International Trade & Customs Articles


October 18, 2019

Amendments to Mexico’s General Law of Import and Export Tariffs, Decree for the Border Region and Northern Border Region, PROSEC Decree and IMMEX Decree

By Miriam Name and Enrique Hill

On September 20, 2019, a new Decree was published in the Official Journal of the Federation which serves to amend numerous federal laws, including the Decree Amending the General Law of Import and Export Tariffs, the Decree establishing a General Import Tax for the Border Region and Northern Border Region, the Decree Establishing various Sector Promotion Programs (PROSEC for its Spanish acronym), and the Decree for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquila and Export Services Industry (IMMEX for its Spanish acronym), effective as of September 22, 2019. The new amendments are mainly aimed at the steel sector, and feature the following highlights: The 15% tariff on the importation of various steel products remains in place. It should be noted that … read more


September 15, 2017

Structural Reform of Mexico’s General Import and Export Tariff Classifications (TIGIE)

By Edmundo Elías and Marisol de León

Currently, Mexico’s Department of the Economy is in the process of a comprehensive and structural reform of the TIGIE. This reform is based on the following criteria: Tariff classifications that, due to their complexity, are seldom used. About 40% of current tariff classifications have an annual total amount of trade transactions of less than one million dollars. Some tariff classifications that were designed without a reasonable criterion, such as classifications created for statistical purposes only, which ultimately hinder trade. Therefore, the reform seeks to: Harmonize the TIGIE with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), Mexico’s main trade partner. Eliminate unused or underutilized tariff classifications. Create a database and reserve of statistical information. Unlike more recent reforms to … read more


September 15, 2017

The United States’ Energy Objectives in the NAFTA Renegotiation

By José María Lujambio

In mid-July, the United States government issued a 17 page document summarizing the country’s goals for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is noteworthy that the section on energy contains only three lines, but with huge substance and meaning: Preserve and strengthen investment, market access, and state-owned enterprise disciplines, benefiting energy production and transmission and support North American energy security and independence, while promoting continuing energy market-opening reforms. The Mexican reforms of 2013 and 2014 ended the state’s monopoly on the energy sector and welcomed competition. As a result, great opportunities for private investment in the Mexican energy sector, both domestic and foreign, arose. It was obvious that this opening would awaken the appetite of … read more


July 20, 2017

Restructure of the VAT Certification System, by Edmundo Elias and Marisol de León

Based on the First Resolution of Modifications to the General Rules of Foreign Trade for 2016, published on May 9, 2016, a new comprehensive certification scheme was established, consisting of a permanent compliance program for companies that will be certified in new modalities, including VAT Certification and Authorized Economic Operator. Under this new comprehensive certification scheme, obligations that used to be of instant or temporary compliance, have become permanent. Even though the VAT certification renewal process has been simplified, compliance with the obligations derived from the VAT certification may be reviewed at any time and, in case of non-compliance, a cancellation procedure may be initiated. The government authorities that review compliance with a VAT certification have a stricter policy and … read more


July 20, 2017

Customs Valuation

The recent publication of new Regulations to Mexico’s Customs Law offer important changes in customs valuation methodologies. The obligations established in Article 81 of such Regulation, which consists of presenting documentation attached to the statement of value provided to a customs agent, should have entered into force. However, this obligation has been extended on several occasions and will now enter into force in January 2018. The documents that will be required to be delivered to the customs agent include the following: a) Commercial invoice; b) Bill of lading, packing list, airway bill and/or other transport documents; c) Certificate of origin; d) When the value declared in customs is less than the estimated prices by the Secretary of Economy, the document … read more


April 18, 2016

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The Most Important Multilateral Trade Agreement to Mexico, By Edmundo Elías-Fernández

On February 4, 2016, the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as the TPP, in Auckland, New Zealand, along with the Ministers of Commerce of the other 11 countries that make up the TPP: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the United States of America, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.   As established in the preamble of the TPP, this is a multilateral agreement that has been negotiated to promote economic integration, liberalize trade and investment, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses in global markets, support the growth and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, facilitate regional trade by promoting efficient customs procedures, promote high levels of environmental protection, and … read more


March 12, 2014

US-Mexico Trade Relations Not as Sweet Due To Potential Trade War on Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup

By guest Les Glick

A recent case under the antidumping and countervailing duty law against imported Mexican sugar is only the latest chapter in the complicated saga of the relationship between the United States and Mexico when it comes to sugar. Sugar has been an impediment to the economic integration of the two countries that was originally foreseen at the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Indeed, due to a dispute between the countries involving the importation of U.S. high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) into Mexico, Mexico did not gain full access to the U.S. market for sugar exports through NAFTA until 2008. In their petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of sugar from Mexico, the complainants, … read more


June 10, 2013

Modifications to Foreign Trade Rules

By Iker Dieguez

On June 6, 2013, the Mexican Department of the Economy published in the Official Journal of the Federation the “Agreement modifying the prior agreement by means of which the Mexican Department of the Economy (“SECON”) issued general rules and criteria on Foreign Trade” (the “Agreement”). The Agreement constitutes the first modification to the rules published by SECON on December 31, 2012 and contains the following modifications:   1. The “recovery of materials” concept is specified for purposes of permitted activities that are considered industrial processes for preparation and transformation under IMMEX and PROSEC programs (Rules 3.2.1 and 3.4.4); 2. Origin criteria is standardized in accordance with that under the North American Free Trade Agreement as to goods originating from the … read more


February 10, 2013

Recent Jurisprudence – The Authority of the President to Repeal Customs Duties

By Iker Dieguez

By reaffirmation of legal opinion number 3/2013 (9a.), Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) recently issued the legal opinion titled “Foreign Trade. The extraordinary authority to legislate granted to the President of the Republic in Constitutional Article 131, second paragraph, which not only includes the ability to increase, decrease or eliminate export or import duties issued by Congress and to create others, but also to repeal such.” In this legal opinion, the SCJN definitively confirms the criteria for the dismissal of an amparo proceeding for a violation of the regulatory authority conferred upon the President of the Republic in Constitutional Article 131, second paragraph, to increase, decrease or eliminate the import and export tariff rates issued by … read more