As is the case on the US side of the border Mexican trade is impacted by federal agencies which play both direct and indirect roles related to activities at border crossings between the two nations. This is the second of a two part article.

The first part of this two part article on the US and Mexican federal agencies provided the reader with an overview of the various US government agencies with a regulatory and law enforcement presence on the boundary that divides Mexico and the United States. This part of the article, part two, will provide an introduction to the Mexican federal trade regulatory and other entities with a border presence.

As is the case in the United States, both Mexican Customs, and its agents on the border, are involved in making sure that documentation for all cargo going southbound is in order. Additionally, it is the responsibility of Mexican Customs, or “Aduanas Mexicanas” in Spanish, to collect duties and tariffs, as well as to impose fines and seize shipments in cases in which rules, regulations and/or laws have not been adhered to. As is the case with US Customs the Mexican Aduanas has specific areas at which both primary and secondary examination of vehicles, drivers and the contents of commercial conveyances can be conducted. Mexican Customs is a part of the country’s Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publica (SHCP), which is the nation’s equivalent of the IRS in the United States. Aduanas Mexicanas is also part of Mexico’s SAT, or its Tax Administration Service.

Questions of immigration on Mexico’s side of the international boundary are the responsibility of representatives of the Institution National de Migracion,(INM), or its National Migration Institute. This agency does not regulate the flow of Mexican trade, but, rather, ensures that all entrants into the country do so with paper work that is appropriate to their status as a citizen or a non-citizen. INM representatives have the legal authority to detain, or arrest, individuals on the basis of irregularities in the migration or immigration status, as well as in the case of the conduct of unlawful activities.

Although Mexican Customs (Aduanas), and the INM are the principal and most active entities on the border, other Mexican trade regulation agencies with either a direct or indirect presence at the
international boundary include:

Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT)

Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transport is the countries equivalent of the United States Department of Transportation. It has responsibility, at the federal level, for the operation, maintenance and construction of all of the federal highways, toll roads and bridges by which Mexican trade, and people, transit the country. According to the agencies website, the SCT “promotes safe, efficient and competitive transportation and communications services and the designs of that promote the sustainable growth of the country’s economy and the health and stability of its social development.”

Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico (SHCP)

As mentioned above, the SHCP, or “Hacienda,” is the Mexican counterpart to the Internal Revenue Service in the United States. It is the authority under which Mexican Customs (Aduanas Mexicanas)

Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos y Servicios Conexos (CAPUFE)

CAPUFE, Mexico’s keeper of federal toll roads and bridges, and connecting services, collects most tolls on Mexico’s international crossing bridges. Some bridges that connect the US and Mexico, however, are privately-owned and operated.

Secretaria de Economia (SE)

Mexico’s Economic Secretariat is the federal agency that is responsible for the promotion of Mexican trade, as well as overall economic development. The SE also crafts and advances industrial policy, promotes entrepreneurship and regulatory reform and provides services to foreign companies and individuals seeking to invest in Mexico’s economy.

Comision International de Limites y Aguas (CILA)

The International Boundary and Water Commission in Mexico operates under the country’s equivalent of the US State Department. This governmental organ is known as the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores or the SRE. CILA is responsibility for the country’s border areas that are demarcated by rivers and other bodies of water.

Secretaria de La Defensa Nacional (SEDENA)

The role that Mexico’s Department of Defense plays on the border is that it is the entity that authorizes the construction of new bridges and other border crossings.

Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganadaria (SAGAR)

SAGAR is the Mexican counterpart agency to the US Department of Agriculture, and is responsible for the application of laws related to the importation of agricultural products, livestock and
animal products.
As is the case on the United States side of the border with Mexico, Mexican trade is affected by the presence of numerous border agencies. Having a familiarity of who the players on the Mexican side of the border are, as well as a basic understanding of the function of each, can help to facilitate the conduct of international commercial transactions.

Photo credit: Amor Ministries