International trade and customs in Mexico
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. remains at the forefront of international trade matters in Mexico, housing a ‘fantastic’ and ‘business-oriented’ team, wholly dedicated to customs and customs planning, export controls and sanctions, anti-dumping and WTO matters. The well-rounded team, which is notably strong in litigation, is led from the Juarez office by Manuel Padrón, who is an expert in maquiladora matters. Other noted practitioners include: Mexico City-based Adriana Ibarra, whose broad practice encompasses rules and verification of origin (and related subjects in terms of FTAs); tariff classification and customs valuation; and consumer protection and labelling, as well as other non-tariff import regulations. Elsewhere, renowned customs litigator Armando De Lille in Monterrey; Daniel Sanchez-Elizondo, in Guadalajara (notably regarding foreign trade permits, free trade agreements and tariff classifications); and senior associate Jorge Ambriz in Juarez, are also key practice contacts. José Hoyos, who has particular expertise advising on NAFTA verifications; and senior associates Andrea Dieguez and Verónica Rejon, all in Mexico City, are also noted. Partner Alejandro Martínez left the firm in September 2019. Since publication, Ambriz has been raised to the partnership, effective as of January 2021.
‘This group is fantastic. They are able to give business-oriented advice on very complex matters and drive analysis and clear communications and actions that we can use with our business teams’
‘Provide business-oriented and clear advice. They are able to greatly consider and map a path through the multi-country considerations often at play in this area’
St. Clair Technologies
- Secured favourable final judgment for APM Terminals regarding VAT certification registration, a program designed by the Mexican Government for certain companies to be exempted from VAT payment obligations upon temporary importation of goods to Mexico.
- Assisted automtive compnents group Valeo Sistemas Electrónicos with avoiding its suspension from the General Importers Registry, which can result in an inability to make importations into Mexico.
- Advising St. Clair Technologies and its Mexican subsidiary, Industria Electromagnética de México on the restructuring and refinancing of certain loan facilities granted by Export Development Canada.
Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC
A force to be reckoned with, Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC offers strong expertise in international trade and customs work, perfectly combined with a solid tax practice, particularly for contentious matters. The department led by customs litigation experts Guillermo Sánchez and Ricardo Romero, which has seen an increase in supply chain-related work, handles primarily tariff classification and customs valuations, non-tariff restrictions and international contracting regulations, and tax and customs authorities' audits. Support comes from other noted partners including Eduardo Díaz, who has a close focus on anti-dumping matters; and Gerardo Canseco, who specializes in import and export (and IMMEX) procedures, VAT and excise tax certification, FTAs, rules of origin, compliance and all trade and customs-related disputes. Francisco Cortina left to become head of the Mexico desk at Bartolome & Briones in Barcelona, Spain in January 2020.
- Represented an important transnational medical devices manufacturer against the Tax and Customs authorities in charge of reviewing the Maquila export incentive program.
- Represented a large auto parts company who failed to elaborate virtual export/import declarations to document transactions along the automaker supply chain.
- Represented a large retailer in litigation against the Ministry of Economy for illegal cancellation of import permits for shoes and apparel.
- Represented American producers and exporters in several verification of origin procedures under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
EC Legal Rubio Villegas strikes the right note with its ‘first-class practice’, which offers extensive experience in anti-dumping, countervailing duties, and safeguard measures, while also offering a top notch expertise in trade remedies, IMMEX, Prosec, export promotion programs, rules of origin, and customs and origin audits. The 13-strong team is co-led by four partners: in Mexico City, Eduardo David and Juan Carlos Partida, who specialize primarily in trade remedy matters; and from Ciudad Juárez: maquiladora expert Fernando Holguín and Felipe Mendoza, who has vast experience advising on compliance with treaty-established rules of origin and veriﬁcation of origin procedures. Arturo Bañuelos, in Mexico City, is another name to note.
‘Arturo Bañuelos and Juan Carlos Partida and their teams offer a first-class practice’.
‘The direct attention of the partners and their teams is prompt, professional in all respects and efficient at a quite reasonable cost. They always attend calls and meetings when required’.
‘The clear direct intervention of the partners is a factor that makes us feel well attended to’.
Lipman Family Farms
Scherdel de México
Hylife Foods International
International Paper do Brazil / International Paper Exportadora / International Paper Company Mexico
Agrogen / Metalúrgica Met-Mex Peñoles
Tata Steel Europe
- Advising Superior Industries regarding customs and foreign trade compliance, customs operations for maquiladora restructures, governmental audits, the application of different international free trade agreements (other than NAFTA), and import and export requirements, among other matters
- Advised International Paper do Brazil on the anti-circumvention proceeding related to the anti-dumping order on imports of cut-size bond paper from Brazil.
- Representing Regal-Beloit Corporation in a divestiture transaction where it sold its entire equity participation in a Mexican subsidiary, and on the sale of assets owned by another foreign subsidiary.
- Represented Mexican agricultural-chemicals manufacturer, Agrogen, in an anti-circumvention investigation related to the anti-dumping duty imposed on imports of ammonium sulphate from China
Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda
A top-notch player in the international trade and customs arena, Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda has a very strong focus on anti-dumping matters and the maquiladora industry. The 14-strong practice, which covers a wide array of matters, including including trade policy, customs compliance, regulatory matters, customs litigation, and tax planning and litigation; is a popular choice for clients from the Asian market. Managing partner and trade disputes expert Adrián Vázquez co-heads the practice with Mexico City colleague Emilio Arteaga (promoted to partner in May 2019, he has been active in anti-dumping investigations); and Guadalajara-based partners Eduardo Zepeda, who has a robust knowledge of the IMMEX/maquiladora industry, and skilled litigator Eduardo González. Support comes from key associate Mariana Malvaez. Notably, in addition to the aforementioned offices, the firm also operates from León, Monterrey, Puebla, Reynosa, Matamoros, Tijuana and Los Cabos, and has a promotion trade and investment office in Hong Kong. Former partner Horacio López Portillo left to establish his own boutique, López Portillo Consultores, S.C., in June 2019.
Lee and Li
Beijing Jingcheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm
Promotora Nacional Agropecuaria
Cassidy Levy Kent
Dow Chemical / Dow Química Mexicana
Van Bael & Bellis
- Represented two Italian steel producers Marcegaglia Plates and Ferriera Valsider, Metinvest Trametal, as well as a Japanese-owned importer in Mexico, in connection with anti-dumping investigation on steel plates from Italy and Japan.
- Representing The Dow Chemical Company on a verification of origin procedure of its exports to Mexico in 2015, under NAFTA.
- Represented Jabil Circuits in Mexico on IMMEX machinery-and-equipment foreign trade audits.
- Represented Taiwanese exporter Yuang Long Stainless Steel Corp on stainless steel anti-dumping investigation.
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. has a respected international trade and customs department, impeccably combined with the firm's strong tax practice. The talented Sergio Barajas, who has broad knowledge of both the private and public sectors and is currently President of IMECE (Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos en Comercio Exterior), heads the team. It specializes in customs procedures, WTO and NAFTA-related treaty issues, IMMEX-related matters, audits, verification of origin, administrative procedures and foreign trade strategy for new operations, among other specialties. Senior associate Roberto Serralde, who brings vast experience regarding lobbying and governmental negotiations related to foreign trade matters concerning the automotive, electric, retail and chemical industries among others, is another key member of the team; however, experienced Nicolás Estrada left in April 2020 to establish Estrada & Villavicencio Consultores.
IMM Research México
Herbalife Internacional de México
Tesa Tape México
- Advised Toyota on obtaining the authorizations for the start-up of its new automotive plant in Guanajuato.
- Represented Immunotec after the tax authority intended to impose a fine of $14m due to an incorrect tariff classification.
- Filed a conclusive settlement before the Attorney General for Taxpayer’s Defense on behalf of Herbalife.
The excellent ‘combination of experience and knowledge’ makes the trade practice at Galicia Abogados S.C. stand out 'above all others’ both ‘individually and as a whole'. Partners Daniel Amézquita and Mario Valencia, who is well-known for his work in contentious customs and tax matters, co-head the team which handles maquila (IMMEX) and PROSEC programmes, certified companies (OEA or C-TPAT equivalent), VAT certificates, quotas, certifications, licences, import and export permits; tariff classifications and compliance with tax and customs obligations, as well as anti-dumping and subsidies investigations, litigation and arbitration processes, and FTA negotiations. All with a focus on the energy, pharmaceutical, automotive, telecommunications, chemical, e-commerce and retail industries. Key support comes from associate Fernando Rodriguez.
‘The advice we have received from them, as well as all the steps taken by the firm, can only receive our utmost gratitude and recognition. They are capable of bringing together various fronts such as commercial, fiscal, administrative, civil, procedural and international.’
‘We have not seen a firm that brings together such a cohesive and competent multidisciplinary team as Galicia Abogados. The experience, knowledge and generosity that they dedicate to the case and to each conversation, leaving no fringe to be tied, makes this team stand out individually and as a whole above all others.’
‘Mario Valencia, José Andrés Muñiz, Daniel Amezquita and Fernando Rodriguez are very well coordinated and never leave a question or doubt unanswered. They have a very good combination of experience and knowledge.’
Asociación Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales (ANTAD)
Asociación Mexicana de Energía Solar Fotovoltaica (ASOLMEX)
Blink Solutions (Tycoon)
Edrington – Macallan
Guru Denim DBA True Religion
HQ México Solar (174 Power Solar)
J A Del Río
Palacio de Hierro
Vestas WTG México
The accomplished David Hurtado heads the practice at Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C., which is highly recommended for its expertise in anti-dumping and countervailing duties, while also skilfully handling multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, and other aspects of the IT&C area including litigation, market access, trade policy, preferential trade regimes, customs compliance, trade compliance and trade remedies. The six-strong practice includes additional key practitioners Luis Carballo, who handles tax and administrative litigation, as well as constitutional proceedings; and senior associate Julia García de Acevedo, who specializes in dumping, customs, and health-related international commerce.
Internacional de Cerámica
Laboratorios Farmasa (Schwabe)
Trade Comercializadora Internacional
Mount Vernon Mills
Ferrero de México
- Advising Almidones Mexicanos regarding the potential impact of changes in NAFTA, and the status of the negotiations of sweetener-imprints in the FTA, vis-a-vis other international agreements; and also on value added tax applicable to imports of food into Mexico.
- Advising Internacional de Cerámica on a potential anti-dumping investigation on importation of sanitary products from China.
- Advised Laboratorios Farmasa regarding the importation of medicines into Mexico.
Sánchez Devanny continues to shine in the international trade and customs market, thanks to its well-rounded team comprised of expert practitioners. Turenna Ramirez handles strategic planning of trade and customs matters along with litigation, and specializes in international treaties (including NAFTA), customs audits, export promotion programs (including IMMEX) and verification-of-origin processes. José Alberto Campos has a broad expertise in tax and regulatory aspects including tariff and non-tariff requirements and export controls, as well as significant experience in Free Trade Agreements executed by Mexico. Eduardo Sotelo, who made partner in January 2020, is a very competent litigator. All three co-lead the practice. Also recently raised to the partnership, María Luisa Mendoza (IT&C matters particularly in relation to the energy, health and life science sectors) is another name to note among the eight-strong team, which has experience across the chemicals, automotive, food & beverages, cosmetics, medical and pharmaceutical, and alcohol and tobacco sectors, among others.
Embotelladora Niagara de Mexico
American Eagle Outfitters
Clopay Building Products
Bredero Shaw Mexico
Flex Films USA
Sharp Corporation Mexico
Marubeni de Mexico
Nippon Seiki de Mexico
Essity Higiene y Salud
- Assisting Justin Alexander, INC with its overall legal structure to efficiently begin operations in Mexico.
- Represented a client in a dumping procedure before the Mexican authorities challenging an investigation to determine whether dumping duties should be imposed on the importation of aluminium foil used by diverse industries.
- Represented a dietary supplements manufacturer in litigation concerning the requirements to import diverse raw materials and finished goods.
SAI Derecho & Economía S.C
Comprising both lawyers and economists with ample experience in the public and private fields, SAI Derecho & Economía S.C, has a sturdy practice which is able to offer advice on a broad range of mandates, from general consulting work regarding market conditions, through to more specific legal matters such as anti-dumping and FTA matters, both sub-specialties where the team has particular expertise. The practice is led by partner Beatriz Leycegui, who has almost 30 years' experience in the area, and is regularly sought out by domestic and international companies, business organizations, as well as governments at the federal, state and foreign levels.
Partner Alexis Michel stands at the helm of the solid international trade and customs practice at SMPS Legal, which is praised for its advice on issues related with anti-dumping, and countervailing and safeguards investigations, while also skillfully handling mandates on matters including tax obligations, tariff classification, customs valuation, FTA matters, verification of origin procedures, criteria confirmation before tax and customs authorities; foreign trade programs (such as IMMEX), drawback and sector promotion programs; and internal audits and compliance. The six-strong team, which assists clients from a wide range of industries, including metals, retail and shipping, also includes key senior associates Natalia Cardona, who specializes on tax consulting and litigation, and customs tax expert Lorena Domínguez.
The well-versed practice at Foley Arena has a particular focus on the automotive, food, and steel industries. Key figure Marcos Carrasco, who provides specialized advisory and consulting services related to international trade compliance, customs, FTAs, customs litigation and taxation on foreign trade, while also offering broad expertise on the implementation of governmental exportation programs and on customs valuation. He co-leads the team with Alejandro Gómez, who brings his strong knowledge on anti-dumping matters to the practice.
DP2B International (Altios Mexique)
GPS Import Services (Gap-Old Navy)
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF Mexico)
Bos Automotive Products Irapuato
Union Nacional de Avicultores
- Advised Construcciones y Auxiliares de Ferrocarriles on obtaining relevant steel import permits and provided advisory on the implementation of foreign trade programs.
- Represented Andis Company in litigation against a ruling from the Mexican Tax Authorities denying NAFTA preferential treatment to the company’s exports.
A regular advisor to clients across a wide range of industries -including food and beverage, automobile, electronics and aviation- the practice at Hogan Lovells is divided into two main areas. Managing partner Juan Francisco Torres and the talented Jorge Yañez (who is notably strong on trade compliance and anti-dumping), focus on the international trade (dumping and subsidies) side, while fellow practice co-head Arturo Tiburcio is at the helm of customs matters (supported by Yañez). The solid team of five, which includes active senior associate Mario Lara, handles consultancy, litigation and administrative procedures, more specifically focusing on anti-dumping matters, tariff classification, customs compliance and regulations, rules of origin, tax audits related with customs compliance and import regulations established in tax legislation, customs/tax strategies, IMMEX/maquiladora activities, PROSEC matters, bonded and strategic tax warehousing and temporary importation regimes.
Nissin Foods Products
Mccord Payen de México
Harman de México
- Assisting Nissin Food Products with a case concerning machinery seizure by the tax-and-customs authorities for alleged lack of legal importation and permanence documentation.
- Representing AdvanceSix in the NAFTA Chapter XIX panel review, after the purchase of the resins and chemicals division of Honeywell International.
The young international trade practice at Holland & Knight has grown steadily over the past few years, advising on matters ranging from NAFTA verification-of-origin and renegotiation procedures, imports and exports, WTO disputes and permits, among other. The team is co-led by partner Luis Rubio, an experienced market player, also well-known for his strength in corporate and transactional matters; and Carlos Vejar, whose ‘vast experience’ and ‘excellent trajectory in the public and private sectors has allowed him to position himself as one of the most experienced lawyers in Mexico’, according to a client. Former general counsel for international trade at the Mexican Ministry of Economy, he offers specialized advice on international treaties and dispute resolution mechanisms. Associate Josafat Paredes is another key member of the five-strong department.
‘Carlos Vejar’s vast experience and knowledge in foreign trade and customs distinguishes him above other lawyers.’
‘Carlos Vejar’s excellent trajectory in the public and private sectors has allowed him to position himself as one of the most experienced lawyers in Mexico. In addition to his professionalism, he has an impressive ability to understand the situation and design an appropriate strategy.’
- Assisting Posco México on trade and investment matters related to the steel industry in Mexico and the NAFTA region.
- Advising Amazon on aspects of their trade and customs issues in connection with its Mexican operations; and representation before Mexican customs authorities and the Mexican Ministry of Commerce.
Backed by the firm's global network, Jones Day's Mexican international trade and customs practice advises domestic and international clients from across the manufacturing, maquila, retail, automotive, pharmaceuticals, mining and energy sectors, on the gamut of trade matters, with a special focus on maquiladora, regulatory, and FTA mandates, as well as litigation. The practice is led by of counsel Mauricio Llamas and counsel Javier A. Cortés, who has over 25 years' experience in custom duties and maquila-related work and their tax implications, along with consumer protection, litigation and life-science regulatory issues.
Procter & Gamble Mexico
Alta Growth Capital (Mexico)
Reebok de México /Adidas de México
Husqvarna Professional Products
Andeavor (formerly: Tesoro Corporation)
Alstyle Internacional de Mexico
- Advised Bombardier on the sale of its electrical-wiring operations line in Mexico to Groupe Latécoère.
- Advising Procter & Gamble in Mexico in restructuring its import and export operations, including obtaining the necessary logistics authorizations.
Operating from offices in Mexico City and Veracruz, as well as its Guadlajara (Jalisco) base, Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster has a full service IT&C practice led by a sector veteran Edmundo Elías Fernández, who has over 30 years' experience covering the spectrum of customs and international trade matters. The seven-strong team handles FTAs, import/export issues, audits, regulation and compliance, as well as all associated litigation. Arbitration focused partner Ruben Darío Gómez handles international trade proceedings and litigation; and the team was further strengthened with the arrival of tax and customs litigation-focused associate Pablo Licéaga from KPMG in January 2020. Recent matters include advising on procedures before PRODECON in relation to General Administration of Foreign Trade Operation's audits; verification of origin audits; Administrative Procedure in Customs Matters (PAMA) investigations and audits; revocation recourses; VAT-on-imports controversies and general customs and tariff advisory, among other matters. The team also handles the implementation of trade and customs compliance programs in relation to clients' supply chains.
Emerson Electric Co
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology
IEE Sensing GDL
Fresenius Kabi de México
BayWa r.e. Solar Systems
Two experienced partners, Alejandro Luna and Ernesto Duhne, lead the eight-strong trade team at full-service firm Santamarina y Steta, which shows notable skills handling a range of IT&C matters, especially structuring operations in line with customs obligations, FTAs, IMMEX (maquiladora), tariff and non-tariff matters, taxation, anti-dumping, verification of origin, and related disputes. The practice has earned a good standing among multinational companies in the automotive, health, technology, aerospace, marine, pharmaceutical, retail and agro-industrial sectors, and also includes noteworthy practitioners Mariano Calderón, a tax specialist who handles customs litigation, and associate Michel Zelaya.
The Hershey Company
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
General Motors de México
Baic de México
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec Corporation)
ITW Food Equipment
John Deere Sales Hispanoamerica
Seguidores Solares Soltec
- Assisted Siemens in obtaining compliance certification with the Official Mexican Standards office for more than 1,400 products.
- Advised General Motors regarding compliance with the rules of origin in accordance with ACC-55, so as to ensure the company can continue exporting vehicles to Brazil and Argentina.
Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC fields an ‘excellent’ seven-strong team, valued for its ‘mastery of international trade and customs issues’. With a particular focus on clients from the automotive, consumer goods, food and life sciences industries, the practice led by partner Luis Miguel Jiménez, who has particular expertise advising on matters related to IMMEX and Prosec programmes, as well as in handling VAT certifications. Also skilled in litigation matters, Jiménez is supported by experienced tax specialist Fernando Moreno, and associate María de Lourdes Salazar, the latter praised by clients for her knowledge of the area and for always offering ‘easy-to-understand explanations’.
‘Excellent team. They are very quick to respond and offer technical rigorousness. Luis Miguel Jimenez and his team have always been helpful and quick to give solutions.’
‘Luis Miguel Jimenez and Lourdes Salazar stand out from the rest for their quick response and mastery of international trade and customs issues. They always offer easy-to-understand explanations and are up to date with market developments’
Krispy Kream Doughnut Corporation
BMW de México
Architectural Lighting Works
Shriners Hospital for Children
Mann+Hummel Filtration Techonology Distribution Mexico
Limex Formado y Decorado
Yokohama Industries Americas de Mexico
Ensambles de Coahuila
Empresas Cintas de México
Industrias Irvin de México
Fresenius Medical Care
Takata de Mexico
Newell Brands de México / Newell Rubbermaid Mexicali
- Assisting Ensambles de Coahuila, a Mexican subsidiary of Cintas Corporation, with obtaining duty free import quotas for the US for certain products not falling under the remit of NAFTA
- Advised Strosshe-Mex in a Valued Added Tax audit, that arose from the client’s acquisition of certain auto parts located in Mexican territory from a “maquiladora” entity.
Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados houses a ‘very professional and experienced’ international trade and customs team, which skillfully handles non-tariff regulations and restrictions, tax payments, foreign trade audits, disputes, anti-dumping, tax refund procedures and IMMEX matters, among others issues. Partners Francisco Gómez and the ‘extraordinary’ Sergio Ruiz head the four-strong practice, which is praised by clients for offering ‘consultancy of the highest quality’. Associate Yoselin Sanabria, who specializes in customs fines; customs seizures; export incentives; imports and exports regulation, provides key support. Senior associate Mauricio Jaramillo left the firm in October 2019 to co-found CRZA Abogados. Since publication, Gómez and Ruiz have left the firm, along with fellow non-equity partner José Luis Vega, to join Ramírez Gutiérrez Azpe Rodríguez Rivero y Hurtado, effective as of Febraury 2021.
‘Very professional and experienced team’
‘Sergio Ruiz is an extraordinary lawyer, always willing to solve the issue, conflict or work you request. Great dominion of international trade and customs’
‘The team does an exceptional job. They all show an excellent service attitude, responding to their clients’ needs in a clear, timely and accurate manner. The follow-up to each case is punctual and highly professional’
‘They offer consultancy of the highest quality’
Agroindustrias Unidas de México
Agroindustrias Unidas de Cacao
Cafés de Especialidad de Chiapas
GKN Driveline Celaya
Granjas Carroll de México
Illy Caffe North América
Kumho Tire de México
Levi Strauss de México
Louis Dreyfus Company México
Japan Tabacco International México
TH de México
GKN Driveline Newton
- Represented Levi Strauss de México before the Ministry of Economy in a tax refund procedure.
López Portillo Consultores, S.C.
Boutique firm López Portillo Consultores, S.C. was founded in June 2019, following the departure of Horacio López Portillo from Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda, where he was a partner for 14 years. A renowned international trade, customs and tax lawyer, López Portillo is a frequent advisor on anti-dumping investigations, as well as in complex customs and tax litigation cases. He also appears before the relevant customs, trade and tax enforcement agencies, appellate bodies and alternative dispute resolution boards based on WTO and NAFTA. The firm is currently representing an oil and gas services company in an ongoing NAFTA Origin Verification process.
Mitsubishi Electronics US
- Representing Welspun before the Mexican courts regarding contesting the amended final determination of an anti-dumping investigation.