This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Mexico Tax and Regulatory Considerations

This page provides an overview of tariff and duty rates, non-resident importer requirements, prohibited products, and certain other applicable regulations for selling in Mexico. If you are importing merchandise into Mexico, you will need to pay destination duties, taxes and customs-clearance fees before your product can be sold to Mexican customers or stored in an Amazon fulfilment centre in Mexico.

Please note that Amazon and its fulfilment centres will not serve as the Importer Of Record (IOR) for any shipment of Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) inventory. Listing Amazon as the IOR on inbound FBA shipments to Mexico or failing to specify an IOR may result in loss of selling privileges. In addition, non-compliant shipments may be refused and returned at the shipper's expense.

This page is not intended to constitute customs or legal advice. We recommend that you consult with a customs broker or legal adviser before selling in Mexico.

Importer registration

For sellers, the next steps to be followed for tax purposes generally depend on whether or not they are residents of Mexico.

Residents

Sellers acting as importer of record on their own shipments must have a tax number (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes or "RFC") and must generally be residents of Mexico for income tax purposes. Resident importers must be registered and listed on the Importers' Registry (Padrón de Importadores) of the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (Hacienda). Certain products may require additional registrations for import. Sellers should consult a customs broker, legal adviser, or both in Mexico to identify the appropriate solution for their business.

Additional guidance that may be helpful for sellers in the U.S. and other jurisdictions can be found on the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service's Doing Business in Mexico page.

Non-residents

Most non-residents have three options for importing goods into Mexico: (i) listing the end customer (where appropriate) as the importer of record, (ii) engaging a third party authorised to import into Mexico, or (iii) incorporating and registering before tax authorities a local Mexican entity to act as the importer. In each case, the party acting as the importer must have an RFC. As each scenario is different, sellers should consult with a customs broker, legal adviser, or both to identify a solution most appropriate to their business.

As noted above, Amazon and its fulfilment centres will not serve as the importer of record for any shipment of FBA inventory.

Customs clearance

A "pedimento de importación" (import declaration) must be filed to obtain customs clearance. A carrier or customs broker often files this on the importer's behalf. The "pedimento" generally includes information on taxes and governmental fees, such as prescreening fees, customs processing fees, countervailing duties, value-added tax and import or export duties.

The following documents are required for filing the "pedimento":

Commercial invoice

The invoice documents the sale for export to the country of importation. Thus, the invoice is essential to determine the transaction value of the goods. Mexican customs regulations are detailed concerning the information that the invoice must contain. Foreign sellers or shippers must exercise care in preparing invoices.

Required information varies but may include:

  • Place where the invoice was issued
  • Date on which the invoice was issued
  • Invoice number
  • Seller's name
  • Seller's full mailing address
  • Importer's name
  • Importer's full mailing address (no P.O. box)
  • Detailed description of the goods (including grade or quality; avoid using codes)
  • Quantities in weights and measures
  • Unit prices
  • Total value of the invoice (and currency of such amount)
  • Country of origin
  • Commercial terms (e.g., CIF or FOB)
  • Seller's tax-identification number
  • Identification numbers—such as serial, part and model numbers—of each good or package

We suggest you contact your customs broker or legal adviser to understand what information should be included for your products.

The invoice is accepted in Spanish, English and French, in accordance with Mexican law and regulations. Invoices in any other language must be translated into Spanish within the same invoice or in a letter attached to it.

Transportation documents

The bill of lading, endorsed by the transport company, must also be attached to the customs declaration. These documents normally prove the date on which the goods entered the customs territory.

Certificates, licenses and permits

If any of the goods are subject to import controls, the appropriate certificates, licenses and permits must be included with the documentation.

Depending on the circumstances, certain additional documents may be required. These can include: proof of origin (for example, if preferential duties or countervailing duties apply); document(s) demonstrating guarantee of payment of additional applicable duties (for undervalued goods); non-tariff regulations and certificates of safety/standards compliance (if applicable); and serial numbers, part numbers, brand, model numbers, or other information that may be needed to identify the goods. For more information, check with your customs broker or legal adviser.

All shipments entering Mexico should have a tracking number.

Duties and taxes

Merchandise imported into Mexico must be identified with the correct 8-digit Mexican tariff classification number. This will determine the duty rate and establish any applicable non-tariff barriers. For information on Mexico's tariff schedule see Sistema Integral de Información de Comercio Exterior (Spanish language only) or consult with your customs broker, carrier or legal adviser.

Additional taxes and surcharges may apply, including:

  • Value-added tax (IVA): Customs authorities collect a value-added tax (VAT) upon entry of the goods into Mexico.
  • Special tax (IEPS): Applies to imports of certain products (e.g., alcoholic beverages) and can range from 25% to 160%.
  • Customs processing fee (DTA)
  • Prescreening fee (prevalidación): Fee charged by Mexican customs (or sometimes by private companies that customs engages) in connection with validation of the information in "pedimentos" before submission to customs.

The price quoted to the customer at checkout should include all taxes and duties. The customer should not be obligated to pay any additional duties or taxes at the time of the delivery of the order or at customs clearance.

Standards

"Normas Oficiales Mexicanas" and "Normas Mexicanas"

Technical barriers to trade arise from the application of technical regulations or standards. Generally, technical regulations are mandatory and governments establish, monitor and enforce them. Standards, on the other hand, are voluntary and take effect in a given market because the parties concerned agree to use them. Mexico has both of these types of technical barriers: "Normas Oficiales Mexicanas" (NOM) are technical regulations; "Normas Mexicanas" (NMX) are voluntary standards intended for use as references. In many countries, technical regulations and standards are complementary. In Mexico, however, technical regulations are fundamental.

Compliance

Foreign companies must meet Mexican product technical regulations as a condition for sale of products in Mexico. Product-safety NOMs require Mexican importers to present a NOM certification to Mexican customs along with all other import documents. This certificate attests that the product has been verified and complies with the applicable NOM. A product that is subject to a NOM cannot be imported into Mexico unless it has been certified as complying with the NOM. Samples of goods may be imported in order to be tested by approved laboratories.

For more information, contact the Ministry of Economy Standards Division (Spanish and English only) and search for "normatividad empresarial" or "normas".

The MX NOM Mark, a product-safety mark for Mexico, is a requirement for most electronic items. It certifies that the product meets the safety requirements contained in the NOMs. For certification purposes, the MX NOM Mark must appear on the product unless an alternate location on packaging is specified in writing as permitted by law. It is strongly recommended that the shippers ensure their products are NOM-compliant.

Technical standards for labelling include the following:

  • General labelling of consumer goods (NOM-050-SCFI-1994)
  • Labelling of food and non-alcoholic beverages (NOM-051-SCFI-1994)
  • Labelling of alcoholic beverages (NOM-142-SSA1-1995)
  • Labelling of textiles, clothing and accessories (NOM-004-SCFI-1994)
  • Labelling of leather and artificial materials with such appearance, footwear and products made of these materials (NOM-020-SCFI-1997)
  • Labelling of electrical and electronic products as well as household appliances (NOM-024-SCFI-1998)
  • Labelling of paints, varnishes and similar goods (NOM-003-SSA1-1993)
For more information, check with your customs broker or legal adviser or visit these links:
Normas Oficiales Mexicanas
Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT)  (Spanish and English only)

English-language translations of common NOMs are available for a fee at Mexicanlaws.com and other third-party sources.

Prohibited products

The import or export of certain fish, seeds, vegetable products, chemicals, reptile skins and archaeological or historical artefacts is prohibited under Mexican law. We suggest that you contact your customs broker or legal adviser before shipping any inventory to understand any restrictions that may apply.

Copyright/trademark enforcement

The customs administration can suspend release of counterfeit trademarked and pirated copyrighted goods into circulation. A rights-holder suspecting import of illegal goods can apply with appropriate Mexican authorities to take action.

Sellers must ensure the following:

  • The seller is the holder of the trademark rights.
  • The seller is authorised to use and distribute the brand.
  • Goods have no physical branding information.
  • Goods have a physical branding but are not registered with the Industrial Property Mexican Institute (IMPI).
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