What is the IMMEX program in Mexico?

The Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE) highlighted the advantages of operating the IMMEX Program (Program for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services Industry).

Mexico doubled (100.7%) its product exports to the world in the last decade, leading the export dynamism in North America.

During that same period, from 2009 to 2019, exports from the United States grew 55.7% and those of Canada advanced 41.7%, according to official data from the three countries.

In this dynamism of Mexican exports, IMMEX companies have been relevant actors.

First of all, on November 1, 2006, the Ministry of Economy published the Decree for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services Industry (IMMEX Decree), which is part of the «commercial facilitation» policy implemented by the Ministry of the Economy, to strengthen the competitiveness of the Mexican export sector.

In the IMMEX Decree, the programs for the Promotion and Operation of the Export Maquiladora Industry (Maquila) and the one that Establishes Temporary Import Programs to Produce Export Articles (PITEX), whose companies represent as a whole, are integrated into a single legal instrument. 85% of the manufacturing exports of our country.

However, it is important to highlight that the IMMEX Decree is more than a new regulatory framework; Its provisions and scope make it an instrument for facilitating and promoting foreign trade operations, since in addition to reducing the costs associated with this type of operations, it allows the adoption of new ways of doing and operating business.

IMMEX program

The Decree includes a series of measures, which are grouped into four main main areas: new ways of doing business, administrative facilities, fiscal equity and neutrality, and control and verification.

New ways of doing business

According to the SRE, regarding the new ways of doing business and operation of export-related companies, the IMMEX Decree offers the opportunity to place Mexico as a protagonist in the world services market, as well as an attractive destination for the development of new projects related to this activity.

The foregoing, since this instrument considers not only services related to the production of goods, but also activities that in themselves constitute a service such as: fashion, design, reengineering, remanufacturing and all those related to software and, in general, to information technologies.

In the latter case, the so-called Business Process Outsourcing (BPO’s) stand out, which include administration, accounting, outsourcing, testing, data processing and customer service (call centers) services, among others.

Likewise, this Decree considers the modalities of outsourcing and sub-manufacturing, which will allow small and medium-sized companies to enter the export markets, constituting a network of suppliers of manufactures and services associated with foreign trade, since proprietary companies of a brand that may or may not have production facilities, may delegate to companies without a program the development of complete industrial processes and / or services.

Administrative facilities

In terms of administrative facilities, the new Decree substantially simplifies the procedures, requirements and formats related to the authorization, expansion and annual report of operations, with which companies will be able to access, operate and administer their programs in an agile and simple way.

Among the administrative measures included in the Decree are:

  • The annual operations report includes only two fields: total sales and total exports; unlike the previous scheme in which the report contained 30 substantive fields.
  • In the authorization procedures, only the commercial description for machinery and equipment and the tariff classification for raw materials are requested.
  • Procedures are reduced from 29 to 16.
  • The export commitment is reduced from 30% to 10% of total sales in order to import machinery and equipment.
  • The deadlines for sensitive goods are extended to 12 months (except for textile and clothing services, 6 months), as well as the immediate elimination of various goods (vehicles, plywood, etc.) and from 2008, the rest (except tires).
  • The sub-manufacturing notice will be made electronically. Tax equity and neutrality In tax terms, all companies will have the same treatment with zero VAT rate in the billing of their services. In addition, IMMEX companies can obtain within a maximum period of twenty days the return of their balances in favor of VAT and 5 days in the case of certified companies, without the need to register as an ALTEX company.

In the case of ISR, the new Decree offers fiscal neutrality, since the treatment that, in terms of this tax, is only received by the maquiladora companies that operate as a related party of a resident abroad, is protected.