On February 17, 2023, the Agreement that establishes the goods whose importation is subject to regulation by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, to establish that the goods being imported into Mexican territory must not have been produced in whole or in part using forced or compulsory labor, including child labor.
Chapter 23 of the Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA) involves the enforcement of labor provisions with the purpose of promoting the protection and observance of labor rights, the improvement of working conditions, the strengthening of cooperation and capacity of the parties in labor matters.
One of the main commitments for the three countries is to prohibit the importation of goods from other sources produced or manufactured in whole or in part by forced labor. For that reason, as of May 18, 2023, date of entry into force of the Agreement, the importation of goods into our country will only be done when there is no resolution issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, in which it determines the existence of the use of forced or compulsory labor for the production of these goods.
As of now, the Labor Ministry has not published the list of resolutions, or the information that allows to know the procedure to prove to the customs authorities that the goods were not produced under such conditions. This, to provide legal certainty to foreign trade users regarding their operations, and thus avoid possible delays in imports, or in the worst-case scenario, the occurrence of any cause of infringement provided for in the applicable legal provisions and incurring penalties in customs matters.
It is important to note that Mexico has also ratified the fundamental conventions number 29 on forced labor, 105 on the abolition of forced labor and 182 on the worst forms of child labor, all from the International Labor Organization, being this positive law in our country.