Resulting from the update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on 1 July 2020 the Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA) entered into force, which has 34 chapters, some of which are newly integrated (not provided before by NAFTA), highlighting the implementation of regulations related to digital trade, labour issues, anti-corruption, customs administration and trade facilitation, fast delivery shipments, joint customs clearance, among others, as well as the modification to the rules of origin, their certification and the origin review procedures.
As part of the regulatory framework of the USMCA, the Uniform Regulations and the General Rules were issued regarding the application of the provisions on customs matters of the Agreement, through which they detail and, in some cases, establish the application procedures of the provisions of the USMCA.
Additionally, on 28 December 2020, the new General Import and Export Tax Law (GIETL) came into force, through which the Sixth Amendment of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) was implemented and adds to the tariff classification of products (traditionally composed of 8 digits) two additional digits that correspond to the Commercial Information Number (CIN), progressively starting from 00 to 99.
In relation to the abovementioned, on the same date, the National Notes came into force (abrogating the Explanatory Notes of the GIETL), which is the official interpretation of the GIETL Tariff and its application being mandatory to determine the correct tariff classification of the products to be imported and exported.
To adopt the updates derived from the entry into force of the USMCA, the Sixth Amendment employed by the new GIETL, as well as the incorporation of the CIN into the national tariff system, on 28 December 2020 (except for some exceptions provided for such purposes), various agreements, resolutions and decrees regarding regulations and non-tariff restrictions entered in force.
The regulations that underwent the modifications referred to are related to IMMEX and PROSEC decrees, sectorial registers, quotas, border and border strip regions, automatic import and export permits and notices, dual-use goods, mechanisms to guarantee the contributions of merchandise subject to estimated prices, Rules and General Criteria in Foreign Trade issued by the Ministry of Economy, as well as those related to the Inter-secretarial Commission for the Control of the Process and the Use of Pesticides and Toxic Substances (CICOPLAFEST), from the Medium Environment and Natural Resources Ministry and the Health Ministry, among others.
This new framework has resulted in complexities regarding the correct tariff classification of products, and in some cases, the incompatibility of criteria that should be adopted between regulations (i.e. register of importers, permits, notices, Mexican official standards). Moreover, the change in the tariff classification policy could mean that previous tariff classification consultations would cease to have any effect and new consultations must be requested.
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