IMMEX: The Key to Successful Near-Shoring in Mexico

Maximize the Benefits of Mexico's Maquiladora Program with CATTS
February 16, 2023
Written by Paulina Mendoza Ruiz

Near-shoring has had a significant impact on the economic relationship between Mexico and the United States. Mexico is a popular destination for nearshoring due to its proximity to the US, low labor costs, and large pool of skilled workers. As a result, many US companies have begun outsourcing manufacturing and other operations to Mexico, which has led to an increase in trade and investment between the two countries. This has had a positive impact on the Mexican economy, with increased job opportunities and economic growth. However, it has also led to some concerns about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, as well as issues related to labor rights and wages in Mexico.

What is IMMEX?

The IMMEX (Maquiladora and Export Services Industry) program, also known as the Maquiladora program, is a Mexican government initiative that allows companies to temporarily import goods and equipment into Mexico for manufacturing or assembly without paying import duties or taxes. The program is designed to promote foreign investment and economic development in Mexico and is particularly important for companies that are nearshoring operations from the US. The program allows companies to take advantage of Mexico's low labor costs and skilled workforce while minimizing the costs associated with importing raw materials and equipment. Additionally, the program provides a more flexible and streamlined process for companies to manage their imports and exports, which can help to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The IMMEX program is one of the main reasons why Mexico has become a major destination for nearshoring, as it makes it easier and more cost-effective for companies to establish operations in the country.

What are the benefits to you?

  1. Duty-free imports: Companies can temporarily import certain goods and raw materials duty-free for manufacturing or assembly, which can help reduce costs and increase competitiveness.
  2. Access to skilled labor: Mexico has a large pool of skilled labor, which can be a major advantage for companies looking to manufacture or assemble products in the country.
  3. Proximity to major markets: Mexico is located near major markets in the United States and Canada, which can help reduce transportation costs and lead times for companies exporting products to these markets.
  4. Favorable exchange rate: The Mexican peso has historically been weaker than the US dollar, which can make manufacturing and exporting in Mexico more cost-effective for companies.
  5. Government incentives: The Mexican government offers various incentives to companies participating in the IMMEX program, such as tax breaks and access to financing, to encourage foreign investment and boost the country's export industry.

How to start with IMMEX?

To participate in the IMMEX program, a company must first apply for authorization from the Mexican government. The application process involves submitting a series of documents and demonstrating that the company meets certain requirements, such as having a physical presence in Mexico and a plan for exporting the finished products. The company must also appoint a customs broker to handle the paperwork and ensure compliance with customs regulations.

Once the application is approved, the company is granted an IMMEX certificate, which allows it to import and export goods under the program. The certificate is valid for a specific period of time, typically one year, and can be renewed upon expiration.

What else should I take into account?

It's important to note that the IMMEX program is subject to certain conditions and restrictions, and companies must follow certain procedures to ensure compliance with the program. For example, companies must keep track of imported goods and materials and must provide documentation to prove that they were used in the manufacturing or assembly process. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines and other penalties.

What are the risks of non-compliance?

There are several risks associated with non-compliance with the IMMEX program. These risks can include:

  1. Fines and penalties: Companies that fail to comply with the IMMEX program's requirements can be subject to fines and penalties from the Mexican government.
  2. Loss of IMMEX certificate: Non-compliance can result in the revocation of a company's IMMEX certificate, which can disrupt operations and make it difficult for the company to continue participating in the program.
  3. Reputational damage: Companies that are found to be non-compliant with the IMMEX program may damage their reputation in the industry, which can make it more difficult to do business in the future.
  4. Legal disputes: Non-compliance with the IMMEX program can lead to legal disputes with the Mexican government or other parties, which can be costly and time-consuming to resolve.

How can CATTS help you?

CATTS can provide multiple benefits to companies setting up and running the IMMEX process. These services can help streamline the process, reduce the burden on company resources, and ensure compliance with the program's requirements.

Why work with CATTS?

1.     Expertise: CATTS has a team of experts with extensive knowledge of the IMMEX program, including the application process, documentation requirements, and compliance procedures. This can help you avoid mistakes and ensure that the process is completed efficiently and effectively.

2.     Timesaving: The IMMEX process can be complex and time-consuming, particularly for companies that are new to the program. Our Trade Management team can help streamline the process by handling tasks such as completing the application, preparing documentation, interfacing with Global Trade Management applications, and coordinating with customs brokers, and other service providers.

3.     Cost-saving: CATTS can help you save money by eliminating the need to hire difficult-to-find in-house experts to handle the IMMEX process, as well as by providing a cost-effective software solution for managing the process.

4.     Compliance: Our experts ensure compliance with the IMMEX program by staying up to date on changes to the program's requirements and helping you follow the necessary procedures.

Near-shoring and the IMMEX program have had a significant impact on the economic relationship between Mexico and the US. It has led to an increase in trade and investment between the two countries, which has had a positive impact on the Mexican economy, with increased job opportunities and economic growth.

CATTS assists in setting up and running the IMMEX process smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on their core business activities while taking advantage of the benefits of the program. Get in touch if you want to learn more!

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Partner with CATTS Today

CATTS, with its team of experts and efficient solutions, can help streamline the process, reduce costs, and ensure compliance, allowing you to focus on your core business activities while taking advantage of the benefits of the program. Learn how CATTS can help you today.

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