Since it began in 2011, approximately 200 companies have been certified by Mexico’s trusted-shipper program, the NEEC (Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas). The Mexican NEEC certification program is, more or less, the equivalent of C-TPAT in the United States. The benefits of signing up for and participating in the Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas program are numerous.
- Streamlined Mexican customs compliance checks and processing;
- Enhanced trust by Mexican customs authorities;
- Fewer inspections, and priority processing, for those remaining inspections for shipments originating in Mexico;
- Improved inventory cycle time;
- Favored compliance status for special trade partnership programs.
When it first began, the Mexican NEEC certification program focused solely exports, but is now open to both importers and exporters, with the process being currently opened up to a variety of
entities in the supply chain in phases. NEEC is a voluntary program, though companies may feel pressure from their business partners to participate due to its rising popularity and level, as well
as the security value that it represents. For a company to qualify to participate in the Mexican NEEC certification program, it must meet eleven minimum security standards.
They are as follows:
- The company should develop documented policies and procedures to identify supply-chain risks and weaknesses;
- Participating firms should have mechanisms for the preventing, detecting and dissuading the unauthorized entry of facilities;.
- The company should have physical access controls to prevent unauthorized entry, to monitor the coming and going of authorized personnel at all entry points, and to protect company goods;
- Access controls must include the identifications of all employees, visitors, and suppliers at all entry points, and continuously assess the mechanisms or procedures for admission to company facilities;
- Participants must have established procedures for selecting trading partners and ensuring their compliance with security measures;.
- Mexican NEEC certification holders must establish control measures to ensure merchandise Mexico supply chain security at every stage, from transport to customs clearance to cargo storage, etc.;
- The company must have documented internal and operating procedures and controls for the fulfillment of Mexican Customs obligations, as well as a specialized staff and documented procedures for broker documentation verification;
- The company must document procedures to identity, review, seal, and maintain secure transport and delivery of all goods and containers, including high security seals in the case of containers and trailers required to meet or exceed regulation ISO 17712 for high security seals;
- The certification holder must maintain documented procedures for assessing prospective employees, as well as for routine checks on current employees;
- Training must be offered to staff for education in the company’s security policies and actions to take in any failure event;
- Preventive measures must be maintained ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of Mexican NEEC certification holder’s documentation and communications, including communications with other supply chain members;
- The company must maintain an awareness threat program to educate staff on proper protocols and detection practices concerning terrorist and smuggler threats at each point of the supply chain, but with special consideration to the shipment and arrival areas and mail handling;
- NEEC program participants must establish and maintain documented procedures for the prevention, reporting, and investigation of supply chain incidents.
The aforementioned constitutes only a summary bit of information regarding NEEC certification requirements and benefits. For more information, interested parties are encouraged to contact the Mexican supply chain experts at the Tecma Group of Companies.
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