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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
For tax purposes, all Mexican importers must register and be listed with the Official Register of Importers (Padrón de Importadores), maintained by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP). The basic Mexican import document is the Import Request (Pedimento de Importación).

In order to apply the correct taxes/duties, the importing agent must present the import declaration, a commercial invoice, a bill of lading, a proof of exemption, and a certificate establishing the origin of the goods, documents demonstrating guarantee of payment of additional duties for undervalued goods if applicable (see the Customs Valuation section of this guide), and, if applicable, documents demonstrating compliance with Mexican product safety and performance regulations (see the Standards section).
All commercial imports into Mexico, whether they are temporary or permanent, can be executed by a qualified and authorized Mexican customs broker.

In the case of the textiles, apparel, and footwear sectors, the importer must be registered in the Padrón for textile, apparel, and footwear products. The main goal of the program is to protect local industry against counterfeiting from Asia.

Mexico has developed 'Sectoral Promotion Programmes' (PROSEC) that seek to reduce or eliminate tariffs on several sectors.

In addition to complying with all applicable standards, foreign manufactured medical devices and healthcare products must have a legally appointed representative or distributor in Mexico that is registered with the Secretariat of Health.

Specific Import Procedures
Companies that import goods that appear on the Annex 10 of the Foreign Trade General Rules (FTGR) have to be registered in the Mexican Register of Importers in Specific Sectors. A special tax on production and services (IEPS) is assessed to the importation of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and cigars, among others (from 25 to 160% depending on the product).
Importing Samples
Companies wishing to bring samples, equipment, displays or any other items to Mexico on a temporary basis may use an ATA carnet, since the country joined the international carnet system in 2014.
Mexican Customs allows ATA Carnets and their goods to remain in Mexico for up to 6 months. An extension can be requested prior to the expiration of the 6-month period.

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls.


Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs threshold (from which tariffs are required)
Product value up to USD 50 are exempt of duty and VAT.
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
The average MFN tariff rate for Mexico reached 5.8% in 2019. See this paper on customs duties in Mexico from the WTO for more information.
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Higher customs duties are applied to sugars and confectionery, beverages and tobacco, dairy products and clothing.
Preferential Rates

There are customs duty reductions (and even exemptions) for products helping the development of the local industry ('Maquiladora' Programme).
Mexico has more free trade agreements (FTAs) than any other country in the world with 43. The main free trade zones are:

  • There are no tariffs for products made in the United States and Canada that meet rules of origin requirements under the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  • Other agreements with Latin American countries, such as Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Costa Rica.
  • Mexico is also part of the APEC.
Customs Classification
Mexico uses the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System - generally referred to as the 'Harmonised System' - that was developed by the World Customs Organisation. 
Method of Calculation of Duties
Customs duties are calculated Ad Valorem on the CIF  (cost, insurance and freight) value of the goods, except for goods originating from the U.S. and Canada for which the FOB (freight on board) value is used.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
Payments for rights are paid in cash, check or bank transfer.
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)
Products temporarily imported for processing and re-export may be subject to the customs processing fee (CPF) since the imports are not considered “definitive.”
A special tax on production and services (IEPS) is assessed on the importation of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and cigars.
In addition, Mexico has a value-added tax (IVA) on most sales transactions, including sales of foreign products. The IVA rate is 16 percent for all of Mexico. Basic products, such as food and drugs and some services, are exempt from the IVA.

List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes.

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Latest Update: July 2024