When choosing a country to import from, it’s important to recognize that not all countries are the same. There is a wide range of factors that can affect the viability of a country as a place of origin for the products you want to import. These can include regulations on what you can import, the tariffs on goods and where you import them from. Additional considerations such as the costs and time it takes to transport goods also play a major role. For a lot of companies, importing products from Mexico to the U.S. is often preferred compared to other import countries, and for good reason.
Thanks to some valuable benefits, many businesses import products from Mexico to the U.S. One of the biggest advantages is the United State Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). This trade agreement eliminates many common barriers to trade and enhances the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what companies are going to need to know about importing products from Mexico to the U.S. We’re going to look at the range of advantages of importing from Mexico compared to other countries. We’ll also explore how existing trade agreements affect what can be imported, and some of the challenges that need to be addressed too.
Don’t have time to read the article? Our experts are ready to help you import products from Mexico to the U.S. right now. We have Licensed Customs Brokers with extensive experience in importing products from Mexico to the U.S. You can schedule a consulting session with our licensed professionals today to get the help you need.
There are several major advantages of importing products from Mexico. Each of them needs to be addressed in turn:
Import duties are taxes that you have to pay to customs authorities as a rate on top of any goods that you bring into the country. Typically, the duty is based on a percentage of the total value of the goods being imported. In other cases, the weight of the goods or number of units can also determine import duties. When it comes to imports from Mexico to the U.S. there are no import duties on nearly all products. Some products still have an import duty, but at a reduced special rate that’s still lower than it would be when imported from other countries.
Mexico is significantly closer to the United States than many of the other importing countries you might otherwise consider. Because it’s closer, there is less time from the moment you complete an order to the moment that you receive products. This is especially true when compared to overseas shipments. When you’re working within a tight order fulfillment timeline, the close proximity to Mexico is a major boost.
Effective communication with your import partners is essential. When you need to make orders or adjustments based on shifting demands, you want to ensure that your partners can respond quickly. It can be a lot easier to quickly communicate with partners in Mexico due to the fact that they share time zones with the United States. Furthermore, the amount of Spanish/English bilingual individuals in both the U.S. and Mexico is very high, which can eliminate most concerns about a language barrier.
The relative proximity of Mexico and the U.S. compared to many other countries reduces the transportation costs associated with importing. The less distance your product has to travel, the cheaper it will be to transport. Further on in this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the different transportation options that companies should consider when importing products from Mexico to the U.S.
While many consumers tend to prefer to see their products produced entirely in the United States, in general, there is still a positive consumer reception for products that are made in North America as compared to overseas countries. Consumers like to believe they are supporting both local and neighboring economies, so being able to label your goods as “Made In North America” can help you win over some of your consumers.
Some of the other importing partners of the U.S., such as China, have been subject to major changes in the trade relationship between the two countries. Countries that do not share the positive relationship that Mexico has with the U.S. can be subject to big changes in tariffs, laws and regulations to the detriment of businesses that rely on those trade relationships. Mexico is a stable, even preferred, trade partner of the U.S., which can make importing from the country more advantageous.
With such valuable benefits at play, it’s easy to see why the trade relationship between Mexico and the U.S. continues to grow each year.
The importation requirements that are established by the U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) apply to all businesses equally, no matter what size or industry. Companies looking to import goods from Mexico and other countries must seek clearance from the CBP. This clearance is given depending on whether or not the goods you are trying to import meet certain rules and regulations.
A process of examination, appraisal, evaluation, and classification is applied by the CBP to all products coming into the country.
Below, we take a look at some of the major rules and regulations companies you need to be aware of when importing products from Mexico to the U.S.
The owner or purchaser of the goods coming into the US has to file entry documents pertaining to the nature of the imported goods to ensure that they can enter the U.S. This can also be done on behalf of your company by a licensed customs broker.
Documents required at the time of entry include:
The CBP will also examine many imports from Mexico coming into the country for the sake of national security. The inspections will check a range of factors, including:
Most exams occur quickly and goods are able to enter without issue. If goods are suspected to be in violation of any import or other regulations though, more thorough exams will take place.
Goods are classified and evaluated before they reach the point of entry by the commercial importer or customs brokers. Proper classification and labeling are essential to make sure that the appropriate duties are paid and the right rules followed. Appraisal and liquidation then happen, which is when the CBP establishes the final amount of duty to be paid on the products.
There is a wide range of restrictions that apply to items being brought into the US. This includes restriction on certain kinds of products, such as agricultural products, arms and ammunition, foods, drugs and cosmetics, and other types of products. It’s important to know if your products are regulated by a Partner Government Agency (PGA) such as the FDA, EPA, or USDA. If your goods are regulated by another agency, there will be additional restrictions that you’ll need to comply with.
The general rules and regulations as mentioned above, enforced by the CBP, apply to importing products from Mexico to the U.S. just as much as they apply to goods from other countries. For that reason, it’s important to have a partner that can help you better understand and navigate the various rules and regulations laid out.
The CBP does not require that any company importing goods to the U.S. carries an import license. However, while you are not required to carry a license or permit to import goods, there are customs bonds that functionally do resemble an import license.
Customs bonds are effectively contracts required for each importation that is valued at $2,500 or more. They are also required in any case where the contents of a shipment have to be regulated by Partner Government Agencies. As such, if your goods have to be checked by the Federal Trade Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for instance, you need a customs bond. It’s also important to note that agencies such as the FDA have additional registration requirements that need to be complied with.
Even if your goods do not have to be checked by any of the Partner Government Agencies but are still being imported for commercial use, you need a customs bond.
There are two types of customs bonds:
Whether you choose one type of customs bond or the other will depend on a range of factors, such as whether you are planning for a one-time importation, or plan to import similar shipments of goods multiple times.
At USA Customs Clearance, we believe in a simple and cost-effective approach to customs bond. We offer continuous customs bond for just $245. Once you’ve purchased your bond and completed the hassle-free application, your bond can be active in less than 2 days. With other companies, you can wait 5 or more days to receive your bond. Get your bond quickly and at a reasonable price.
The USMCA is the international trade agreement currently standing in North America. It’s an evolution of and replacement of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. This trade agreement is one of the biggest advantages of importing from Mexico, as it allows for duty free trade of many of the products originating from the country.
In order for goods to qualify for the reduced tariffs or tariff-free importation they might receive, information needs to be included that shows that the product fits certain criteria of eligibility. This information is to be included in what is called a certificate of origin. The information that it has to contain includes the following:
Our team of licensed professionals can help you properly complete the certificate of origin. To learn about some of the differences between NAFTA and USCMA, check out our NAFTA vs. USCMA article.
When you’re importing goods, you want to minimize the costs of transportation, ensure a quick delivery, and make sure that your goods arrive in good condition. As such, your choice of transportation method is going to affect what you can expect from the import process in terms of timeframe and cost. Here, we’re going to look at your four options: Truck, Ocean, Rail and Air, and lay out the pros and cons of each.
Not sure which mode of transportation is best for your Mexico to U.S. import? Don’t worry. Our team has the knowledge and experience to arrange the most efficient and effective transportation for your shipment. Through our direct partnership with our sister company, R+L Global Logistics, we offer world-class transportation and logistics services. You won’t need to work with numerous companies when you partner with us.
A licensed customs broker can offer all kinds of advantages to any company looking to import products from Mexico to the U.S. There are a variety of ways that the right partner can make the process a lot simpler, including the following:
While many companies rely on customs brokers to take care of the red tape of getting the products you want into the country, they can also make the process of transporting and storing goods a lot more hands off as well. What your customs broker does for you will largely depend on your individual needs.
If you’re looking to import products from Mexico to the U.S., USA Customs Clearance can be just the service for you. We offer a comprehensive suite of options to help you take care of every step of the import process.
Our services can include providing you with the Customs Bond that you need to import goods and find out how much you have to pay, as well as facilitating the process of providing the paperwork needed for a smooth import. With our help, you can avoid costly and time-consuming issues such as wrong product classifications and ISF filing penalties.
We don’t believe in a one size fits all solution to importing. Because of this, we customize our customs brokerage services to meet your specific needs.
Schedule a customs consulting session with our Licensed Customs Brokers today. You’ll get answers to all of your importing questions along with a clear path to successfully importing your products from Mexico to the U.S.