Difference Between Mexican and American Customs Brokers

While Mexican and U.S. customs import processes have similar regulations and overlapping requirements, savvy shippers should be aware of these vast differences.Only by knowing what the differences are between the two countries can you successfully import and export in any one country.
Who can become a US Customs Broker?Citizens over the age of 21 can apply to become a U.S. customs broker.The process requires submitting an application to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), passing an exam, and undergoing a background check.The exam covers the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), Title 19, federal regulations, specific customs directives, and Customs and Trade Automation Interface Requirements (CATAIR) document details.
Once licensed, many U.S. customs brokers quickly focused on certain types of goods, from textiles and fabrics to food and perishables.Traditionally, licensed customs brokers are located near US entry points (airports and ports), but the Automated Customs Broker Interface (ABI) allows customs brokers to submit remote declarations at any entry point without their physical presence in a specific geographic location.
Shared Responsibility for U.S. Customs Compliance.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security manages all U.S. Customs activities.Therefore, each U.S. customs broker must demonstrate due diligence on any data elements of U.S. entry declarations.The U.S. Importer of Record (IOR) and the U.S. Customs Broker share the responsibility for compliance.Any inaccuracies or errors in the declaration documents may result in penalties for importers and customs brokers.
IOR requirements.In the United States, importers do not need to have an office in the country to import goods.They just need to establish themselves as foreign importers with the help of U.S. customs brokers.
CBP requires every IOR, whether domestic or foreign, to maintain a customs bond.The bond amount is typically 10% of the duties and taxes that IOR expects to pay CBP for the year.The most common serial bond has a minimum amount of $50,000.However, if you only import a few times a year, you can use a single transaction margin.
Who can become a customs broker in Mexico?Historically, Mexican customs brokers passed their licenses (patents) to their descendants through hereditary.That tradition is starting to change, but a small association of brokers is still responsible for all imports and exports in Mexico.
There are an estimated 800 active licensed brokers in Mexico.Unlike U.S. customs brokers, which can declare at any origin, Mexico’s customs brokers can only submit customs declarations at the four major ports.Also, most customs brokers in Mexico specialize in specific commodities.Importers with multiple ports of entry or multiple commodity types may rely on multiple customs brokers to clear customs on their behalf.
Primary responsibility for Mexican customs compliance.The Mexican tax authorities manage all import activities into Mexico.Only licensed customs brokers in Mexico can clear products through customs.U.S. customs brokers cannot import goods into Mexico.
Mexican customs brokers are responsible for the accuracy of most data elements declared upon entry into Mexico.Therefore, the broker takes most responsibility for errors and omissions.This imposes a great deal of responsibility on customs brokers in Mexico, because although they are ordinary citizens, they have a fiduciary duty to collect the correct amount of tax from imported goods.Most notable is the fixed VAT of 16%.
IOR requirements.Mexico does not recognize foreign importers.Companies outside of Mexico cannot hire customs brokers in the country and cannot pay taxes on their goods.Only companies registered in Mexico can participate in international trade imported into Mexico.
By allowing only individuals or businesses in Mexico to register as an IOR, Mexican customs authorities can ensure that locals are held accountable for non-compliance issues.Such issues can include anything from proper labelling to hazardous materials controls.
Customs brokerage is not a commodity, but an overall service that requires people, two-way communication and a little imagination.Working with global customs brokers and trade compliance experts with extensive hands-on experience and a deep understanding of your company and business will help you develop the creative and cost-saving solutions your business needs.Remember to choose your trusted customs broker wisely and can take your customs strategy to the next level.
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Post time: Mar-16-2022
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