Vazquez Tercero & Zepeda (VTZ) has contributed for the fourth time with Thomson Reuters Practical Law in the International Trade and Commercial Transactions Global Guide. Our partners, Adrián Vázquez and Emilio Arteaga, responded to a Q&A that covers key matters relating to the regulation of international trade in Mexico.
VTZ also contributed with the guide on Sale and Storage of Goods in Mexico. The International Trade and Commercial Transactions Global Guide is a compilation of guides in which local law firms answer the essential questions on commercial regulation from all over the world.
The Q&A guide covers key matters on International Trade in Goods and Services in Mexico, including:
To access the guide, click the following link: International Trade in Goods and Services in Mexico.
The Q&A guide covers key matters on the Sale and Storage of Goods and Services in Mexico, including:
To access the guide, click the following link: Sale and Storage of Goods in Mexico.
VTZ is a boutique law firm with a specialized practice in international trade, customs law, tax law, regulatory (sanitary & food-safety law), commercial, and administrative litigation with offices in the most important cities in Mexico. Do not hesitate to contact us in case of questions regarding the content of the guides or other related topics.
On February 1, 2021, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) formally requested in a letter to New Zealand, the treaty’s depositary, its accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Yesterday, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, during the fourth ministerial meeting of the CPTPP Commission, ministers and officials from the countries of the free trade area, gave the green light to the start of accession negotiations with the United Kingdom.
It was therefore agreed that a working group would be set up to negotiate the terms of the UK’s accession to the Treaty.
CPTPP is a free trade agreement signed by 11 countries, however it only applies – for the moment – between Mexico, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam; while Chile, Peru and Brunei have not yet completed the process of adopting the treaty.
The CPTPP allows tariffs between member countries to be reduced by up to 95%, and with the admission of the UK, the nominal GDP of the area covered by the Treaty would be almost at the same level as that of the EU.
In this regard, UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:
The UK government will publish its outline approach, scoping assessment and consultation response before negotiations start in the coming weeks.
Source: Noticias Bancarias, Reuters, El Universal, GOV.UK, Aristegui Noticias.
Following up with UK news, let’s not forget that Mexico and the UK signed the Trade Continuity Agreement and the Agreement relating to Article 12 of the Trade Continuity Agreement In December 2020.
The purpose of this agreement is to maintain preferential tariff preferences between both countries after the UK’s exit from the European Union.
As mentioned in our Legal Alert of April 30, both agreements had to be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) in order to become legally binding in Mexico so that goods from the UK can benefit from tariff preferences.
Yesterday, Tuesday June 1, 2021, both Agreements were finally published in the DOF, as well as several instruments necessary to guarantee the preferential access of products between Mexico and the UK, including a mechanism to return tariffs paid on UK products as of January 1st. For more information, please see our Legal Alert of June 2, 2021.
This week, Index held the “third labor forum” event in which the Mexican ambassador to Canada participated. According to the media, the Ambassador said that the government of Mexico and Canada are planning to establish a working table to avoid conflicts that could trigger a USMCA dispute settlement mechanism.
More information: Milenio.
On Wednesday September 9th, the CPTPP Commission opened discussions between the UK and government officials from all 11 members of the Partnership to discuss the potential UK accession.
Though not much news has followed, news reports came that Vietnam expressly supported UK’s accession to the CPTPP at the end of September (see Reuter’s report). For more information about how a Hard Brexit may impact UK-Mexico Business, do not hesitate to review VTZ’s presentation.
As noted in a previous edition, Mexico established export automatic licenses on certain steel products. The Mexican Minister of Economy expressed at a press conference on Thursday last week that some products currently do not have export limits, such as rods, and others will eventually not be subject to an export limit, like slabs.
According to a news outlet, the Ministry of Economy has rejected some licenses, which has caused complaints. These measures and decisions have as an end goal to prevent Mexican companies from shipping Chinese steel-products Mexico to the US and, thus, avoiding possible US tariffs against Mexican steel products.
On Monday 5 October the Ministry of Economy announced that it was in talks with 16 CEOs from multinational companies from Asia and Europe that seek to reorganize their supply chains nearer to the NorthAmerican market. This phenomenon is being called as “nearshoring”.
According to the Ministry, the multinational companies are from the following sectors: manufacturing, aerospace, electronic, and medical devices.
More information, here (in Spanish)
On Monday 5 October, the Director of the SAT, the Mexican Tax Authority, announced that SAT is developing a comprehensive tax audit program for certain industries, specifically the auto industry and steel industry. According to interview with the Director, these industries have not been subject to tax audits.
To access the interview, click the following link.
On Tuesday 6th October the Mexican Minister of Economy proudly announced that Mexico was the US main trading partner during January-August 2020. However, the US-Mexico trade has decreased by about 18% as compared to the same period of last year.
The Department of Labor issued its report on these issues, the report was reported in a Mexican news outlet this week. Accordingly, three new Mexican products were added to the list of child labor (i.e. cattle, garments, and leather goods), while two new products were identified using forced labor (i.e. Chile Peppers, Tomatoes).
We understand that goods from companies that are listed or identified as using forced labor may be seized at US customs.
This week, The Legal 500 released the Latin America 2021 ranking, and our firm is considered a “Top Tier” Mexican Law Firm since we are listed in the Tier 1 in the International Trade and Customs in Mexico.
Yesterday, Chambers and Partners released the Latin America 2021 ranking, and our firm is considered a “Top Ranked” Mexican Law Firm since we are listed in the Band 1 in the International Trade and WTO department.
Furthermore, our partner Adrian Vázquez is listed as a leading individual, Emilio Arteaga is considered as Next Generation Partner, while Eduardo Zepeda, Eduardo Gonzalez, and Mariana Malvaez are mentioned in the review of the Legal 500.
The VTZ team is honored to receive said recognition and takes the opportunity to thank our clients and friends for their trust. In line with our vision, we will continue to help our clients and friends through facilitating their international trade operations and tax matters in Mexico, but also adapting to these troublesome and challenging times.
Our third chapter of Doing Business in Mexico, International Trade, will provide a general overview of ton Mexican International Trade Policy considering international context, as well as customs aspects.
This chapter includes the following sections:
As a member of international organizations and Free Trade Agreements, Mexico has, to a certain extent, a predictable trade and customs policy. Mexican laws on customs and trade are normally compatible with international rules. The President and his ministers are not only in charge to apply these laws, but they also have powers to regulate international trade and customs, including emergency actions.
Since the inception of the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico’s trade and customs legal framework has not been subject to a substantial overhaul; seldom reforms particularly to the customs law have occurred from time to time.
However, Mexico is currently embracing modern free trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) or USMCA, that have and will bring certain legal changes in intellectual property, de minimis, e-commerce, etc.
Needless to say, trade and customs programs or regulations are subject to frequent changes that seek to adapt to new trends, risks, or policy objectives. Mexico has in place, for instance, duty deferral and tariff reduction programs that allow manufacturing or export-oriented industries to be more competitive. However, such programs are subject to strict government controls.
Mexico is a party to the World Customs Organization and to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention).
As a result of the sixth amendment to the HS, Mexican congress discussed a new law that replaced its General Import and Export Tariff Act (LIGIE, acronym in Spanish), i.e. Mexico’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The Ministry of Economy conducted an exhaustive review and proposed to compact or unfold tariff items for statistical purposes into 10 digits that will be called Commercial Identification Number, instead of an 8 digit tariff item (known as fracción arancelaria). The new General Import and Export Tariff Act was published on July 1, 2020.
Mexico’s average WTO bound tariff is 35%, and duties rates vary from 0% to 100%. According to Mexico’s most recent Trade Policy Review (2017), the average MFN tariff on agricultural and non-agricultural products was 14.3% and 4.6%, respectively. The General Import and Export Tariff Act establishes the import tariff or “General Import Tax” (Impuesto General de Importación, or IGI) as well as the export tariff “General Export Tax” (Impuesto General de Exportación, or IGE).
Mexico has an extensive network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 50 countries and is also a party to regional agreements within the framework of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).
The main FTAs and trade agreements to which Mexico is currently a party are as follows:
….. Read more
Long before NAFTA came into existence, Mexico had into effect duty deferral policies that allowed manufacturing companies, known as maquiladoras, to import goods, such as raw materials, parts, containers, etc., without paying import duties. The maquiladoras had to use said imported goods in the production of exported manufactured goods and, in turn, they could temporally import said goods and defer customs duties.
Eventually, NAFTA introduced drawback provisions to promote the use of regional goods and “to reduce the incentive for third countries to use a NAFTA country as an ‘export platform.” Article 303 NAFTA, replicated in article 2.5 USMCA, introduced a general prohibition on refunding or exempting customs duties owed on non-originating goods imported into the territory of a party.
In essence, these provisions have as a purpose to avoid double ‘taxation’ on non-originating materials that are used as an input in the production of a finished good subsequently exported to another NAFTA or USMCA party.
Thank you for your interest, if you wish to continue reading please fill out the form below or contact us.For more information about VTZ Law Firm services, visit our website or contact us info[@]vtz.mx
Nuestros socios, Adrián Vázquez y Emilio Arteaga, así como nuestro asociada, Mariana Malváez respondieron un formulario que cubre cuestiones claves sobre la regulación de comercio internacional en México, tales como:
Para tener acceso al artículo (disponible solamente en inglés), favor de dar click al siguiente vínculo: Guía de Comercio Internacional de Bienes y Servicios en México.
(Versión PDF – Trade Alert Decreto TIGIE)
Con motivo de los compromisos internacionales de México derivados de la suscripción del Tratado Integral y Progresista de Asociación Transpacífico (“TIPAT”), así como de Diversos Acuerdos Internacionales y una Recomendación de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (“CNDH”) en materia de protección al medio ambiente y salud humana, el día de hoy la Secretaría de Economía publicó un Decreto  que resumimos a continuación.
En el marco de TIPAT, las partes acordaron Reglas de Origen que establecen requisitos específicos dentro de las subpartidas que se encuentran clasificadas en el Capítulo de pescados, crustáceos, moluscos y demás invertebrados acuáticos. Por ello, México realiza modificaciones a la TIGIE para identificar los productos pertenecientes a dicho Capítulo, implementar correctamente las Reglas de Origen y tener un mejor control estadístico. Las modificaciones son las siguientes:
Con relación a las importaciones en la franja fronteriza norte y región fronteriza, este Decreto actualiza las fracciones arancelarias de acuerdo con las modificaciones comentadas supra. En ese sentido, 33 fracciones arancelarias de nueva creación se adicionan y dichas mercancías podrán importadas libre de arancel en dicha región, mientras que 3 fracciones arancelarias se suprimen. Asimismo, una fracción arancelaria de nueva creación (1604.19.03) se adiciona a la lista de aquellas mercancías sujetas a una tasa del IGI de 5% en dicha región.
En virtud de diversos Acuerdos Internacionales de los que México es parte y la Recomendación No. 82/2018 de la CNDH, el presidente, en uso de sus facultades de comercio exterior, realiza otras modificaciones a la TIGIE con el objetivo de asegurar el derecho humano a un medio ambiente sano y proteger la salud humana. Las modificaciones son las siguientes:
El Decreto entrará en vigor dentro de los 90 días naturales, es decir, a partir del 5 de febrero de 2020.
Con independencia de lo comentado anteriormente sugerimos que el Decreto (publicación oficial) sea revisado íntegramente para identificar otros aspectos que pudieran resultar de interés en cada caso particular. Estamos a sus órdenes para cualquier duda o aclaración adicional con relación con el presente.
 Convenio de Estocolmo sobre Contaminantes Orgánicos Persistentes y Convenio de Rotterdam sobre el Procedimiento de Consentimiento Fundamentado Previo Aplicable a Ciertos Plaguicidas y Productos Químicos Peligrosos Objeto de Comercio Internacional.
 Decreto que modifica la Tarifa de la Ley de los Impuestos Generales de Importación y de Exportación (“TIGIE”) y el Decreto por el que se establece el impuesto general de importación (“IGI”) para la región fronteriza y la franja fronteriza norte (“Decreto IGI Región fronteriza y Franja fronteriza norte”), publicado el 6 de noviembre de 2019 en el Diario Oficial de la Federación.
 Capítulo 3 Reglas de Origen y Procedimientos Relacionados con el Origen.
 Capítulos 29 y 38.
(Download our PDF version of our newsletter: Trading Room)
This Tuesday US President Trump “threaten” to pull out of the WTO and called again on the WTO reform regarding the “developing-country” status during a rally in Pennsylvania. The context of the “threat” was done when President Trump mentioned that before his tenure the US was losing all their disputes at the WTO, a statement that it is not true. In his speech, he mentioned that
“China, India, many countries…they viewed them as “they’re growing”.[…] Well, they’ve grown. And they had tremendous advantages. But we’re not letting that happen anymore.[…]”
This is in line with the US Presidential memorandum dated 26 of July that requested the USTR to address this issue at the WTO, among other matters, and to inform progress in 60 days, i.e. September. If there is no substantial progress in 90 days, the USTR may stop considering a Member as a developing country as well as not support any such country’s membership in the OECD. This move targets countries like China, India, and Turkey (Mexico was also mentioned in the Presidential Memorandum); so, will there be consensus in reforming the “developing-country” status in the WTO? We consider it unlikely.
A WTO member may self-declare if it is a “developing country” since there is no definition in the WTO agreement. Being a developing country provides some additional rights than those members that are “developed”.
For instance, the “Enabling Clause”, adopted since the GATT framework, allows a WTO member to circumvent unilaterally and legally the Most Favored Nation obligation through a “Generalized System of Preferences” (GSP). A developed Member may grant preferential tariffs to certain goods from developing WTO members that they determine; in fact, the US recently removed India and Turkey from their GSP.
Another right that developing members enjoy is that they may take longer time periods for implementing agreements and commitments, a situation that occurred with the implementation of the Facilitation Trade Agreement. Mexico has self-declared itself as a developing country.
This Monday was published the interview conducted by the CEO of Best Lawyers, Phillip Greer, to our managing partner, Adrián Vázquez Benítez, in the guide Best Lawyers. Adrian shared his vision on the future of international trade, especially its impact on Mexico, and we highlight the following points:
Adrián Vázquez considered that there are two problems that impact Mexico and may affect international trade these days: trade facilitation and the WTO crisis. On the one hand, our partner pointed out that Mexico was in the process of reforming and even creating a new Customs Law in order to make it compatible with the Facilitation Trade Agreement of the WTO; on the other hand, due to the paralysis on the appointment of appellate body members, the effectiveness of the dispute settlement mechanism system is at risk as well as compliance with WTO law by its members.
Referring to regional integration, our partner commented that the rules of origin in USMCA, which now provide for a higher percentage of regional content, for example, in the automotive industry, leading automotive firms will have to make an effort to comply with the new rules.
About TMEC, our partner emphasized the close commercial relationship and dependence that our country has with the US, but that it is necessary for Mexico to diversify its market through the use of FTAs such as TIPAT, despite the geographical location of its members. In this regard, he warned that Vietnam, a party to CTPP, could become China’s replacement regarding trade remedies in Mexico, as Vietnam has powerful steel, footwear, and textiles industries.
We invite you to read the full interview in the following link:
Como se anunció anteriormente, la guía Best Lawyers consideró a Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda como la firma de abogados en comercio internacional de 2019. Como resultado de tan gran honor, Best Lawyers entrevistó a nuestro socio, Adrián Vázquez, para tener una visión legal sobre los desarrollos comerciales en México.
El CEO de Best Lawyers, Phillip Greer, conversó con Adrián Vázquez, donde nuestro socio platicó sobre una diversos temas, desde el futuro del comercio internacional en México, disputas de la OMC, por qué la renegociación del TLCAN está obligando a México a explorar nuevas vías para el comercio, como Europa y el Tratado Integral y Progresivo de Asociación Transpacífico (TIPAT, CPTPP en inglés), y las formas en que VTZ ha innovado internamente para adaptarse al mundo moderno.
Destacamos el comentario de Adrian al comentar sobre CPTPP:
Una vez estuve hablando con un abogado de comercio de Estados Unidos, y él me dijo que TPP se trata de tres países, Vietnam, Vietnam y Vietnam. Eso es algo en lo que deberíamos estar muy concentrados, porque Vietnam es muy competitivo en calzado, es competitivo en textiles y es competitivo en acero. Y esos tres son sectores muy sensibles en México.
Supongo que no exportaremos textiles, calzado o acero a Vietnam. Por el contrario, importaremos textiles, calzado y acero de Vietnam y esto abrirá nuevos casos de remedio comercial contra Vietnam. Primero, era China, pero Vietnam lo seguirá.
El artículo está disponible en el siguiente enlace:
As previously announced, the guide Best Lawyers considered Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda as the 2019 Trade Law Firm. As a result of such great honor, Best Lawyers interviewed our managing partner, Adrian Vázquez, to have a legal insight regarding trade developments in Mexico.
Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer had a conversation with Adrian Vázquez, where our partner discussed a broad range of topics, from the future of international trade in Mexico, WTO disputes, why the renegotiation of NAFTA is forcing Mexico to explore new avenues for trade such as Europe and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the ways VTZ has innovated internally to adapt to the modern world.
We highlight Adrian’s comment when commenting on CPTPP:
Once I was talking with a U.S. trade lawyer, and he told me that TPP is all about three countries, Vietnam, Vietnam, and Vietnam. So that’s something that we should be very focused on, because Vietnam is very competitive in footwear, it’s competitive in textiles, and it’s competitive in steel. And those three are very sensitive sectors in Mexico.
I would guess that we will not be exporting textiles, footwear, or steel to Vietnam. On the contrary, we will be importing textiles, footwear, and steel from Vietnam and this will open new trade remedy cases against Vietnam. First, it was China, but Vietnam will follow.
The article is available on the following link:
El día de hoy, 14 de enero de 2019, se publicó en el Diario Oficial de la Federación el acuerdo que da a conocer que el día de hoy entró en vigor el Tratado Integral y Progresista de Asociación Transpacífico para Vietnam.
Al mismo tiempo, se publicó el Acuerdo que informa la lista de desgravación del impuesto general de importación aplicable para Vietnam, en donde se eligió que el calendario de desgravación para las mercancías originarias de Vietnam comenzará a partir del 2019 . Cabe mencionar que para los otros cinco países, el calendario de desgravación inició en el año 2018.
El 29 de noviembre de 2018 también se publicaron los acuerdos paralelos celebrados entre México y Vietnam en el Diario Oficial de la Federación.