On February 22, 2016, President Enrique Peña announced that as of April 1st, 2016 the Ministry of Energy will begin issuing permits for importing gasoline and diesel to any company interested in entering the fuel market in Mexico. This determination comes ten months earlier expected, taking into account the timeline contained in the Hydrocarbons Law, which was January 1st, 2017.
The Hydrocarbons Law states that diesel and gasoline import permits for entities other than Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) would be issued as of January 1st, 2017 “or earlier if the market conditions allow it”. The President's statement shows that domestic market conditions are suitable to allow private parties to import these fuels into the country and begin generating market competition.
With this statement, Mexico is taking one more step towards completing its transition away from the state monopoly that used to control the importation, transportation, storage, distribution and trading of gasoline and diesel in the country. Today private entities are allowed to have their own brand of service stations and with importations of diesel and gasoline as of April 1st, 2016 they will also be able to choose the fuel supplier that best fits their business interests.