Mitigating US-Mexico trade compliance risk requires a proactive approach, and the help of a knowledgeable partner

The importance of US-Mexico trade compliance cannot be understated. A failure to comply with the internationally established rules of commerce, whether intentionally or unintentionally, on either side of the border, can put the well-being of entire businesses at serious risk, and can lead to painfully negative consequences. One manner of mitigating risk in this complex area of commerce is to align one’s business with a trusted partner that guide companies, and prevent them from overlooking details that can result in hefty fines, or worse.

Companies that do business internationally these days, in general terms, take US-Mexico trade compliance issues seriously. Because they are engaged in business across borders, they work with their customs brokers and other knowledgeable parties to make sure that they have a trade compliance program in place that ensures that they avoid pitfalls that other, less conscientious, enterprises have a propensity to fall into. This is not enough, however. To make sure that all bases are covered, manufacturers should take the care, and spend the time and the effort, to check and verify that their vendors and carriers have US-Mexico trade compliance programs in place, as well. When all is said and done, the company that is the importer or the exporter of final goods that move in both directions across the international border is the party that carries responsibility for the integrity of the links in the supply chain that it has put into place.

If US and/or Mexican Customs discovers that any of a company’s major vendors and/or carriers have fallen outside of the parameters of standards of US-Mexico trade compliance, they will be scrutinized. This will undoubtedly lead to the scrutinzation of the importer or exporter. Simply put, it is imperative to be aware of and understand the measures that supply chain partners have put into place to avoid problems related to US and Mexican customs rules and regulations.

There are exceptions to the general assertion that companies doing cross border business these days take US-Mexico trade compliance issues seriously. The sad fact is that some do not. Ignoring this critically important area of these businesses can lead to their damage and/or their complete demise. Not having the trade compliance house in order can lead to costly delays in moving raw materials, equipment, finished product and other important items. The same set of circumstances can lead to the assessment of heavy fines and penalties, and, even, the potentially long and costly conduct of a US or Mexican Customs audit. It is essential to have the import-export compliance house in order, in that dealing with Customs officials on either side of the border is a serious matter. If you need to get things organized companies, such as the Tecma Group, can be of assistance.

Another consideration that must be kept in mind is that fact that, as an importer and exporter of product, a company has responsibility over what end use those items are utilized for. US-Mexico trade compliance demands that importers and exporters on both sides of the border know, not only from whence a product came, but also to where it is going and to what end use it will be put. Selling products to partes that utilize them for purposes that are not permitted can result in sanctions that include Customs fines and penalties, as well as can be a stain on a company’s reputation that may be very difficult to erase.

Manufacturers all know that they are in business primarily to make the best product or products that they can to successfully compete in their respective markets. They must also be aware of the fact that, when they are transacting business between two neighboring countries, maintaining US-Mexico trade compliance is a critical aspect of achieving and sustaining success. Executives should know what is expected of their companies, contract knowledgeable internal personnal to oversee these matters and utilize a trusted outside US-Mexico Customs partner with the expertise to guide them.