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Office of Textiles and Apparel
Dedicated to increasing the international competitiveness of the U.S. fiber, textile, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries

Textile and Apparel Market Report - Mexico

Mexico

Market Report
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear, and Travel Goods

The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the appropriate overseas market authorities before embarking on any export activities.

OFFICE OF TEXTILES AND APPAREL (OTEXA)

Import Tariffs and Customs Requirements

Textile and apparel goods manufactured in the United States enter Mexico duty free under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) if they qualify under the rules of the Agreement. For more information, see the USMCA summary in the FTA section.

Products from the U.S. that do not qualify under the USMCA rules are subject to Mexico’s MFN rates of duty.

For more information on Mexico’s tariff rates, see OTEXA’s Foreign Market Reports page.

The USMCA no longer requires a certificate of origin. Rather, a minimum set of data elements must be submitted to prove origin. These elements may be on an invoice or any other document, except a commercial document issued in a non-Party, in accordance with the Uniform Regulations of the USMCA. For more information, see ITA’s Understanding USMCA page or the Mexican Tax Administration Service’s website regarding Verification of USMCA Certification of Origin.

Products not manufactured or produced within the USMCA region do not qualify for USMCA preferential tariff treatment. Mexican tax authorities conduct fiscal audits on certain exporters in sensitive industries, including textiles and apparel.

Import Measures Affecting the Textile, Apparel, and Footwear Sectors—On December 3, 2015, the Mexican Government initiated a special program to strengthen the Mexican textile, apparel, and footwear industries. The main purpose of this program is to protect local industry against counterfeiting from Asia and to promote the financing programs of the Mexican Development Bank to support small and medium-sized companies in the sector. Measures include the use of an importer registry (the Padrón), the establishment of reference prices (though they should not be applied to products that meet USMCA rules of origin), as well as a five-day waiting period for all imports. A notice of importation must be provided to the Mexican Government at least five days prior to the shipment and must include the invoice, complete supplier information, and other documents. Three versions of the reference prices and other information were published in Mexico’s Diario Oficial (Official Gazette – only available in Spanish):

Instructions for registration in Mexico’s importer registry for textiles and apparel can be found in the Guide to Textile Sector Production (only available in Spanish).

Tariff Treatment of Low Value Exports—In general, Mexico requires that the importer use a Mexican customs broker for all importations into Mexico.  However, when low value shipments—those valued at less than U.S. $2,000—are sent to Mexico via a courier or package service, this requirement may be waived. For U.S.-made clothing and accessories shipments of 10 items or less, courier services, using informal entry procedures in Mexico, may opt to pay import duties applied at a rate of 22.92%. To qualify for this lower rate of duty, which can range up to 38.92%, the products must have marks or labels that distinguish them as originating in a USMCA country. 

Annex 18—Entries of certain textile and apparel products require that additional information be submitted to the Mexican Customs Authority, reported in a document entitled “Annex 18.” The additional information required varies by tariff classification and is listed in the Annex 18 document published by Mexico’s Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT) (only available in Spanish).

Certificate of Origin (Annex III)—Mexico has special origin certification requirements for textile, apparel and footwear products identical or similar to those subject to countervailing (CV) or anti-dumping (AD) duties. Such imports must be accompanied by an Annex III certificate of origin. AD or CV duties may be applied if documentation required to prove that the goods do not originate in a country subject to such duties is not provided. 

Post-importation Inspections—Mexico’s customs system makes use of customs advisors to assist with the verification of merchandise selected for physical inspection or for which particular problems have been identified. Reportedly, all imports of textile, apparel and footwear products are physically inspected. 

The Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA) requires prior import authorization for some leather and fur products.

For additional information on local customs requirements and documentation, see:

See additional customs and import regulation information in the Country Commercial Guide for Mexico.

Standards

The Direccion General de Normas - DGN (Mexican Bureau of Standards) manages and coordinates standardization activities in Mexico. 

There are three types of standards in Mexico: 

  • Official Mexican Standards (Normas Oficiales Mexicanas, or NOMs). NOMs are technical regulations, including labeling requirements, issued by government agencies and secretariats. Compliance with NOMs is mandatory. Any bureau, person, or council can propose the creation or modification of a NOM to the appropriate committee.
  • Mexican Standards (Normas Mexicanas, or NMXs). NMXs are voluntary standards issued by recognized national standards-making bodies. Compliance is mandatory only when a claim is made that a product meets the requirements of the NMX, when a NOM specifies compliance with an NMX, and whenever specified in government procurement. Organizations that develop NMXs for textile products include INNTEX – the Instituto Nacional De Normalización Textil, A.C. (Mexican Institute of Textile Standardization).
  • Reference Standards (Normas de Referencia Federal, or NRFs). NRFs are applied to goods and services acquired, leased, or hired, when Mexican or international standards do not cover their requirements, or their specifications become obsolete.

All domestic and imported products must comply with the corresponding technical regulations. For domestic products, compliance with the NOMs is verified both at the production and distribution sites; for imported products, verification usually takes place at the border. Some imports are exempt from compliance with NOMs, for example, samples and goods not intended for sale and those coming under special customs regimes (such as temporary import and bonded warehouses).

Some NOMs and NMXs relevant to textile, apparel, footwear and leather products follow:

  • NOM-004-SCFI-2006 (as amended in 2011)—Commercial Information - Labelling of Textile Products, Articles of Apparel, Clothing Accessories and Household Linen
  • NOM-004-SCFI-1993—Textiles, Clothing and Accessories Labelling Decree
  • NOM-003-SCFI-1993—Domestic Electrical Appliances (includes HS 6301.10.01 - electric blankets)
  • NOM-020-SCFI-1993—Leather and Artificial Leather Labelling Decree
  • NMX-A-2076-INNTEX-2013 and NMX-A-6938-INNTEX-2013—Fiber content/identity labeling standards (these replace NMX-A-099-INNTEX as referenced in NOM-004-SCFI-2006)
  • NMX-A-240-INNTEX-2009—Care instructions
  • NOM-113-STPS-2009, Safety - Personal protection equipment - Protective shoes - Classification, specifications, and test methods.
  • NOM-050-SCFI-1994- General provisions for all products

The full texts of draft and enacted NOMs are available in DGN’s electronic NOM library. Some NMX standards are also available for free download.  Most NMXs, however, are copyrighted and therefore only available for a fee directly from the standards development body that issued the standard. INNTEX publishes NMXs related to textiles and apparel in Spanish. 

Under the USMCA, Mexico is required to recognize conformity assessment bodies (i.e., certification bodies or testing laboratories) in the United States and Canada on terms no less favorable than those applied to conformity assessment bodies in Mexico.

Local standards organization and other resources:

For more information on Mexico’s national standards, accreditation bodies, national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies, see the Trade Standards page of the Country Commercial Guide for Mexico.

Labeling

Mexico’s labeling requirements are contained in numerous mandatory standards (NOMs) and voluntary standards (NMXs), some of which are listed below. On December 23, 2011, the Mexican government published amended labeling requirements for textile and apparel products in the Diario Oficial (Official Gazette). This notice, which became effective on February 21, 2012, contains modifications to NOM-004-SCFI-2006. In general, the regulations apply to apparel, apparel accessories, home textiles, and other products having a textile content greater than 50% of the product’s total weight.

The Diario Oficial notice of December 23, 2011 amends the labeling requirements and an unofficial summary follows. Please be sure to refer to an official source or check with your importer or customs broker in Mexico for the specific labeling requirements.

In general, apparel and apparel accessories must bear a permanent, legible label with the following information in Spanish:

  • Commercial brand name
  • Fiber content (NMX-A-2076-INNTEX-2013 and NMX-A-6938-INNTEX-2013)
  • Size
  • Care instructions (NMX-A-3758-INNTEX-2014)*
  • Country of origin
  • Manufacturer’s or importer’s name and address

*NMX-A-3758-INNTEX-2014 superseded NMX-A-240-INNTEX-2009 in 2017. See DGN’s official notice for further guidance/clarification on this change.

For handbags, suitcases, purses, wallets, boxes, backpacks, umbrellas, seat covers, articles used for covering household electrical and other goods, furniture and bathroom furniture covers, cushions, cleaning supplies, painting canvas, baby diapers, textile belts, and other miscellaneous items, the label should include the following information:

  • Fiber content (NMX-A-2076-INNTEX-2013 and NMX-A-6938-INNTEX-2013) 
  • Country of origin
  • Manufacturer’s or importer’s name and address

Textile-related labeling NOMs and NMXs include:

  • NOM-015-SCFI-1998 for toys, published on February 15, 1999 in the Diario Oficial
  • NOM-020-SCFI-1997 for leather and synthetic leather materials, published on April 27, 1998 in the Diario Oficial
  • NOM-050-SCFI-1994: General provisions for all products
  • NOM-008-SCFI-2002: General System of Measurement Units, published in the Official Bulletin of the Federation on 27 November 2002
  • NMX-A-2076-INNTEX-2013 and NMX-A-6938-INNTEX-2013: Fiber content/identity labeling requirements
  • NMX-A-3758-INNTEX-2014: Care labels and symbols

Quantities for all goods must be provided in metric units and a comma must be used in place of the decimal point. Imported products using a period as a decimal point may be rejected by Mexican Customs officials.

Exporters can obtain an advanced ruling on their labels for a fee by requesting a constancia from an authorized verification unit (VU), which will verify the conformity of imported products to the appropriate NOM. A constancia is a document certifying that the label in question complies with the relevant NOM(s). The principle is that when a document of conformity has been issued by an accredited VU, the importer should not encounter any problems, either during customs clearance or when the product is put on the market for sale. It has been reported that some VUs have included a clause of non-responsibility in their contracts that say they will not be responsible for any lack of compliance found in the retail phase on the labels they have checked. However, Mexican authorities have indicated that if a VU has checked the compliance of the label, it will be responsible if the same label is found not to be in conformity with the NOMs. Verification units are private companies and the importer negotiates the prices on the basis of the number of labels to be verified.

All products intended for retail sale in Mexico must bear a label in Spanish prior to their importation to Mexico.

For an overview of the different labeling and marking requirements, including any restrictive advertising or labeling practices and where to get more information, see the Labeling/Marking Requirements page on the Country Commercial Guide for Mexico.

Market Resources

To explore key resources and events, contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico

Visit OTEXA’s Grow America webpage.

For more information on exporting textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods, go to the Additional Market Information Page on the OTEXA Website.