Gaining a grasp of the basics of the IMMEX maquiladora program is a necessary first step prior to initiating manufacturing operations in Mexico.

What is the IMMEX Program?

A maquiladora (or IMMEX) operation is a Mexican manufacturer that is wholly owned by a foreign parent. This arrangement allows the foreign company to import inputs needed for manufacturing without being subject to duties. The goods can be manufactured in Mexico, and, subsequently, exported back across the border to consumer markets. Mexico’s IMMEX maquiladora program enables foreign companies to partner with their companies, or third parties, in Mexico that provide labor, a legal framework, and oversight of the manufacturing process at considerably lower costs than the foreign company might encounter in their home countries (such as the US, for example). The cost of finished goods is lowered and profit margins increased. “IMMEX” is an acronym for the full Spanish term, the “Decreto para el Fommento de la Industria Manufacturera Maquiladora y de Servicios de Exportación.”

How to start-up a new IMMEX maquiladora program:

According to the Mexican government information, eligible applicants must have the following in place to qualify to start-up an IMMEX maquiladora:

1. A certificate of Advanced Electronic Signature from the SAT

2. An Active Federal Taxpayers Registration.

3. An active registration in the Federal Taxpayers Register for the address and premises where the operations are carried out under the program

If all three requirements are met, applicants must fill out the IMMEX application and submit two printed copies along with a digital copy on a disc accompanied with the following documentation

1. A certified copy of the company’s Articles of Incorporation and amendments.

2. A copy of the certificate detailing possession and location of the property where the
IMMEX program operation will take place with photographs attached; for leased or loaned properties, proof must be provided of a contract allowing for at least eleven months from the date of application.

3. A maquiladora contract, purchase contract, purchase orders, or confirmed orders verifying that an export project exists.

4. A corresponding Power of Attorney a copy of the Central Register of Accredited Persons.

5. A free format letter detailing the production process or services referred to in the program application.

6. For goods referred to in Article 4, Fraction I of the IMMEX decree, a letter detailing the production process or service which includes the installed capacity of the plant to process the imported goods or perform the service covered by the program and the percentage of that capacity actually used.

7. A letter of conformity from the company performing the sub-manufacturing process vouching for the joint liability for the temporarily imported goods.

8. For IMMEX Holding Company programs, the minutes of the shareholders meetings, stating the shareholding of the holding company and subsidiaries; a copy of the certified entries in the shareholders register; a copy of the tax identification card; the notarized maquila contracts with the holding company; and a copy of the Authorization as a certified company from the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit.

9. For the IMMEX Outsourcing Program, a letter of conformity from the company performing the outsourcing, vouching for the joint liability for the temporarily imported goods; and approval and certification by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit for the company requesting the program.

10. For the textile and clothing sector, companies applying for IMMEX authorization for the temporary import of goods included in the tariff headings of the General Import and Export Duties Law in Annex III of the IMMEX Decree, for the production of goods classified in Chapters 50 through 63 and sub-paragraph 9404.90 of textile products and clothing inputs, a Registered Public Accountant’s Report certifying the operation’s location, registered address, premises, machinery and equipment, the installed production capacity to carry out the monthly industrial process, the products
manufactured, the number of employees of the holding company and of each of the companies which perform sub-manufacturing activities; and a free form Letter from the company’s representative stating the projected exports in dollars for the first six months of operations.

Those companies that wish to manufacture in Mexico without having to go through the process outlined above that is required to start-up a new IMMEX maquiladora program, should contemplate contracting with a provider of shelter service provider in Mexico. Shelter companies provide a way for manufacturers to “plug-in” to an already established infrastructure that allows companies to reap the advantages enjoyed by IMMEX maquiladora program participants. Contact the experts at the Tecma Group of Companies in order to find out more.