On July 8, 2013, the Department of Treasury (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público orSHCP) published in the Official Journal of the Federation the "Fifth Resolution on Modifications to the General Rules on Foreign Trade Matters for 2012 and its exhibits, glossary of definitions and acronyms, 1, 4, 10, 13, 14, 21, 22, 25 and 29" Among other changes established by means of these resolutions, the incorporation of diverse reforms and additions to rule 3.8.1 of Title 3 - Clearance of Goods, Chapter 3.8 - Certified Companies, related to the procedure for registration of certified companies in the registry. The changes to the referenced rule 3.8.1 include the creation of a new Subsection v to Section L, as the first alternative so that companies in the textile sector can finally have access to the New Framework for Certified Companies (or "NEEC") for the first time since such framework was established. The relevance of this inclusion is that it opens, to the textile sector, various customs and foreign trade benefits that are currently reserved exclusively to those companies that are able to participate in the NEEC. In order to be able to apply for this benefit, companies in the textile sector must comply with and provide proof of various minimum requirements, in addition to those requirements generally applicable to any company that applies, as follows:
1. They must have had customs importations of a customs value not less than $300,000,000.00 Pesos, Mexican currency during the immediately preceding 6 months;2. They must prove that they have at least 300 workers registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) on the date they present their application; and3. They must prove that they have fixed assets, such as machinery and equipment, with a value of $750,000.00 U.S. Dollars.
As can be seen, access to NEEC is limited to only those textile companies that meet the minimum requirements. Further, notwithstanding the opening brought by the new rules, the existing restrictions for the confectionary industry to access certified customs entity registration under Section D of rule 3.8.1 and for the footwear industry to access registration under Sections D and L of the same rule, will remain effective.Notwithstanding the changes to the rules, SHCP did not publish the official application form for registration with the registry of certified companies; therefore, until the SHCP does so, companies interested in applying must do so through the Digital Window or VUCEM. Among the changes to rule 3.8.1, it should be noted that the requirement of having 5 years worth of audited financial statements is now only required of those applicants that are obligated to have audited financial statements based on Article 32-A of the Federal Tax Code. Previously, all applicants were required to comply with this requirement.