On July 14, 2021, the "Decree creating the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM) as a decentralized administrative agency of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit" was published in the Federal Official Gazette.

The purpose of such Decree is to create a decentralized administrative agency, hierarchically subordinated to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) and independent from the Tax Administration Service (SAT) of which currently the customs activities depend, the purpose of this Agency is to organize and direct customs and inspection services, in order to apply and ensure compliance with the provisions that regulate the entry and exit of goods into and from Mexico , as well as those activities related with the collection of taxes and duties applicable to foreign trade operations.

Some of ANAM’s), most relevant characteristics are:

Ø Its head will be directly appointed and removed by the President, upon proposal of the SHCP Secretary. Such individual must:

 

o Have a professional degree in the areas of law, administration, economics, accounting or related subjects, with a minimum experience of ten years; as well as have proven experience and studies in tax, customs, foreign trade, financial or any other related subject;

o Not have a criminal record, or be disqualified as a public servant, and

o Not to hold any other commission or employment at the Federal, State or Municipal level or in autonomous bodies, decentralized agencies, State productive companies, State-owned companies or any private company during his/her term of office.

 

Ø It is noteworthy that the Decree expressly establishes the possibility for personnel who belongs or belonged to the armed forces, to participate in the agency.

Ø This agency will replace the current General Customs Administration and will assume most of its powers and activities.

Ø It is important to note that this Decree will enter into force on the date on which the legal provisions that transfer the authority currently held by SAT to the ANAM become effective, so it will be until that moment that the control of customs activities will be effectively transferred to this agency, a date that is not possible to determine at this moment.

Ø In the same sense, the SHCP will have a maximum term of 180 calendar days, counted as of the entry into force of the Decree, to propose a draft of ANAM’s Internal Regulations.

In the same sense, the provisions contained within SHCP and SAT’s Internal Regulations, as well as other administrative provisions that regulate customs and inspection services will be applicable by ANAM until they are replaced by the specific provisions for such purpose.

From our point of view, the implementation of this new authority in charge of regulating the import / export activities will pose a formidable challenge. The number of activities and legal topics that will be in charge of this new authority will be huge since it will include not only the tariff requirements for importation and exportation of goods but also all kinds of non-tariff requirements, control of foreign trade programs, controls and regulation of customs houses, customs brokerage agencies, customs brokers activities, importer and exporter registries, etc….

In this sense, a newly created agency with a lack of experience will face very interesting challenges and of course these will also be faced by individuals and legal entities that carry out foreign trade operations.

It is important for individuals and legal entities that carry out foreign trade operations to verify the possible risks and consequences that such a change could derive for their operations and prepare either through internal audits or determination of potential customs related risks.