Country Facts
125 Million (2018)*
Mexico City
North America
Peso ($)

*Source: The CIA World Factbook

Trade Indicators
2nd largest export market for U.S. products
3rd largest trading partner for U.S.
15th largest economy in the world
$276 Billion in Goods Sold to Mexico in 2017

Top B2C Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunities
Spanish man buying goods on mobile phone

Apparel and accessories lead the categories of reported online purchases, followed by digital downloads, event tickets, and travel. PayPal, debit cards, and personal credit cards are the preferred methods of payment. However, due to a low rate of financial inclusion, many online retailers offer payment alternatives such as cash payments at convenience stores. The top incentives for online shoppers are secure payment options, free shipping, interest-free monthly payment plans, and a guaranteed return policy. There is a growing trend towards purchasing through mobile devices.

Top B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunities
Mexico flag flying over Mexico City

Sixty seven percent of Mexican online shoppers reportedly purchased from international retailers in 2016, and 75 percent of those purchases were made on U.S. sites. Even though Mexico’s current de minimis level of $50 is much lower than the de minimis of $800 in the United States, cross-border eCommerce has benefited from a simplified customs clearance regime for low-value express commercial shipments. However, new regulations proposed by the Mexican tax authority, known as SAT, could result in additional requirements that would make express delivery shipments to Mexico more difficult and costly for U.S. companies.

Trade Regulations & Customs Information

Import Tariffs: Under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA – see “Trade Agreements” section later in this chapter for more information), products made in the United States that meet NAFTA rules of origin requirements face no tariffs. However, there are a number of exceptions and caveats noted below that may affect overall pricing of U.S. exports.

Import Duty: All NAFTA-compliant products imported “definitively” into Mexico no longer need to pay the customs processing fee (CPF). Products temporarily imported for processing and re-export may be subject to the CPF since the imports are not considered “definitive.”  The import duty, if applicable, is calculated on the U.S. plant value (F.O.B. price) of the product, plus the inland U.S. freight charges to the border and any other costs listed separately on the invoice and paid by the importer. These can include charges such as export packaging, inland freight cost, and insurance.

Import Requirements and Documentation: The basic Mexican import document is the “pedimento de importación.” Mexico requires import and export documentation including a completed “pedimento,” or import/export form, for all commercial crossings. This document must be accompanied by a commercial invoice (in Spanish), a bill of lading, documents demonstrating  guarantee  of payment  of additional  duties  for undervalued  goods  (see “Customs  Valuation”)  if applicable,  and documents  demonstrating compliance  with Mexican  product  safety  and performance  regulations  (see “Standards”),  if applicable.  The import documentation may be prepared and submitted by a licensed Mexican customs house broker or by an importer with sufficient experience in completing the documents.

U.S. Export Controls: Mexico is not subject to any special U.S. export control regulations, and is designated as a Category I country (the least restrictive) for receipt of U.S. high technology products.

Source: The International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce

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