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Mexico Trade Policy and Customs Overhaul – Trading Room

1 Mar , 2019  

Trading Room

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A Sudden Change in Trade Policy in Mexico?

After the textile and steel industry expressed their concern about the omission to renew the temporal raise of tariffs, the Ministry of Economy held meetings with the industry and on Monday it announced new temporal (six months) tariffs (15%) will be imposed for 186 steel tariff items and, as for textiles and footwear, new temporal tariffs ranging from 25% to 30%.


These tariffs, though called improperly as a safeguard, are only applicable to products from those countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. According to the statements of the Under Minister (available here), the legal process for the establishment of said tariffs is expected to conclude this week. Today, in the morning edition of the Official Gazette, the Ministry did not publish the decrees; hence, they will probably be published next week.  


We highlight that the Under Minister, in the press conference, made statements that the Ministry of Economy is open to receive anti-dumping or subsidy petitions, that IMMEX companies are abusing of their rights, and that import licenses may be established for temporal imports of steel products.




Customs Reform in Mexico

In the first days of February, several news outlets reported that the federal government will present on March 18th an overhaul that that will impact the customs regime in Mexico.

There is, among the proposed changes,  a new customs laws, several business organizations have already submitted proposals of this new project in order to facilitate and eliminate provisions. Another aspect of this overhaul would be “political” since the Customs Administration Department would no longer depend be part of the Mexican Tax Revenue Service (SAT, an autonomous body), rather it will join the Ministry of Treasury.


According to this plan, the government aims to be more efficient in collecting taxes like VAT upon importation, particularly in the northern border that benefits from a lower rate,  avoid illegal practices, and facilitate trade, pursuant Mexico’s obligations recently adhered in the Kyoto Convention (the Senate ratified the convention on August 21st, 2018, but the text has not been published in the official gazette).



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