The IMMEX program in Mexico has been in place for more than 15 years. It is one of the many initiatives the Government of Mexico and the Ministry of Economy of the country have implemented to encourage importing certain raw materials and equipment used in production processes. The Mexican government also put it in place to promote the growth of foreign and Mexican SMEs doing business in what is commonly referred to as the Maquiladora Industry.
The IMMEX program in Mexico, whose Spanish acronym stands for Manufacturing, Maquiladora, and Export Service Industry, has helped promote the development of the country’s manufacturing industry and made foreign trade operations more flexible. This result is thanks to the reduced associated export costs and the simplification of customs processes.
In this blog post, we will explain what the IMMEX program consists of and what its benefits are. Additionally, we will provide an overview of the requirements of the IMMEX program that companies must take into account to benefit from this initiative.
What is the IMMEX program in Mexico?
IMMEX is a legal framework that has been put into place to promote the Program of the Manufacturing, Maquiladora, and Export Service Industry.
The objective of the IMMEX program in Mexico is that foreign companies, whether they are marketers or manufacturers, can import raw materials and equipment into Mexico without paying the value of general import taxes, value added taxes and without paying any compensatory fee.
According to the Mexican Ministry of Economy, the IMMEX program is defined as “an instrument through which it is allowed to temporarily import the goods necessary to be used in an industrial or service process. Companies can use these items for the production, transformation or repair of goods of foreign origin—temporarily imported for export or the provision of export services.”
In other words, the IMMEX program allows importing duty-free products to be used in other manufacturing processes and subsequent marketing activities.
What are the objectives of the IMMEX program?
In addition to allowing foreign companies to export their merchandise to Mexico and promoting the country’s manufacturing industry, the IMMEX program in Mexico is central to the execution of the following objectives:
- Strengthen the competitiveness of the Mexican export sector
- Provide certainty, transparency, and continuity to the operations of companies
- Offer new ways to operate internationally, reducing logistics and administrative costs
- Modernize, streamline and reduce procedures to increase the inspection capacity in an environment encouraging the attraction and retention of investments in Mexico.
Modalities of the IMMEX Program
If there is one thing that manufacturing executives should know about the IMMEX program, it is that it has five different modalities. Below is a description of each of them. This is according to data obtained from the Ministry of Economy:
- IMMEX Holding Company Program, when the manufacturing operations of a certified holding company and one or more controlled companies are integrated into the same Program.
- IMMEX Industrial Program, when an industrial process for manufacturing or transforming goods destined for export is carried out.
- IMMEX Services Program, when services are provided to export merchandise or export services are provided solely for the development of the activities determined by the Ministry of Economy.
- IMMEX Shelter Program, when one or several foreign companies provide the technology and productive material without the latter directly operating under the Program.
- IMMEX Outsourcing Program, when a certified company that does not have facilities to carry out production processes performs manufacturing operations through third parties registered in its Program.
Who can apply for the IMMEX program in Mexico?
The IMMEX program is aimed only at legal entities residing in Mexican national territory.
As has already been presented, the IMMEX program offers participating companies the possibility of temporarily importing the necessary goods to be used in industrial processes or for their subsequent commercialization.
These assets are grouped into the following categories:
- Raw materials, equipment, parts, and components that will be fully used to integrate export merchandise, fuels, lubricants, and other materials that manufacturers will consume during the production process of the exported merchandise. This includes containers and packaging, labels, and brochures, as well.
- Containers and trailers
- Machinery, equipment, tools, instruments, molds, and spare parts for the production process; In addition to this, pollution control equipment and apparatus; items used in research or training, industrial security equipment, items used in telecommunications and computing, laboratory, measurement, product testing, and quality control; as well as those employed in the handling of materials directly related to export goods and others linked to the production process; Equipment for organizational development.
How to apply to the IMMEX program in Mexico?
It is essential to know that the procedure to apply to the IMMEX program is entirely free.
To do this, business representatives must go to the customer service windows of the Federal Representations of the Ministry of Economy that corresponds to the address of the plant where the production process or service is carried out.
The documents needed to apply to the IMMEX program are the following:
- A document containing the description of the production process or type of services and the name of the company that solicits participation in the Program.
- Maquila contracts, purchase agreements, purchase orders, or firm orders that prove the existence of the export project.
- A detailed description of the production process or service that includes the installed capacity of the plant to process the goods to be imported to perform the service objective of the Program and the percentage of that capacity effectively used.
- Copy of the document that legally proves the possession of the property where the operation of the IMMEX entity is intended to be carried out, indicating the property’s location, attaching photographs of the same.
As a beneficiary company of the IMMEX program, the Mexican Ministry of Economy requires that an annual report be submitted electronically. This report should include information related to total sales and exports that correspond to the immediately preceding fiscal year. This information should be submitted no later than the last business day of May, following the format published by the Ministry of Economy through General Rules and Criteria for Foreign Trade.