mexico.

Mexican Customs Broker: They are the best prepared to clear your products/equipment through Mexican Customs. Almost all commercial imports into Mexico, whether they are temporary or permanent, are executed by a qualified and authorized Customs Broker Agent.

The Mexican entry Form: (Spanish: “Pedimento Aduanal”) is a tax receipt that proves that all the necessary taxes have been paid to Mexican authorities for merchandise to enter or exit the country. With this document, Customs brokers will be able to finalize operations and complete the import process.

3. Basic Documents required by Mexican Customs

Please note that these 5 documents are the most important and basic paperwork necessary. Nonetheless documentation is not limited to only these 5 requisites. Depending on a case to case scenario you might need more documentation for a proper importation process.

4. Common Mistakes and pro-Tips

A. The Mexican Customs Bureau reports that one of the most common mistakes U.S. exporters make is the lack of documentation.

B. Final import approval of any product is subject to the importing country’s rules and regulations as interpreted by border officials at the time of product entry.

C. U.S. Commercial Service: If a shipment is detained or rejected or if the U.S. exporter have general questions, the U.S. Commercial Service Mexico, can assist the company in clarifying problems and determining how best to proceed in resolving the issue.

We recommend that if you have any specific case doubts or general inquires on importation processes to Mexico: don’t forget that U.S. Commercial Service is able to support you, in case of questions or doubts about Mexican import process.

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Tip #1

In almost all cases, the Mexican buyer is responsible for obtaining permits, making payments to Mexican authorities, and contracting a Mexican Custom Broker. Exporters should use an experienced freight forwarder and Mexican customs broker. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. The freight forwarder and/or customs broker can also detect problems before the product crosses into Mexico and, in many cases, can correct the problem. Final import approval of any product is subject to the importing country's rules and regulations as interpreted by border officials at the time of product entry.

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Tip #2

The Mexican Customs Bureau reports that one of the most common mistakes U.S. exporters make relates to a lack of documentation. Other issues that can result in the detention or rejection of shipments include violation of sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and non-compliance with labeling regulations.

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