In the previous issue, we discussed the possibility of “reshoring” manufacturing from China to Mexico. In this article, we will look at the information needed with regard to imports to Mexico, assuming you have dealt with US export requirements referred to previously. Mexican import requirements are not that different from what is required for importation into the US. Here are some documentation guidelines to follow:

Invoice: The invoice document can be either a pro forma invoice or a commercial invoice. A pro forma invoice is issued for goods that are not sold but being described for Customs and transport purposes only. Shipments of samples for a trade show would be documented by a pro forma invoice. The commercial invoice is used for standard export sales transactions. English, Spanish or French are acceptable invoice languages to Mexican Customs.

Invoice Product Information: The product information provided on the commercial invoice must be in enough detail to allow the broker and Customs authorities to confirm the classification(s) of the goods is correct. For example, classifications for carrying bags distinguish between materials used in making carrying bags so the invoice citing classification 4202.92.0805 should also state: “ food carrying bags with outer surface of cotton materials”: A picture of the items being shipped is recommended if this is a first-time export. 

Marks and numbers: The wording/markings on the packing list should clearly match the export invoice. It should be easy for Customs to find the articles listed on the invoice among the boxes of your shipment. Each package or bundle must be marked and numbered with references that are easily identifiable on the invoice and packing list, such as "item 1 handbag red- carton 1 of 20." If there are unique identifying numbers such as serial numbers, they should also appear on the packing list. 

Country of Origin: The Country of Origin (place of growth or manufacture) must be clearly indicated for each good on the export invoice. For NAFTA qualifying goods, the NAFTA certificate should be attached with all appropriate sections completed. The section that substantiates the reason the goods qualify as US or Mexican or Canadian origin is of critical importance. The country of origin markings on the units shipped must match the origin country that is stated on the invoice. 

Value: The value stated must be accurate according to transaction value law. This means the price listed must be the price paid or payable plus additions for commissions, royalties, assists, packing or any proceeds of resale payable to the shipper plus freight and insurance costs. The currency, terms of payment and applicable INCOTERMS or terms of sale should be clearly indicated. The dutiable value for Mexican Customs is the CIF value. The price payable is defined as the purchase price of the goods or the cost of manufacture plus normal profit when goods are consigned or otherwise shipped to Mexico without being sold to the consignee. 

Transaction Parties: All parties and transaction details must be clearly identified such as shipper, importer and ultimate consignee and customs broker and contact person name and phone number at the ultimate consignee or the ultimate receiver of the merchandise. 

Import Authorization/registration: For any shipment valued at more than $2500, make sure that the Company or person acting as the Importer has been accepted into the Mexican Registry of Importers and that they have an Active Mexican Federal Taxation account. A lack of proper registration can delay your shipment by 2 -3 weeks.

Summary: Assuming the goods you are exporting are authorized for export to Mexico according to US export laws, the above article has summarized in further detail key elements that should be thought through for shipments to Mexico. The elements reviewed are really similar to US import requirements and/or import requirements for any country. NAFTA compliance will be reviewed in Part 3.