Generally, the customs value is the transaction value and when the value cannot be determined according to this method, the other methods stipulated in the WTO Agreement are used (Articles 65 to 71 and 78 of the Customs Law).
Since 2018, importers must deliver to the agency or customs broker in charge of the clearance of the goods a manifestation with the necessary elements to determine the customs value of the goods.
The importer must keep in digital format such manifestation and obtain the information, documentation and other means of proof necessary to verify that the declared value has been determined in accordance with the Law, and provide them to the customs authorities if they so require (Article 59 of the Customs Law).
According to the WTO, this change was introduced to allow the customs authority to verify the declared value and determine the customs value when the data of the foreign supplier or the importer’s tax domicile is false or non-existent.
Importers have the right to request a justification, prior to the release of the merchandise, on the valuation method or elements used to determine the customs value of the goods (Article 78-B of the Customs Law).
According to the authorities, in most cases (72.5% in 2021) the transaction value was used.
Mexico continues to use estimated prices for the valuation of certain goods in order to avoid undervaluation, as well as tax evasion.
These prices cannot be used to determine the taxable base for duties, since they serve only as a reference to know when the value declared in the customs declaration is lower than the value of the merchandise, and to determine the amount of the guarantee that must be deposited in the event of a possible tax assessment. To import any merchandise subject to an estimated price, the importer must deposit a guarantee.
Since 2019, estimated prices are used for imports of footwear, textiles and apparel, although the legislation allows that they may also be used in the case of vehicles, regardless of the origin of the imports.
The procedures for determining the customs value of imported goods have not undergone substantial changes in the last five years.