USMCA: there is disagreement in the Customs Committee

The Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee of the USMCA reported that there are disagreements regarding communication with operators between Mexico and the United States.

In general, the Committee presented the discussions of its first meeting held on September 9, 2020, in which it was agreed to facilitate the exchange of information in single window projects, Authorized Economic Operator programs, voluntary compliance by operators , identification of joint customs actions and technical assistance, among others.

But reference was also made to the technical meetings held between Mexico and the United States to discuss the scope of Article 7.3 (Communication with operators) in which an agreement has not yet been reached.

In addition, the next meeting of the Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee will be convened by Mexico on a date to be defined.


The foregoing was part of the statements of the Committees at the First Free Trade Meeting of the USMCA.


Article 7.3 (Communication with Commercial Operators) of the Agreement establishes:

  1. To the extent possible and in accordance with its legal system, each Party will publish, in advance, regulations of general application that govern customs and trade matters that it proposes to adopt, and will offer interested persons the opportunity to comment before the Party adopts those regulations.
  2. Each Party shall adopt or maintain mechanisms that allow constant communication with commercial operators within its territory about their procedures related to the import, export, and transit of merchandise. These communications will provide commercial operators the opportunity to raise issues that arise and present their opinions to customs administrations on these procedures.

Each Party, in accordance with the USMCA, shall maintain an association program for the facilitation of trade for operators that meet specific security criteria, referred to as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs, in accordance with the Regulatory Framework to Assure and Facilitate World Trade of the World Customs Organization (WCO).