The Mexico-US trade astounded all of us when the total trade value amounted to $248.76 Billion as of May 2018. When we further dissect the overall trade value, we get the specific import-export values as $109.07 billion in exports to Mexico and $139.69 billion in imports from Mexico.
The numbers are huge, and it makes anyone think that the trade game is very easy. Reviewing the demand in the USfor various products, it also seems very profitable. However, there are certain things that one needs to understand before importing any products from Mexico to the US. The same applies to any import that may or may not relate to business.
Importing from Mexico: A glance at the US rules and regulations
First of all, one must understand that the law views good imported for personal use and goods imported for commercial use as two different entities. Hence, laws and regulations will be different for each one of them.
When you are bringing in products from Mexico for commercial uses, you need to abide by the regulations set forward by the CBP or the Customs and Border Protection. A CBP officer will be in charge of approving your shipment so that it may enter the US Border. Also, the final verdict is the CBP Officer’s sole discretion. Therefore, your shipments must satisfy every rule and regulation that CBP mandates.
Before you get the goods in for import, make sure that you have the following documents ready for submission. The CBP will thoroughly review these documents to see if they are authentic and adhere to the exact facts and figures.
When you import any commercial good from Mexico to the US, then you must submit the following documents to the CBP
- An invoice that contains all the information about the shipment
- Verification documents that prove your adherence to non-tariff restrictions and regulations
- Certificate that states the origin of the shipment
- Identification details of the shipment
- A detailed account of weight and volume of the shipment
- Verification that identified the bond
The process is fairly simple if you have all the correct documents on the shipment. Care must be given so that each value that you add to the documents match exactly with those of the shipment. Any discrepancies here will affect the approval of the CBP in a negative way.
That said, there are also other regulations that apply to your shipment based on the type of materials it contains. These regulations are handled by certain departments in the US. For example, if you are importing agricultural or dairy products into the US, then it needs the added approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you are bringing in medical/Biological/cosmetic or related items into the US, then you need to make sure that the shipment is approved by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In cases of food and drug-related products, the approval comes from the Food and Drug Administration. (FDA). When fruits and vegetables are involved, in addition to the FDA, the US Department of Agriculture will also have to give approval for the imports.
One of the most important documents that you must have with you while importing anything to the USA from Mexico is an invoice. If we were to specify the requirements of an invoice, in essence, it must be flawless.
A meticulously created invoice must have the following information in it for a successful approval from US import authorities;
- It must mention the port of entry to where the product is destined
- It should contain the name of the shipper and receiver. If the product is agreed to be sold, then it should have the names of the seller and buyer.
- The invoice must have a detailed description of the product.
- The overall dimensions and weight
- The country of origin
- The type of currency being used
- All drawbacks, rebates, and bounties that are allowed on the product upon export, etc.
Note: You will need one invoice per shipment as distinct shipments do not come under a single invoice
There are some of the most import set of information that needs to be included in the invoice. Any misinformation or discrepancies will lead to disapproval and cast a bad remark on your reputation. Go the extra mile and make sure everything is recorded and detailed in the invoice.
Wait! Do a re-check to make sure everything is in order!
If you think that you got everything on point, it’s better to do a double check. Let us help you out by point out some questions that you should ask yourselves before going about the actual import process.
- Did you consult a professional who is well versed in the trade and asked them to review your status?
- Did you review the different import regulations like the CBP regulations, CBP Bulletin and Decisions, and the HarmonizedTariff Schedule of the United States?
- Have you decided on whether to handle a similar type of products at the port of different ports?
- Do you have all the necessary details and specifications of the product to be handed over to the CBP? If so, have you prepared all the documents pertaining to the tariff classification of your product? Are you familiar with the processes and raw materials used in the making of the product?
- Is your valuation of the product to be imported to the US, on point?
- Do you have all the auxiliary documents that are needed in cases where you are not the buyer, or in cases where you have bought the product from a “related” seller?
- Do you have all the entry documentation?
- Do you have all the required documents to prove country of origin
- If the product you are going to import contain copyright or trademark, do you have the proof to establish that it’s genuine?
- Do you have approval from other agencies like FTC, EPA, FDA, CPSC, DOT, Agriculture, etc. based on the type of product you are importing?
Again, we can’t stress enough to make the argument that the process of importing products from Mexico to the USmust be done in such a way that there aren’t any voids in the information that you are presenting before the CBP. Also, the evaluations and the questions asked will differ based on the type of product that you are handling.
Seems hard? Never let the hurdles prevent you from expanding your business!
The process of Importing products into the US from Mexico contains a multitude of steps, and they will definitely cost you a ton of time, especially if you are new to this. So what is the best way in which you can speed up the process and pass the CBP evaluations with ease?
The answer is to consult with professionals who are in the trade for years. Pedraza CustomHouse Brokers Inc has been in the trade for more than a decade and has a robust client portfolio to show for it. We will help you in importing products into the US from Mexico without any hassle, thus, helping your business grow without boundaries.