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flag Mexico Mexico: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
Free trade agreements with the European Union, North America, the European Free Trade Association, and trade agreements with Mercosur, the Northern Triangle, Japan and Israel.
The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
For further information, consult the Mexican Trade Agreements.
Mexico is part of the Pacific Alliance
Non Tariff Barriers
Since Mexico joined the GATT in 1986, there are less products that are subject to an import license. For the products that are still regulated, a permit must be obtained from the Ministry of the Economy .  There is still a large number of particular conditions for textile products.  About 10% of imported goods are checked in detail, especially in the automobile, chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgical and agricultural sectors.
Origin regulations,  allow goods to benefit from reductions of duty taxes (especially for textiles). However these rules have become more rigorous since Mexico signed the North America Free Trade Agreement NAFTA or TLCAN (in Spanish) . 
The Annex 401 refers to the origin regulations which is part of the country's national legislation.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
In 2006, the average tax rate, according to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), was of 11.5%. It is a very high rate, when compared to the tax rate applied in other emerging countries such as Brazil, China and Russia.
You can consult the Tariff information system via Internet.

Customs Classification
Mexico participates in the Harmonized System of Goods Classification's.
Import Procedures
The importing agent is in charge of handling all the formalities and he requests the authorization to allow customs clearance.  It is advised to work with experienced importing agents.

The agent must present an import requisition (issued by the Ministry of the Economy), as well as a commercial invoice, a bill of lading, an exemption permit, and a certificate establishing the origin of the goods so that the corresponding taxes and duties can be applied.

General import taxes depend on the tariff bracket in which the imported goods are classified, in conformity with the Tariff of the General Import and Export Taxes Law or the Mexican Tax  Allowance Table proposed in the free trade treaties. For tax purposes, all Mexican importers must apply and be listed on the “Padrón de Importadores” maintained by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (Hacienda).
Mexico has developed “Sectoral Promotion Programs” (PROSEC) that aims to reduce or eliminate tariffs on several sectors. The gradual elimination and reduction of import duties will conclude in 2013 and the tariff structure will have six basic rates: 0%, 5%, 7%, 10%, 15% and 20%.

In the case of medical devices and health care products, in addition to complying with applicable standards, foreign manufactured products need to have a legally appointed representative/distributor in Mexico and be registered with the Secretariat of Health.

Importing Samples
Samples must be classified according the customs list 9801.00.01 of the Legislation of General Tax for Imports and Exports, and they cannot be the object of commercialization.
For Further Information
Mexican Customs Official Website
Mexican Secretariat of Economy

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Mexico on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
The buying decision is strongly influenced by family and friends, but the most of the time, the buyer is the housewife. Mexicans frequently use customer service.  Promotional prices are very much appreciated.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
It is difficult to influence a Mexican consumer, he is aware of brand names, he is well informed and demanding on the cost-benefit ratio. Mexicans expect to be treated individually and prefer the places where there is personalized service.  In general, Mexicans are very loyal to their preferred brands.
Consumers Associations
PROFECO , Federal Commission for Consumer Protection
Alconsumidor , Civil Association for Consumer Assistance
COFETEL , Telecommunications Federal Commission
Main Advertising Agencies
JWT Mexico
KP Alazraki
Employers' Welfare Action
Mexican Association of Advertising Agencies (in Spanish)

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The three large commercial zones of the country are: the capital (Federal District) and its suburbs, Guadalajara and Monterrey. There is acute influence of the United States on consumer habits in the big cities. However, it is important to take into account that 20% of the population lives below poverty level and more than 58% in precarious conditions.
Market Shares
The rise of the middle class in recent years has considerably increased the importance of the large-scale distribution sector provoking a decline on the traditional trade. Supermarkets have taken a great space: Wal Mart de México and Mexican Commercial Controller are the main Mexican groups in terms of large-scale distributors. Organización Soriana and Chedraui are provincial chains. 
The concept of mail-order selling and teleshopping is rapidly increasing.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Ministry of Trade and Industry - Ministry of Economy
Retailing in Mexico - Euromonitor

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Transportation-logistic services are expensive in Mexico. Transportation of goods by road insures 61% of commercial freight. The road network is vast (355 796 km). Mexico has a modern highway system, primarily comprised of toll roads connecting the main industrial areas located in the Mexico City-Guadalajara-Monterrey triangle. Outside this area, road transportation is fair-to-poor. However, the Mexican government has enacted a program to improve Mexico’s infrastructure,
Maritime international trade goes through the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Veracruz, Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas. All these ports have the infrastructure and equipment to facilitate intermodal, door-to-door merchandise transportation.
The railway is mostly used for transporting large volumes of goods to the main ports and borders. Air transport of goods is going through a difficult period due to the lack of infrastructures and the price of fuel.
Ports of Mexico
Mexico's airports
Sea Transport Organizations
Ministry of Communications and Transportation -
Port and Marina Mercante

Air Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transportation, Communications Infrastructures, and Civil Aeronautics
Road Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transportation, Communications Infrastructures, and Civil Aeronautics
Rail Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transport, Communications Infrastructures, and Civil Aeronautics

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Industrial activities represent 18% of the gross domestic product (PIB) in Mexico and about 90% of all exports, where the fields of  food industry, automobile and electronics excelled.

The Assembly Plant Industry (Maquiladoras) occupies an important place in the manufacturing sector (about 80% of the production) due to the tax reductions negotiated on the treaty of free trade in North America, and also to the exporting help programs promoted by the Ministry of Economy.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Directorio Industriales - Business directory in Mexico.
Empaque Performance - Directory of Mexican companies specialized in the packaging industry.
Mexican Employers' Information System - Find a business in Mexico.
Mexican Trade Directory - Business directory in Mexico, categorized by product.
Mexico Solarweb - Directory of Mexican companies specialized on solar energy.
Proveedores Mexicanos - Directory of Mexican suppliers. - Mexico - Directory of companies.
Catalogo-Empresas - Mexico - Guide of companies, industries & services in Mexico.
Cosmos Online - Mexico's business directory. - Business directory in Mexico.
GFI Red de Negocios - Directory of businesses in Mexico.
Hecho en México - Directory of Mexican providers.
Mewsearch - Mexico's Yellow Pages.
Mexico All-Biz - Directory of businesses in Mexico.
Mexico Business Directory - Online guide to Mexico.
Mexico Data Online - B2B data in Mexico.
Mexico online directory - Directory of businesses in Mexico.
Paginas Amarillas - Mexico's Yellow Pages.
Planeta México - A search engine for companies in Mexico.
Rim - Business directory in Mexico.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
27 professional associations listed for Mexico.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
French-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber of Commerce of Mexico
Enterprises Federation
Mexican Employers' Information System
Confederation of the Mexican Republic Employers

Learn more about Service Providers in Mexico on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Learn more about Sales in Mexico on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014