Mexico - Economic Outlook

An Expert's View about Business Environment in Mexico

Posted on: 29 Jan 2012

Recent Developments
•Thanks to the robust global economy and reviving demand from the US in the early part of 2011, the Mexican economy ended last year with estimated growth of 3.9%. Looking ahead, the uncertain US economic outlook and the perinnial sovereign debt crisis in Europe will remain the major concerns for the Mexican economy, giving rise to a more moderate growth forecast of 3.1% for 2012.
•Hong Kong’s total exports to Mexico grew by 17% to US$1.9 billion in the first eleven months of 2011, while its imports from Mexico rose by 11% to US$499 million.

Current Economic Situation

The robust global economy and reviving demand from the US following the financial tsunami led the Mexican economy out of the economic slump in 2010 and allowed the country to further grow in 2011. The improvements in the credit market and industrial activities helped consumers and businesses regain confidence in 2011, while the recovering US consumer demand revived Mexico’s exports.

Looking forward, the Mexican economy is forecast to grow at a more moderate pace in 2012, as the impacts of government efforts to boost job creation and restocking by local and US companies wane. Further decline in inflation in line with moderating food and energy prices will help raise purchasing power and hence consumption, while the weakening of Mexican pesos is expected to boost exports. In all, the Mexican economy, under the shadow of the uncertain US economy and the lingering European sovereign debt crisis, is forecast to grow at a slower pace of 3.1% in 2012, after an estimated 3.9% expansion in 2011.

Trade Policy

The Harmonised System is used for goods classification and customs clearance in Mexico. Tariffs are levied on most products entering Mexico, applying ad valorem to the CIF values of imports. Besides, most imports are subject to a 15% value-added tax (VAT). Certain medicines and basic food are VAT exempt. In addition, a 0.8% ad valorem customs processing fee is levied on imports.

Import Documentations

Import documents required include the "pedimiento de importacion"- customs import declaration, commercial invoice, bill of lading, packing list and documents demonstrating compliance with Mexican product safety and performance regulations, if applicable. In addition, an importer has to issue a "Declaration of Value" to assist the Mexican customs in assessing import duties.

Commercial Invoices

Commercial invoices should observe the regulations and include specific information as follows:
•original invoice signed by the exporter;
•invoice must be in Spanish or accompanied by an equivalent Spanish translation;
•each invoice comprising one original and two copies;
•showing the place and the date of its issue;
•company names and addresses of both importer and exporter shown in the invoice;
•showing the number of packages, contents, quantity, quality and marks of the goods;
•detailed description of each item of shipment, including quantity, unit prices and total prices;
•the goods must reach the Mexican Customs within 90 days of the invoice; and
•showing all freight and insurance charges.

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading must show the serial numbers, quantity of packages, gross weight in metric terms and the marks. The packing list has to contain the information including the total number of packages and the gross, net and legal weights of the shipment. It should be submitted in triplicate.

Product Standards

Products selling in Mexico have to comply with the mandatory product standards, called Official Mexican Standards or NOMs. Normally, an importer of an electrical appliance has to bring the product to a laboratory to check if it complies with the specific NOMs. After the laboratory has issued the results, the importer has to present the product and laboratory results to the certification body to have the product certified. The product will be certified if it is proved to have met the stipulated NOMs. Officials from the certification body may also visit the importer up to two times to ensure that imported products continue to meet the NOMs. A product can only be imported if proper NOM certification has been secured. The Mexican authority from time to time updates the list of products that are subject to NOMs.

Anti-Dumping

As of January 2012, Mexico applies no anti-dumping (AD) order on Hong Kong’s exports. On the other hand, the transition duties imposed by Mexico on a range of Chinese mainland products were eliminated on 12 December 2011. However, the Mexican government has recently stressed that regular AD and safeguard actions against Chinese mainland products may be initiated to protect the domestic apparel, footwear and other sectors from injurious competition from abroad.

As part of the on-going efforts to enhance the monitoring of imports in Mexico, the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) launched on 15 December 2011 a new price alert system to detect any practices of undervaluation that may adversely affect domestic producers. SAT indicates that this price alert system will initially focus on 400 textile tariff lines and will subsequently incorporate tariff lines of Chapters 61, 62 and 64. Other sectors beyond the textile, apparel and footwear sectors will be incorporated into the system at a future date.

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Posted: 29 January 2012

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