Mexican Congress recently amended various articles of the Mexican Customs Law. These amendments mainly focus on the customs clearance process, Customs brokers, Strategic Bonded Zones, and customs inspections. The purpose of these amendments is to create a more modernized customs system that includes advanced technology and simplification procedures aimed at facilitating and expediting international trade in Mexico (MX). Companies should conduct due diligence, and be informed about these specific changes in order to prevent any problems, as well as avoid delays and/ or confiscations at the border.
Some of the changes include the following:
- Customs clearance processes can now be performed in different locations other than those designated by the government. This can be requested by companies when appropriate due to the nature or volume of the goods when they require more efficiency and facilitation during the clearance process. Previously, only certified companies or maritime traffic were allowed this exemption.
- At their discretion, companies may perform the customs clearance process of their goods without the need of a Customs Broker. To do so, a company must comply with specific requirements such as having an electronic signature, a digital seal and/or legal representative, among others. Prior to this amendment, the utilization of a Customs broker was necessary during the import or export process.
- Strategic Bonded Zones, similar to Free Trade Zones from the United States, can now operate anywhere in the Mexican territory. Prior to this, they could only be authorized to operate near customs checkpoints.
- All of the customs clearance processes will now be electronic, which includes the filing submissions of all corresponding documentation such as the pedimento, statement for the value of the goods, payment, etc.
- Customs inspections by Mexican customs officers for a specific shipment will be limited to just one. In the past, depending on the route or the customs checkpoint, goods were often inspected twice.