You may have heard about new regulations regarding verification of goods at Mexican customs. These recently implemented regulations may have already affected you. These regulations apply mostly to imports, but can also apply to exports. The verification process has the ability to cause major delays in the final delivery of goods. So, what’s the story?
What do I need in order to successfully pass the verification of goods process?
Mexico’s Tax Administration (SAT in Spanish) has the power to inspect any shipment in Mexico at any time. These customs controls were established recently and include proper verification and validation of all documents for authenticity and compliance, and verification of payment of any and all fees due for foreign trade transactions. Some of the documents that may be requested include:
- Commercial invoice: Contains a description of the goods and value.
- Packing List: The goods must match exactly what is stated on this list.
- Taxes on International Trade: All appropriate fees must be paid.
- Country of Origin Label: All imported or exported products must contain a marking certifying its manufacture and origin using the words “MADE IN [COUNTRY]”.
- Certificate of Origin: Certain products require this certificate, such as wines imported to Mexico.
- License to import known brands: This is another document that must be up to date and authorized in order to complete any foreign trade transactions.
- Importer’s fiscal address: This must be a real address that the Mexican Tax Administration (SAT) can locate.
- Fiscal address of the provider of the goods: There must be a valid address listed.
These last two documents have caused the most problems for many companies. Many importers have not updated their fiscal addresses correctly, and in some cases the SAT has detained cargo until the importer can present this documentation. Keep in mind that the SAT has the power to check any shipment in Mexico and to impose sanctions if it finds inconsistencies in the paperwork.
Likewise, the SAT reserves the right to check into whether the fiscal address provided is correct. This investigation can take up to ten days. If you are not careful, during these ten days your cargo may be detained, resulting in additional costs. This is why we recommend that all importers and exporters stay up to date on documentation, including fiscal addresses, in order to avoid problems when verifying goods in transport at Mexican customs.
How do I change my fiscal address with the SAT?
Changes of fiscal address must be performed by the importer or exporter themselves, and the address provided must be real and verifiable. Changes must always be made at least ten days in advance.
This process can be completed electronically or in person at the SAT offices. The SAT portal lists all of the steps necessary to change your fiscal address [Spanish link only]. The key to avoiding delays is to have all your documents in order as early as possible.