Amendments to the Rules for Certified Companies

November 1, 2012
Amendments to the Rules for Certified Companies

On November 1, 2012, Mexico’s Treasury Department published the First Resolution on Amendments to theGeneral Rules on Foreign Trade for 2012 in the Official Journal of the Federation. In the May and June editionsof the CCN MexicoReport™, we published articles related to the registration of Certified Companies and the NEEC certification system (Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas) or “NEEC”. In general terms, theCertified Company process consists of registering one’s company with the Mexican Tax Administration Serviceby means of which the registered company obtains access to various administrative facilities for customsclearance of merchandise, after having shown a high degree of compliance and control with respect to their taxand customs obligations. Among other benefits obtained by Certified Companies are access to all customshouses(inclusively for special merchandise), special means for speeding up the customs clearance process (exclusivelanes), on-site customs clearance for some exportations, special treatment for waste, the ability to immediatelycorrect documents and compliance obligations, and other means for a simplified administrative process. There arefive sectors for the registration of Certified Companies (A, B, D, F and L), but only one may be selected, eachwhich imposes various requirements and limitations depending on the one selected. Thus, the benefits are equallyscaled and are greater (cumulative) or lesser depending on the sector in which a company is registered. Sector Lis the most recent, also known as NEEC, and imposes the highest standard of control and compliance. As a result,such category allows access to a greater number of benefits for customs clearance. It should be noted that SectorL is divided into subsectors with their own requirements, restrictions and benefits. The First Resolution onAmendments to the General Rules on Foreign Trade for 2012 contemplates numerous relevant changes to therules for Certified Companies, in particular regarding program registration, renewal, causes for cancellation,activities that must be reported and periodic obligations, including new response periods and official formats. Thefollowing are the most relevant amendments:1. Specific authority is established for the Central Administration of Legal Affairs for Foreign Trade(Administración Central de Asuntos Legales de Comercio Exterior) over the registration of CertifiedCompanies;2. A format is created and established for the “Application for registration in the registry of certifiedcompanies;”3. The “Company Profile” for registration under NEEC is amended;4. Implementation of Instructions for applying for registration in the registry of certified companies;5. The requirement to obtain a favorable opinion prior to applying for NEEC is eliminated, making therequest for such simultaneous with the direct application for registration under NEEC;6. A fourth subsector is added for NEEC application to IMMEX companies adjacent to the Ciudad Juarezcustomshouse;7. A term of 140 days is established to review applications for registration under NEEC, resulting inconstructive disapproval (negativa ficta) if there is no resolution at the expiration of the term;8. A format is created and established for “Notices referred to by rules 3.8.2 and 3.8.4, related to theregistration of certified companies.” that now includes the notice of changes to the Company Profile andnotices of merger of Certified Companies;9. A format is created and established for “Notice of Renewal of Certified Company;”10. Annual obligations are specified for companies whose registration is valid for more than one year, such aspayment of fees and compliance reports under Sector D;11. Verification of compliance of the Company Profile requirement is incorporated upon renewal of theregistration under NEEC;12. Reiteration of the inability to renew a registration under sectors that have been repealed;13. Causes for cancellation of registration are reduced and clarified, incorporating a term for the cause forcancellation based on suspension from the Importers’ Registry and adding importation of restrictedproducts as a cause for cancellation under Sectors D and L;14. Establishment of a new administrative capability is for prior inspection processes so that the customsacknowledgment can serve as documentary evidence for various IMMEX companies upon importationand introduction to a customshouse deposit or a foreign trade zone (Recinto Fiscalizado Estratégico) inair traffic operations (Rule 3.8.7 section VI);15. The benefit of a 30 day term is granted for NEEC certified companies to resolve and disaffirm any causesof cancellation of their registration as Certified Companies; and16. Rule 3.8.13 is added to grant special benefits to the fourth sector of NEEC applicable to IMMEXcompanies adjacent to the Ciudad Juarez customshouse.Finally, the new rules clarify that even though the First Resolution on Amendments to the General Rules onForeign Trade for 2012 was published on November 1, 2012, the Treasury Department did not publish theAnnexes, glossary of definitions and acronyms 1, 4, 14, 22, 25 and 29 in the Official Journal until November 6,2012 containing, among other items, the new formats referenced.

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