Legal framework

Domestic legislation

What is the main domestic legislation as regards trade remedies?

The main Mexican legislation regarding trade remedies is:

  • Article 131 of the Federal Constitution:;
  • Foreign Trade Law and its Regulations: and;
  • Customs Law and its Regulations: and;
  • Federal Law of Administrative Procedure:;
  • Ministry of Economy Internal Regulations:; and
  • Tax Administration Service Internal Regulations:

Article 131 of the Federal Constitution establishes the exclusive faculty of the Federation to regulate at all times and prohibit if necessary, for security reasons, the circulation inside the Republic of all goods, whatever their provenance. In addition, it entitles the President to increase, diminish or suppress the quotas of export and import tariffs, and to create others; as well as to restrict and to prohibit imports, exports and transit of products, when deemed urgent, in order to regulate foreign trade, the economy of the country and the stability of national production.

The Foreign Trade Law regulates unfair foreign trade practices, investigation procedures, safeguard measures and remedies.

The Customs Law establishes regulations regarding the application of anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

The Federal Law of Administrative Procedure shall apply to acts, procedures and resolutions of the Federal Public Administration.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy Internal Regulations control the activity of the Ministry of Economy to determine and impose trade remedies. The Tax Administration Service (SAT) Internal Regulations grant the power to such entity to collect such trade remedies.

Further, according to jurisprudential criteria, international treaties and agreements are considered hierarchically superior to domestic legislation. In this regard the following agreements must be considered:

  • agreement concerning the application of article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT):;
  • agreement concerning subsidies and countervailing measures:;
  • agreement concerning safeguard measures:; and
  • free trade agreements.

Depending on the treaty, additional regulations and dispute resolution measures can be found in the corresponding chapter of each treaty.

Finally, regarding appeals against trade remedies, the following domestic legislation should be considered:

  • the Federal Tax Code:;
  • the Federal Contentious Administrative Procedure Law:; and
  • the Amparo Appeal Law:

The Federal Tax Code regulates the revocation appeal procedure; meanwhile, the Federal Contentious Administrative Procedure Law regulates trials before the Federal Court of Administrative Justice (TFJA). Additionally, the Amparo Law regulates the procedure of the extraordinary means of defence named amparo before the Federal Courts.

International agreements

In general terms what is your country’s attitude to international trade?

Mexico is a member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mexico currently has 12 FTAs with 46 countries, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada, which has made Mexico one of the main producers and exporters in the automotive sector worldwide. Likewise, it has signed 32 Agreements for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments with 33 countries and nine agreements within the framework of the Latin American Integration Association.

On 23 May 2018, Mexico published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) its approval of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is an FTA between Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, allowing Mexico to open its market to new economies.

Currently, Mexico is renegotiating the NAFTA terms, which may be updated later in 2019. Also, the Mexican Government is exploring the options to actualise the free trade agreement with the European Union.

Mexico has been involved in 24 cases as complainant, 14 cases as respondent and 84 cases as a third party in WTO disputes, and has an acceptable compliance record with WTO decisions.

Trade defence investigations (outside the WTO dispute settlement system)

Government authorities

Which authority or authorities conduct trade defence investigations and impose trade remedies in your jurisdiction?

The Ministry of Economy, through the International Commercial Practices Unit (UPCI), is the authority empowered to investigate and impose trade remedies in Mexico (

However, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), through the SAT, is the authority empowered to collect anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed as trade remedies (

Complaint filing procedure

What is the procedure for domestic industry to start a trade remedies case in your jurisdiction? Can the regulator start an investigation ex officio?

The determination of trade remedies in Mexico is carried out through an investigation that analyses the existence of dumping and subsidies, the damage or threat of damage to a domestic industry, and the causal relationship between them. With regard to safeguard measures, the authority will investigate and analyse if the increase in imports damages a branch of national production.

The initial procedure of the investigation regarding trade remedies, such as dumping, subsidies and safeguard measures, is as follows:

  • the investigations are initiated ex officio or at the request of a party in the affected national industry that represents at least 25 per cent of the total production of identical or similar merchandise, produced by the branch of national production that is considered affected;
  • a written request must be submitted to the UPCI, stating the arguments that support the need to apply anti-dumping or countervailing duties, complying with the following requirements:
    • general information about the promoter, volume and value of the national production of the product identical or similar to that of the imported product, the country of origin of the merchandise, the persons who made the exports in conditions detrimental to Mexico, and the evidence that shows that the importing of the goods in question damages or threatens to damage the domestic industry;
    • in the case of dumping, an indication of the difference between the normal value and the comparable export price;
    • regarding subsidies, the foreign government or foreign authority involved, the form of payment, the amount of the subsidy or the impact of the subsidy on the export price; and
    • in safeguard measures, the facts and data showing that the increase in imports causes serious injury or threat of serious injury to the domestic industry of identical, similar or directly competing merchandise.

The procedure following the presentation of the request is:

  • within 17 business days the UPCI may request additional information and documents, which must be provided by the parties within 20 business days;
  • within 20 business days after the request, the UPCI may discard the request if it does not meet the legal requirements; and
  • within 25 business days following the presentation of the trade remedy request, the UPCI may admit the request and announce the initiation of the investigation.
Contesting trade remedies

What is the procedure for foreign exporters to defend a trade remedies case in your jurisdiction?

Once the resolution to initiate the investigation has been published in the DOF, the UPCI must notify the interested parties, including foreign exporters, so that within a period of 23 business days they can appear before the UPCI and present the arguments, information and evidence that they deem pertinent.

The UPCI will give the applicants the opportunity to present their counter arguments or replies within the next eight business days. Interested parties in the investigation procedure may be represented before the authority through a legal representative appointed for that purpose, who shall have a law degree, except for those who belong to the boards of directors of the interested parties.

If necessary, the UPCI may require other evidentiary elements, information and data that it deems pertinent to the investigation.

Within a period of 90 business days following the beginning of the investigation, the UPCI will issue a preliminary ruling through which it will be able to determine provisional anti-dumping or countervailing duties; not impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties and continue with the investigation procedure; or terminate the investigation if there is insufficient evidence.

Once the preliminary ruling is issued and published in the DOF, the UPCI will grant a term of 20 business days so that the interested parties may submit additional arguments, information and evidence.

Within a period of 210 business days following the beginning of the investigation, a final resolution will be issued by the UPCI in which it may impose definitive anti-dumping or countervailing duties; revoke the provisional anti-dumping or countervailing duties; or declare the investigation concluded without imposing anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

During the investigation, interested parties may request the UPCI to hold a conciliatory hearing in which solutions will be proposed. An agreement following the conciliatory hearing will be considered as a final resolution.

Likewise, when in the course of the investigation the exporter of the goods voluntarily commits to modify their prices or cease their exports, or if the government of the exporting country eliminates or limits the subsidy, the UPCI may suspend or terminate the investigation without applying the trade remedy, after analysing whether these commitments eliminate the harmful effect of the unfair practice.

Regarding safeguard measures, once the resolution of the initiation of the investigation has been published in the DOF, the determination of safeguard measures must be made within a period of no more than 210 business days, counted from the day following publication.

It is important to consider that these measures will be subject to the provisions set out in the international treaties, agreements and conventions to which Mexico is a party.

In the case that the circumstances are critical and there is evidence that the increase in imports has caused or threatens to cause damage, provisional safeguard measures could be established within a period of 20 days, counted from the day following the publication in the DOF of the beginning of the investigation. The duration of the provisional safeguard measures may not be more than six months.

The final resolution that confirms, modifies or revokes the safeguard measures must be published within 210 business days after the day following the publication in the DOF of the resolution that initiated the procedure.

WTO rules

Are the WTO rules on trade remedies applied in national law?

Yes. Mexico has incorporated the WTO provisions on trade remedies in its Foreign Trade Law and its Regulations.

As stated in question 1, according to jurisprudential criteria, international treaties and agreements are considered hierarchically superior to domestic legislation. Mexico has been an active member of the WTO since 1995, and thus the WTO rules on trade remedies, the Agreement concerning the application of article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Agreement concerning Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and the Agreement concerning Safeguard Measures are applied and followed in practice.

The Foreign Trade Law and its Regulations consider non-market economies when cost and price structures do not reflect market prices.

Mexico will be able to determine whether an economy is a market economy based on whether the currency of the foreign country is convertible in a generalised manner in the international currency markets; the salaries of that country are established through free negotiation between workers and employers; the decisions of the sector or industry of that country adapt to the market without interference from the state; and foreign investments are allowed.


What is the appeal procedure for an unfavourable trade remedies decision? Is appeal available for all decisions? How likely is an appeal to succeed?

The challenge mechanisms against trade remedies decisions are described below.

Revocation appeal

This appeal proceeds against resolutions issued by the UPCI that dismiss the request for initiation of the investigation procedure; declare the end of the investigation without imposing an anti-dumping or countervailing duty or safeguard measures; determine definitive anti-dumping or countervailing duties or safeguard measures.

The appeal must be filed within 30 business days following the notification of the resolution, before the same authority that issued the act (UPCI), stating the facts, arguments and probatory support in relation to the illegality of the resolution. The authority must issue a resolution within three months, confirming or revoking its act. If it is not issued within that period, the interested party may consider that the authority ruled negatively and begin a nullity trial before the TFJA, which will order the authority to expressly report the grounds and reasons it took into consideration to deny the request.

In practice, the probability of success of this type of appeal is low, since the appeal is heard by the same authority. Therefore, this often leads to the authority confirming its resolution.

Despite the above, it is important to consider that this means of defence must be exhausted before initiating a nullity trial before the TFJA, since its interposition is not optional.

Nullity trial

This trial proceeds after the revocation appeal has concluded.

A nullity appeal must be filed before the TFJA, which is a specialised three-judge court in administrative, tax and foreign trade matters, within 30 business days following the notification of the revocation appeal resolution.

The court will issue the corresponding ruling within 45 business days following the date on which the trial instruction was closed, in which it will decide to confirm the validity of the resolution or declare its nullity.

In practice, this is the most effective means to revoke an unfavourable trade remedy decision. However, the resolution time can be longer than the 45 days stated in the law.


The constitutionality of the judgments issued by the TFJA declaring the validity of the unfavourable trade remedies resolutions may be challenged through an amparo before the corresponding Federal Collegiate Courts (TCC).

The amparo must be filled within a period of 15 business days counted from the notification of the decision of the TFJA.

Extraordinarily, the amparo resolution may be challenged before the Supreme Court of Justice, but only when constitutional issues are asserted.

Review of duties/quotas

How and when can an affected party seek a review of the duty or quota? What is the procedure and time frame for obtaining a refund of overcharged duties? Can interest be claimed?

As a general rule, the anti-dumping or countervailing duties will be eliminated within a period of five years, unless before the end of that period the UPCI has initiated an annual or a sunset review to determine whether the suppression of that duty would lead to the continuation or repetition of the unfair trade practice.

The anti-dumping or countervailing duties may be reviewed annually at the request of a party or at any time ex officio by the UPCI, following the same procedure for its determination.

Interested parties may request in writing to the UPCI to carry out a review or a sunset review, providing the information and proof that justifies their petition, along with the forms established by the authority for such effects.

If the importers involved paid excessive or unduly severe anti-dumping or countervailing duties, or if as a result of one of the appeals referred to in question 7 the anti-dumping or countervailing duties are revoked, the interested party may request a refund of the difference in its favour of the total duties paid, duly updated with the respective interest.

The refund process must be requested from the SAT, which is the authority in charge of collecting anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

The interested party has a term of five years as of the date of payment to request a refund. The procedure is as follows:

  • once the refund request is submitted, if there are errors, the authority could request the taxpayer to clarify the irregularities of its request within a period of 10 business days. If it does not do so it will be considered to have withdrawn the request;
  • the authorities may require the taxpayer, within a period no longer than 20 business days, to submit additional documents that it considers necessary and relate to the refund request; and
  • the return must be made within a period of 40 business days following the date on which the application was submitted. In practice this time frame is regularly exceeded.
Compliance strategies

What are the practical strategies for complying with an anti-dumping/countervailing/safeguard duty or quota?

There are several alternatives to deal with an anti-dumping or countervailing duties, as well as safeguard measures, depending on each case.

If the anti-dumping, countervailing duty or safeguard measure is considered illegal or if the circumstances have changed, a review or challenge mechanism may be filed by the interested parties, following the procedures and forms established in the law for such purposes.

Alternatively, goods may be sourced from another jurisdiction or supplier that has not been subject to such duties.

Reformulating the products may be considered when analysing if the tariff classification of the new product is subject to any anti-dumping or countervailing duties or safeguard measures.

Customs duties

Normal rates and notification requirements

Where are normal customs duty rates for your jurisdiction listed? Is there an exemption for low-value shipments, if so, at what level? Is there a binding tariff information system or similar in place? Are there prior notification requirements for imports?

Customs duty rates are listed in the General Import Duties and General Export Duties Law (LIGIE) which contains the Tariff Schedule for each good.

For purposes of guidance and information, the Mexican government launched the Comprehensive Foreign Trade Information System (SIICEX), where tariffs, duties, free trade agreements, anti-dumping or countervailing duties, safeguard measures and other information regarding goods are listed. However, this information is not binding (

The Customs Law, its Regulations and the General Rules of Foreign Trade establish certain exceptions for some merchandise on which customs duties will not be paid; for example passenger baggage on international trips, donations for cultural and teaching purposes, and works of art destined to be part of permanent collections of museums open to the public.

Some low-value shipments carried out by the postal service are consider exempt from customs duties if the customs value is equal to or less than the equivalent in national or foreign currency of US$50.

The general requirements for importing goods into Mexico are: enrolment in the Federal Register of Taxpayers, prior registration in the General Importers Registry, and filling an import entry that contains all the information regarding the value, transport and other data regarding the imported goods.

Some products, depending on their nature and tariff classification, may be subject to specific requirements, including prior import notices; enrolment before the Importers Specific Sector Registry; and specific requirements and permissions of the authority in charge of the regulation of the good to be imported (eg, health supplies require prior import permits and these are issued by the Ministry of Health).

Currently, 118 tariff classifications are subject to prior permits, of which 97 correspond to imports. The products subject to prior import permission are crude oils of petroleum, gasoline, turbosine, propane, butane, articles of clothing, anti-pollution equipment, and research and development equipment, among others.

Registration in the Importers Specific Sector Registry will be necessary for the importation of chemical, radioactive and nuclear products, firearms and ammunition, explosives and material related to explosives, cigars, footwear, textiles and clothing, ethyl alcohol, hydrocarbons, steel and automobiles .

Special rates and preferential treatment

Where are special tariff rates, such as under free trade agreements or preferential tariffs, and countries that are given preference listed?

Special or preferential tariff rates under free trade agreements signed by Mexico can be found in the treaties themselves and their annexes (

There are also Sectoral Promotion Programmes (PROSEC), which are instruments aimed at entities producing certain goods, in which they are allowed to import with preferential ad valorem tariffs raw materials that will be used in the elaboration of specific products, no matter whether the goods to be produced are destined for export or for the domestic market (

Additionally, to promote national productivity, the Ministry of Economy has implemented the benefit of Rule Eight, which allows manufacturers to import with preferential tariffs, inputs, parts, components, machinery, equipment and other goods related to production processes, particularly for PROSEC programmes (

How can GSP treatment for a product be obtained or removed?

There is no formal procedure for a product to obtain or remove GSP treatment. However, the Ministry of Economy has implemented a procedure before its Foreign Trade Commission, which will analyse the commercial circumstances and reasons brought by any interested individual or entity before determining a recommendation for a GSP amendment.

Is there a duty suspension regime in place? How can duty suspension be obtained?

Yes. The President may be empowered by the Congress of the Union to suppress the quotas of export and import tariffs issued by the Congress itself, and to create others when it deems it urgent, in order to regulate foreign trade, the economy of the country or the stability of national production, or to perform any other purpose for the benefit of the country.


Where can customs decisions be challenged in your jurisdiction? What are the procedures?

Customs decisions can be challenged through a revocation appeal before the issuing authority, a nullity appeal before the TFJA and through an amparo before the Federal Courts. Exceptionally the Supreme Court of Justice may consider cases, following the procedures indicated in question 7.

Trade barriers

Government authorities

What government office handles complaints from domestic exporters against foreign trade barriers at the WTO or under other agreements?

The Ministry of Economy, the Permanent Mission of Mexico before the WTO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the offices in charge of these procedures (, and

Complaint filing procedure

What is the procedure for filing a complaint against a foreign trade barrier?

There is no formal procedure for national exporters to file a complaint against a foreign trade barrier. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Internal Regulations of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs empower these authorities to defend and represent the interests of nationals against foreign trade barriers imposed by other countries.

Therefore, depending on the treaty or agreement to which Mexico is a party, the mentioned authorities will request the affected party to provide the information and documentation they deem necessary for such purpose.

Grounds for investigation

What will the authority consider when deciding whether to begin an investigation?

Apart from the probatory support provided by the parties, the authorities must verify the existence of the alleged trade barrier and the violation of the applicable treaty or agreement.

Measures against foreign trade barriers

What measures outside the WTO may the authority unilaterally take against a foreign trade barrier? Are any such measures currently in force?

The authorities must comply with the dispute resolutions dispositions set out in the international treaties and agreements to which Mexico is a party.

Despite the above, based on article 131 of the Federal Constitution, the Federation can prohibit the circulation of all kinds of imported goods, whatever their origin, for security reasons, when it deems it urgent in order to regulate foreign trade, the economy of the country or the stability of national production, or to perform any other purpose for the benefit of the country.

As an example, on 8 March 2018, through proclamations 9704 and 9705, the United States established tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on imports of steel and aluminium. In response, Mexico, on 5 June 2018, put in place measures equivalent to those taken by the United States until the same were eliminated. After President Trump agreed to remove the above-mentioned tariffs, on 10 May 2019 Mexico eliminated its retaliatory measures.

Private-sector support

What support does the government expect from the private sector to bring a WTO case?

The Mexican government acts independently when presenting a case before the WTO, and no contribution of any kind is expected from the private sector. However, the private sector can provide information and documentation that it deems pertinent and necessary for the Mexican government to bring a WTO case.

Notable non-tariff barriers

What notable trade barriers other than retaliatory measures does your country impose on imports?

When importing into Mexico, importers must comply with the non-tariff restrictions and regulations applicable to the specific tariff classification. Among these we may find quotas, general and sectoral import registries, notices, permits and marking requirements.

Export controls

General controls

What general controls are imposed on exports?

As a general rule, most exports are not subject to taxes, duties or restrictions. Nevertheless, exporters must enrol before the Federal Register of Taxpayers; enrol in the sectoral exporters registry for certain goods; comply with non-tariff restrictions and regulations when applicable; and file an export entry before customs, declaring the customs value and identification of the goods.

Additionally, specific goods may be subject to permits or controls based on their tariff classification or on their nature and use.

Government authorities

Which authorities handle the controls?

The authorities that handle export controls in Mexico are the Ministry of Economy and the SHCP.

Depending on the tariff classification, some other authorities may participate in export controls, granting licences or prior permits.

Special controls

Are separate controls imposed on specific products? Is a licence required to export such products? Give details.

Yes. There are certain vulnerable goods for which specific permits or requirements must be fulfilled before export (eg, dual goods and dangerous substances).

Regarding the export of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, energising beverages, some minerals (such as silver and gold), among others, annex 10 of the General Rules of Foreign Trade establishes a register before the sectoral export registry.

Supply chain security

Has your jurisdiction implemented the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards? Does it have an AEO programme or similar?

Yes. On 5 June 2005, Mexico signed a letter of intent to implement the WCO’s SAFE Framework Standards, and since then it has certified several companies that meet the established requirements and signed mutual recognition agreements.

In Mexico, the SAT implements the authorised economic operator certification programme (AEO), which seeks to strengthen the security of the foreign trade logistics chain through the implementation of internationally recognised minimum-security standards in coordination with the private sector.

Applicable countries

Where is information on countries subject to export controls listed?

Countries subject to export controls are listed in the ‘Agreement that modifies the diverse by which measures are established to restrict the export or import of various goods to the countries, entities and persons indicated’ and

This agreement is issued in compliance with article 24 of the United Nations Charter (UN Charter), regarding the primary responsibility of any member to maintain international peace and security.

Named persons and institutions

Does your jurisdiction have a scheme restricting or banning exports to named persons and institutions abroad? Give details.

No. However, as question 25 states, Mexico restricts the export of certain goods to certain countries in compliance with the UN Charter.


What are the possible penalties for violation of export controls?

The possible penalties related to the violation of export controls are the imposition of fines; suspension or cancellation of the exporter’s registers; suspension or cancellation of the customs agent’s patent; seizure of the goods; and in some cases, criminal penalties.

Financial and other sanctions and trade embargoes

Government authorities

What government offices impose sanctions and embargoes?

In general, the SAT is the authority that may impose sanctions related to exports.

However, there are some goods that require prior permits or licences issued by other authorities responsible for regulating certain goods. In such cases, the responsible authority may be empowered to impose fines and other sanctions.

Applicable countries

What countries are currently the subject of sanctions or embargoes by your country?

There is no country subject to sanctions or embargo by Mexico. However, as stated in questions 25 and 26, the export of some goods to certain countries is prohibited.

Specific individuals and companies

Are individuals or specific companies subject to financial sanctions?

Individuals and legal entities that violate the provisions of current Mexican legislation when exporting or importing goods from and into national territory can be subject to financial penalties.

Other relevant issues

Other trade remedies and controls

Describe any trade remedy measures, import or export controls not covered above that are particular to your jurisdiction.

In general terms, the trade remedies and controls applicable in Mexican legislation have been covered in this article. Nevertheless, because Mexico is very dynamic when implementing new controls, measures and sanctions, we strongly recommend that new importers and exporters perform a detailed analysis, on a case-by-case basis, to avoid any delays and inconvenience in their trade operations.


Recent developments

Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in trade and customs law and policy in your jurisdiction?What effects are Brexit, the withdrawal of the US from TPP, the slowdown of TTIP, RCEP; and negotiations of FTAs (such as the EU–Japan Free Trade Agreement) expected to have on your jurisdiction?

Key developments32 Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in trade and customs law and policy in your jurisdiction?

Current hot topics include negotiations with the United States regarding the establishment of tariffs to Mexican products; draft amendments regarding temporary imports (IMMEX) on sensitive goods (eg, steel); and modifications to the steel import licensing process. Note that these topics are currently under discussion by the corresponding authorities and have not entered into force.