Use of the exclusive “FAST” lane

In accordance with the First Resolution of Amendments to the Foreign Trade General Rules for 2016 (the Resolution), published by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) on May 9, 2016, in the Federal Official Gazette (FOG), as of March 10, 2017, all freight companies that desire to continue using the exclusive “FAST” lanes to carry out the customs clearance of goods, must secure the Certified Commercial Partner Registry.

According to Article 22 of the Resolution, all freight companies will have a 10-month term following the date of publication of the Resolution, to obtain the Certified Company Framework Registry under Certified Commercial Partner category (rule 7.1.5 of the Foreign Trade General Rules for 2016) in order to continue using the exclusive “FAST” lanes, which is a benefit granted to companies that have been registered in the Certified Companies Framework, under Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) category.

Formerly, Chapter 3.8 of the Foreign Trade General Rules for 2015, in force until June 19, 2016, granted such benefit to all companies that were registered as certified companies under “L” category (former NEEC authorization), regardless of the freight company used, provided that the latter had its registry under “FAST” program for drivers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Nonetheless, as a result of the Resolution, it will be necessary for such certified companies to carry out the transportation of goods through freight companies registered as Certified Commercial Partners. From March 10, 2017 on, the use of the “FAST” lane will be limited to those companies that have been registered as a Certified Commercial Partner.

Benefits for C-TPAT companies

Freight companies that apply for the AEO registry after the date of the publication of the Resolution (May 9, 2016), will not have to file the “Terrestrial Carrier Profile” with such application. As the case may be, they will only have to evidence the following: (i) having a validation report issued by C-TPAT during the last 3 years, and file it as an exhibit on the application, jointly with a translation to Spanish of such document; (ii) have authorized through C-TPAT’s webpage to share information with Mexico; and (iii) not being subjected to an AEO cancellation procedure in Mexico.

In view of the foregoing, we strongly advise our clients to verify whether their operations require the above referred registry.