On July 8, 2013, the Official Journal of the Federation published the “General Joint Agreement number 1/2013by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Electoral Court of the Federal Judicial Branch, and the FederalJudiciary Board, relating to the Certified Electronic Signature of the Federal Judicial Branch (FirmaElectrónica Certificada del Poder Judicial de la Federación) (“FIREL”) and the electronic file” (the “FIRELAgreement”). The FIREL Agreement, which became effective on July 9, 2013, establishes the technical basis forthe implementation of the so called “Electronic Amparo Action,” with this being one of the most transcendentinnovations of the new Amparo Action Law (Ley de Amparo) published on April 2, 2013. The Electronic AmparoAction (Amparo Electrónico) will allow for the filing and processing of amparo actions through electronicmeans. The following are highlights from the FIREL Agreement:1. The establishment of the Certified Electronic Signature for the Federal Judicial Branch (FIREL):a. The FIREL will have the same validity and effectiveness as a handwritten signature.b. This signature will be issued to individuals, including Certifying Officers, Magistrates, Judges andSecretaries of the Federal Judicial Branch.c. It will be effective for 3 years, and its renewal must be requested 30 days prior to expiration of theterm.d. Business entities may be represented in this manner, as long as it is by means of an individual whopossesses a FIREL.e. A Digital Certificate of Electronic Signature issued by another agency of the State may be used solong as a respective coordination agreement has been entered into, as is the case with theAdvanced Electronic Signature or FIEL issued and recognized by the federal tax authorities.2. The establishment of an Electronic File:a. This file should be identical to the physical file and vice versa.b. If a public document is in digital format and accompanies the electronic file, it should include anoath that such coincides with the original in order for it to have legal effect.c. The evidence in an electronic file should include the FIREL of the parties, as well as those of thejurisdictional officers.d. Notices shall be valid when given by e-mail or simply by the user accessing the electronic file.3. Technical requirements with respect to the files that may be sent:a. Documents in .PDF format.b. Documents in .txt format.c. Documents created using an office software suite:i. Calculation sheet files (.xls and .xlsx).ii. Documents (.doc and .docx).iii. Presentations (.ppt and .pptx).d. The maximum size of each one of the files must not exceed 10 MB.
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.
Recently, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) approved legal opinion Number 2a./J.98/2013 (10a) titled "Service of Citation in a Labor Lawsuit. The procedure to be followed by the Labor Board when more than one defendant is named and one or more of them was not able to be served with citation." In such opinion, the Second Chamber of the SCJN finds that when it is not possible to serve all of the defendants in the initial complaint because their domicile was not provided or the one provided was incorrect, if there is no express provision that indicates how to proceed in such case, the Labor Board, in the conciliation hearing, must establish, by operation of law, a new date for the hearing., The Labor Board must require that the plaintiff provide the correct domicile of the defendant or defendants that could not be served with citation, advising them that if they do not do so within 3 business days, the complaint will not be considered to be duly filed against those that could not be served with citation, and the lawsuit will continue only against the employer(s) legally served with citation. As indicated by the Second Chamber, this determination results in a systematic interpretation of Articles 17, 685, 735 and 874 of the law regarding the matter. This legal opinion was resolved by contradiction and is still pending publication in the Weekly Federal Court Reporter.