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 (www.gob.mx/se/, www.gob.mx/se/acciones-y-programas/representaciones-comerciales and www.gob.mx/sre).

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.