A brief recap of changes in Mexican Customs rules will serve as a reminder for companies that import goods into the country’s national territories.

In mid-April of the present year, Mexican government officials published changes to the country’s Reglamento de la Ley Aduanera, or its Regulations to the Mexican Customs Law, in Mexico’s Diario Oficial, or, as it is known in English, its Federal Register. The two hundred and forty-nine articles that comprised this year’s changes in the Law supersede the one hundred and ninety-eight that had been previously published when changes to the Reglamento de la Ley Aduanera were made in December of 2013.

The most significant changes in Mexican Customs Law that have been made this year include stipulations that:

  • Importers of items into Mexico are no longer required to make entry of goods through the use of services provide by Licensed Mexican Customs Brokers. Companies and individual importers can now transact business through the use of a designated Mexican legal representative, instead. Such a representative must comply with various requirements that have been established by Mexico’s government;
  • The entry of imported goods into the Mexican Republic must be made through the use of the Electronic Customs System;
  • When making valuation of goods imported into the commerce of Mexico, the importer’s legal representative or Mexican Customs broker must receive a value manifest from the for whom the goods are being entered into the country. The value manifest must include:
  1. information about the importer;
  2. a description of the items being brought into Mexico;
  3. an explanation of the method used to determine value;
  4. a description of the business relationship that exists between the parties that are transacting business.

Among other notable changes in Mexican Customs rules that that have been implemented over the course of the present year include:

  • Amendments related to certain recordkeeping requirements. For instance, in the case of the pedimento, or import entry document, hardcopy is not required to be shown at the time of importation, if submission has been made previously through electronic means. Also, another one of the changes in Mexican Customs rules that affects the pedimento has to do with how many times the document can be amended. As of this year, pedimentos can be amended and/or corrected as many times as is necessary to ensure that they are correct. If a pedimento needs to be changed and/or amended after it has been submitted electronically, the importing party can file an electronic “pedimento of rectificacion,” or rectification document.
  • Time limits on inspections, it that Mexican Customs authorities have stated that, as a general rule, Mexican Customs inspections are now limited to a duration not to exceed five business days.

Further changes in Mexican Customs rules that have gone into effect in 2015 consist of:

Changes in rules related to the confiscation of goods that are in violation of trade rules by authorities other than Mexican Customs. Although such goods must subsequently be turned over to a Mexican Customs facility, items that have been seized during the course of a criminal investigation are not subject to this requirement;

  • The expansion of sites upon which a Recinto Fiscal Estrategico can be located. A Mexican Recinto Fiscal is corollary to a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone, in that it is an area in Mexico in which goods can be held duty free while being manufactured, transformed or repaired prior to export. Prior to this year’s changes a Recinto was required to be in or near an area controlled by Mexican Customs. After changes in Mexican Customs rules and regulations made thus far in 2015, Recintos must be located within the boundary of a Mexican Customs checkpoint, as well as be within a zone that has been specifically developed for this purpose in order to attract foreign investment (FDI).
  • The extension of the time period during which goods can be stored in a Fiscal Deposit. A Fiscal Deposit is a place that is located in Mexican territory that serves that same purpose as what is termed a “bonded warehouse” in the United States. Prior to the changes in Mexican Customs rules that have thus far been enacted in 2015, storage of items in Deposits could be indefinite. The new rules that govern their use limit permitted storage time to a maximum of twenty-four months.