The Mexican Government and the IMMEX Program together make possible a win-win situation for businesses in Mexico, the United States and Canada. Under the terms of the IMMEX Program in Tacna, foreign corporations can import goods into Mexico from any country that has IMMEX. These goods are made in Mexico and are then exported over to the United States. If a business uses the IMMEX program to import goods into Mexico, it does not need to pay a significant amount of duty on the imports and exports of goods into Mexico. However, if a foreign corporation does use the IMMEX Program, they must still pay taxes on their purchases of products within the country and they must register with the Mexico Secretariat of Corporations (IMMEX).
There are several types of IMMEX accounts. One is the principal importer or the importer as represented by the principal bank. Under this category, there are seven different categories of account holders including banks, insurance companies, developers, private organizations, government agencies and persons acting as representatives of the principal. Another category is the designated representative of the principal bank that can open an IMMEX account.
Importers that represent the principal bank will not be required to pay duty on purchases of more than $10,000. This level of sales is called the “exempted goods”. On the other hand, importers that represent the principal bank need to pay the corresponding duties applicable to each level of account. For example, when an importer uses the MEX Importers Account, they pay the applicable duties to the MEX Importers Account and since they are representing the principal bank, they are required to pay the corresponding duties to IMMEX.
There are other requirements that importers must meet. Importers are required to verify the source of payment and proof of identity. Importers may also be required to provide MEX account statements showing all transactions made in the past three years. Importers are also required to provide MEX reports proving their ability to pay for imported goods and that their business is duly registered with the Secretariat of the Bank of Mexico (SBM). Importers of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited from working with IMEX.
The MEX program fees are included in the principal duties of the importer. Importers must be aware of the rates charged by the MEX. They may have an unlimited number of transactions at pre-approved prices under the MEX program. They are responsible to cover these costs. Importers that fail to pay the appropriate fees may be subjected to fines. Importers should obtain a copy of their MEX agreement and study it carefully before agreeing to accept any assignment with MEX.
An importer has to be knowledgeable about the terms of the MEX program. There are many other agencies that offer similar programs but most importers are affiliated with the MEX which imposes a few more duties on importers. Before getting started, importers should fully understand the MEX agreement. It should be signed by an authorized officer (such as a broker) to show that the importer has reached agreement with MEX.