Mexico - Overview

An Expert's View about Business Environment in Mexico

Posted on: 30 Jul 2012

Recent Developments
• Thanks to the reviving demand from the US, the Mexican economy ended last year with a 4.0% growth. Amid the slow but expanding US economy and the perennial sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the Mexican economy is expected to grow by 3.6% in 2012.
• Hong Kong’s total exports to Mexico grew by 2% to US$977 million in the first half of 2012, while its imports from Mexico rose by 5% to US$274 million.

Current Economic Situation
The reviving demand from the US led the Mexican economy out of the economic slump in 2010 and allowed the country to further grow by 4.0% last year. The improvements in the credit market and industrial activities have helped consumers and businesses regain confidence, while the recovering US consumer demand has revived Mexico’s exports.
For now, the Mexican economy is growing at a more moderate pace, as the impacts of government efforts to boost job creation and restocking by local and US companies wane. However, a relatively weak Mexican peso is underpinning exports and industrial production, while the continuing trend of industrial relocation to Mexico helps improve labour market prospects. In all, the Mexican economy, on the back of the slow but expanding US economy and the lingering European sovereign debt crisis, is forecast to grow by 3.6% in 2012.
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.

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: 30 July 2012

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