In order to keep pace with economic growth resulting from increasing volumes of international trade, Mexican Customs improvements have assumed a position of paramount importance and priority.

One of the programs that is part of a battery of Mexican Customs improvements for 2016 is the Proyecto Integral de Tecnologia Aduanera (PITA), or, in English, the Integral Project for Customs Technology. The PITA is just a part of what Mexico will implement in the coming year to make its customs infrastructure more robust, and capable of handling the demands that future growth in Mexican commerce will inevitably generate. The majority of programs to be carried out were formulated in the plans for Mexican Customs modernization that were formulated during the present year.

Earlier this year, government officials announced that approximately US $1 billion in funding would be dedicated for the upgrade to the physical and technological infrastructure necessary to make critically needed Mexican Customs improvements. The country’s Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT), or its Tax Administration Service, announced through the General Customs Administration (AGA) that it would initiate, implement and finish fifty-six programs aimed at bringing Mexican Customs, and its performance, up to world-class, developed nation standards.

In 2016, Mexican Customs improvement projects will unfold over the entirety of the country’s geography. More specifically, thirty-three projects are scheduled to take place on Mexico’s northern border with the United States, seven will be initiated and executed on the country’s southern border, eleven projects wiil be maritime-based and five efforts will be dedicated to making Mexican Customs improvements in the nation’s interior. Initiatives run the infrastructure gamut from enlarging and modernizing the international ports of entry at Tecate, Puerto Palomas, Ciudad Acuna, Mexicali, Ojinaga and Subteniente Lopez to expanding pedestrian crossings in Tijuana and making upgrades to the international railroad crossing at the eastern port of entry at Matamoros.

One of the principal areas in which Mexican Customs improvements under PITA will be made is in the area of Information Systems Technology (IT). A notable upgrade that will be made in this important realm is related to the processing of an important, if not the most important, Mexican trade document, the pedimento. The pedimento is the form that evidences the legal importation of goods into the country. Beginning in 2016, the document will take the digital form of QR codes. The application of QR codes to pedimentos will enable Mexican Customs officials, and private parties alike, to trace and control shipments as they navigate the border crossing and importation process.