Companies in Mexico that export their manufactured products north of the border, should educate and train their transportation staff on compliance and regulatory requirements, as well as the rules that govern transporting cargo from Mexico into the United States. Commercial carriers and drivers moving cargo into the US are responsible for ensuring that goods make it safely to the intended recipient. Drivers of commercial conveyances can be held responsible by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the cargo they carry the entire time it is in their custody.

Truckers entering the United States must obtain a B-1 visa, if they are from Mexico. To qualify for the B-1, Mexican truckers must have no intention of leaving Mexico and agree to leave the US after completing the visa’s authorized time frame. Additionally, operators must have adequate financial wherewithal to successfully complete the business they seek to conduct in the US. Mexican drivers must present a valid passport and non-immigrant visa to qualify for the B-1, or they may present a Form DSP-150 Border Crossing Card rather than a B-1 visa.

Mexican carriers that are involved in transporting cargo from Mexico into the United States must have an International Carrier bond on file with CBP in order to operate as an international carrier. This bond can be obtained by contacting an approved Surety that writes CBP bonds. Bonds are typically filed at preferred ports. It would be wise for regular drivers to additionally participate in the various programs CBP offers for frequent border crossers, such as the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, which can expedite clearance through CBP by using dedicated lanes at the border available only to truckers with a duly issued FAST card.

Additionally, drivers can take advantage of the User Fee Decal Program, which enables drivers to pay a set fee for CBP services annually, rather than up every border crossing made in the process of transporting cargo from Mexico into the United States. However, there are some considerations to remember before moving goods into the US under this program: Importers should have an arrangement with a customs broker of their choice to have the goods cleared through CBP, or the process could be held up. Not doing so could leave the importer, or more likely the trucker, responsible for clearing the goods, and submitting cargo information to CBP in advance. However, if the trucker must clear the goods when transporting cargo from Mexico into the United States, he is required to have power of attorney or a broker’s license.

Proper documentation and forms must also be submitted at Customs, Hence, carriers should be sure to check to ensure all necessary forms are filled out. A Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) must also be acquired from the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. It is furthermore advisable to contact the port of arrival in advance to ensure the paperwork is sufficient before transporting cargo from Mexico to the United States.