What You Need to Know Before Shipping to Mexico: Rules & Regulations

What You Need to Know Before Shipping to Mexico: Rules & Regulations

Shipping to Mexico requires a comprehensive understanding of the intricate rules and regulations that govern cross-border trade. Whether you are a seasoned exporter or a first-time shipper, navigating the complexities of Mexican shipping regulations is paramount to ensuring a smooth and compliant transaction. From customs fees and regulations to understanding restricted and prohibited items, adhering to these rules before shipping offers valuable insights that streamline the shipping experience and help save costs for your business.

This blog will delve into the vital information you need to know before shipping to Mexico, shedding light on the rules that shape the process. 

Benefits of Shipping to Mexico

Tapping into the Mexican market opens new doors of opportunity to gain access to a broader market, providing opportunities for business expansion and increased sales potential. And if you’re shipping from the USA, you’ll find that Mexico is significantly closer than other countries overseas, making for fast delivery while also expanding to an international destination. 

Further, the Mexican eCommerce Market is projected to reach US$34,190.00m this year. With a growing economy and rising cross-border sales, Mexico presents a lucrative market for a variety of products and service offerings.

What You Need to Know Before Shipping to Mexico 

Before venturing into southern territory, it’s crucial to consider the shipping requirements involved to ensure a smooth and successful transportation process. Below, we’ve outlined the essential rules and regulations required before shipping to Mexico. By addressing these considerations, you can enhance your understanding of the Mexican eCommerce market and optimize your shipping processes for a successful and compliant experience. 

1. Knowledge of current restrictions and prohibitions

Mexico’s shipping restrictions require total compliance with all requirements by official importers in order to achieve success. When embarking on any international shipping journey, it’s vital to have a comprehensive understanding about which products are allowed into your target country. In Mexico, the following items are prohibited from travel.  

  • Ammunition
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Tobacco products 
  • Meat and products derived from pork
  • Perishable items
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Powder of all kinds
  • Radioactive materials
  • Tickets, lists, and circulars for foreign lotteries
  • Coins, banknotes, and other valuable articles
  • Whey and serum proteins of animal origin
  • Works infringing copyrights covering Mexico

Having knowledge of current restricted items in Mexico can save your business a great deal of trouble from transporting a prohibited item that could end up being seized by Mexican customs. 

2. Customs documentation

To ship to Mexico compliantly, importers must obtain all necessary customs forms. In most cases, the following documentation is required. 

  • Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice provides a detailed description of the items being shipped, their value, the quantity, and the country of origin. This document may need to be provided in Spanish and English. 
  • Bill of Lading: This document serves as a contract between the shipper and the carrier, which must be signed by both parties with various shipping details, such as the quantity, place of origin, etc. 
  • USMCA Certificate of Origin: If goods qualify, a Certificate of Origin may be required which will need exclusive details like, information about the certifier, exporter, producer, importer of the goods, and a Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) classification. 
  • Packing List: This document details the contents of the cargo with regard to package weight and the type of materials the transporter is carrying. 
  • AES Filing: If your company is exporting goods with a value of more than $2,500, an Automated Export System (AES) filing may be required when shipping to Mexico. 

Working with an experienced shipping partner can help your business navigate the complex process of gathering the proper documentation to prevent incorrect filing that could cause delays in the customs clearance process. 

3. Import Permit or License 

When shipping to Mexico, an import permit or license is required for goods exceeding $1,000 USD. Obtaining the proper import certifications and licensing is crucial in preventing seized items or items held with customs agents due to a lack of proper documentation. While not all shipments will require an import license, certain products such as pharmaceuticals and food items often necessitate import licenses or permits. Some items may even surprise you. For example, when shipping chocolate to Mexico, shippers must obtain prior authorization from the Mexican Secretary of Commerce before shipping. Other items like cosmetic products and  medical supplies must obtain approval from the Department of Public Health in Mexico. 

4. Import Taxes and Fees 

When shipping goods into Mexico, it’s essential to understand the corresponding shipping costs, including the taxes, tariffs, and surcharges imposed on your items based on their value. Currently, the Value Added Tax (IVA) in Mexico stands at 16% for all foreign products. Accurate calculation and inclusion of these duties and taxes on your customs declaration and invoice are paramount to avoid penalties and delays during the customs clearance process. 

To simplify this process, consider partnering with a customs broker or eCommerce shipping solutions provider experienced in Mexican shipments to help you ensure all duties and taxes are paid on time in order to ship without any unpaid fees. A partner will assist with documentation, ensure compliance, and offer guidance on applicable duty and tax rates. 

5. Proper Shipping Procedures

Before shipping to Mexico, it’s essential to understand the proper shipping requirements to get your items there safely and compliantly. Mexico shipping procedures can vary based on the type of product, chosen shipping method, and the goods’ value and quantity. In Mexico, packaging and labeling are essential due to specific government regulations involving importation. Compliant shipping involves using appropriate labels, markings, and warnings. Failure to use appropriate shipping labels can result in delays or even confiscation of goods. Additionally, certain products may have unique transportation needs, such as refrigeration or special handling instructions. While navigating these restrictions can be complex, adherence is essential to ensure a seamless and successful shipping process for businesses and consumers alike.

Further, it’s important to understand your consumers’ shipping expectations. While there is no rule or requirement for how fast you need to ship your items, there are certain expectations Mexican consumers have come to expect. For example, most consumers shopping online anticipate deliveries in 2-5 business days. Selecting express delivery can help expedite package delivery, but it will come at a higher cost. Saver options suggest lower shipping rates but will result in longer transit times. To follow proper shipping procedures and explore the best options for your products, consult with multiple shipping companies to find the best options that suit your needs. 

Shipping to Mexico with ePost Global 

Navigating the rules and regulations involved when shipping to Mexico is a complex and arduous process. From understanding import licenses and taxes to complying with packaging and labeling regulations, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of each aspect of shipping. Luckily, when you work with ePost Global, we’ll handle the logistics of shipping to Mexico, so you can focus on other aspects of your business and leave the complexities of shipping across borders to us. 

How do we do this? At ePost Global, we offer comprehensive customs management services to ensure seamless compliance with all customs requirements and restrictions. Our dedicated team of experts is committed to guiding you through the customs process with precision and ease, ensuring that all necessary documents are accurately completed. To facilitate the smooth passage of your goods through customs, we provide a comprehensive file containing Harmonized Standard Codes, detailed item descriptions, and corresponding values, ensuring essential information is readily available for clearance. 

With our experienced and committed shipping teams, we offer more than the traditional courier services like DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Through strategic partnerships and cost-effective shipping options like USPS Priority Mail Express International and international economy options, we ensure swift shipping across borders at affordable rates. So, when searching for the cheapest way to ship to Mexico, you can rest assured that our various global express options are the perfect combination of fast delivery at the best value. To enhance our offerings even more, our international shipping services come with quality features such as door-to-door advanced tracking and reliable customer service, ensuring a seamless shipping experience for your business. 

Understanding various rules and regulations for international shipping can be complex. By familiarizing yourself with the specific rules applicable to your products and seeking expert guidance, you can mitigate risks and avoid potential pitfalls when shipping to Mexico. Staying informed and compliant facilitates successful shipments and fosters positive relationships with customers and partners in Mexico. With diligence and attention to detail, your business can effectively navigate the complexities of shipping to Mexico and capitalize on the opportunities it offers in the global marketplace. 

If you’re ready to start shipping with excellence, contact us today. 

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