President Felipe Calderón issued a Decree for regulating the permanent importation of used vehicles. This topic has been the subject of debate between the different actors in the Mexican automotive industry, the government, manufacturers and the dealerships of new and used cars. In fact, the Decree, published in the Official Journal of the Federation and which came into force on July 1, 2011 and will remain in force until January 31, 2013, forms part of a series of presidential Decrees that regulate the importation of used cars. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) states that starting January 1, 2009 and gradually until 2019, Mexico will not be allowed to adopt or maintain any prohibition or restriction on the importation of used vehicles originating from Canada or the United States of America, depending on the model year and, in turn, provides for a staged elimination of tariffs on NAFTA-originating goods, including used vehicles. The progressive reductions in tariffs on NAFTA-originating goods are limited to those vehicles that comply with specific rules of origin and that such is backed up with a valid certificate of origin. The characteristics to prove the origin of used motor vehicles, in terms of NAFTA, create the risk that certificates with false, altered or inaccurate information will be issued to importers acting in good faith, and that these practices could cause great damage to the property rights of used vehicle owners. In order to provide legal certainty to the importers or owners of the used motor vehicles, and to avoid any liability for them for the improper use of NAFTA benefits, it is essential to specify that the certificate of origin must be issued by the producer of the vehicle that deals with or is issued by the exporter based on information given directly by the producer.The purpose of this is to guarantee the authenticity of the information contained in the certificate relating to the origin of the vehicle. Additionally, the Decree considers it appropriate to gradually allow, given the year of the car, the permanent importation of used vehicles, which have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) corresponding to a vehicle manufactured or assembled in Mexico, the United States, or Canada, as well as establishing an option to import vehicles with a reduced tariff, without requiring a prior import permit and without the need to present a certificate of origin;
The geographic proximity of Mexico to the U.S. and the northern border and region offer economic features that differ from the rest of the country, so the Federal Executive Decree considered it advisable to continue to provide a preferential program for late model light and heavy used cars than the rules that apply elsewhere in the country, and which has a Vehicle Identification Number corresponding to a vehicle manufactured or assembled in Mexico, the United States or Canada. In this way such vehicles can be imported to permanently stay in those areas with reduced tariffs, without requiring a prior import license and without the need to present a certificate of origin.
The Decree considers it very important for Mexico to prevent the permanent importation into Mexico of those used vehicles that, in the country of origin, due to their physical features or technical issues, are restricted or prohibited from being in circulation, as well as when a vehicle has been reported stolen. Furthermore, the Decree seeks to regulate air pollution from all types of emission sources in order to ensure satisfactory air quality for the Mexican general population and to maintain ecological balance. Thus, the permanent importation of vehicles into Mexico must be subject to any applicable legal provisions for the protection of the environment. It is necessary for the federal government to continuously update information on market trends for used vehicles, thus the Decree considers it essential for importers of used cars to declare their imports to the proper authority.
In order to fight crime and protect the citizenry, it is also essential that vehicles permanently imported into Mexico be registered in accordance with the Law of the Public Registry of Vehicles. In accordance with Article 124 of the Amparo Law, Statutes of Articles 103 and 107 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, the public interest will be considered damaged or public policy provisions will be considered violated when, among others, goods are allowed into the country whose entry is in any of the cases set forth in Article 131, second paragraph of the Constitution. The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Mexico has held, in jurisprudence among contradictory decisions, (case number 166/2009, published in the Judicial Weekly of the Federation and its Gazette XXX from October 2009), that it shall not grant suspension on the basis of amparo of the requirements and the ad valorem tariffs found in the Presidential Decrees issued in accordance with Article 131, second paragraph of the Constitution, for the definitive importation to the country of used vehicles, on the basis that it finds that this would create damage to the public interest and the public policy provisions would be violated, much like the objectives set out in the Decree of the Treasury Department of the federal government.
Original article from MexicanAutomotive