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Mexico to Lower De Minimis Threshold for Postal Shipments Effective 1 March

As part of a series of changes to its general rules on foreign trade made on 30 November 2018, Mexico has lowered from US$300 to US$50 the de minimis threshold for low-value postal imports. As a result, effective from 1 March 2019 postal imports valued at US$50 or less will benefit from duty-free and tax-free treatment while postal imports valued at more than US$50 and not more than US$1,000 will qualify for special simplified entry and face a single 16 percent duty. Currently, postal shipments valued at US$300 or less benefit from duty-free and tax-free treatment.

This special flexibility applies to goods not subject to non-tariff restrictions. Books subject to duty, other than those classified under HTSMX 4901.10.99, may also take advantage of this flexibility without regard to quantity or value. Goods imported in powder, liquid or pharmaceutical form, such as pills, capsules, granulates, tablets, etc., that are difficult to identify are excluded from this flexibility.

It seems that this change is aimed, at least in part, at harmonising the de minimis threshold for postal and courier imports, as courier imports not sent by a Mexican national abroad are currently subject to a US$50 threshold (although they must also pay the applicable customs processing fee, or DTA). The special flexibility that currently allows courier shipments sent by Mexican nationals abroad to benefit from duty-free and tax-free treatment if valued at not more than US$300 will ostensibly also be eliminated come 1 March, however.

As part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Mexico committed to adopt de minimis thresholds for express shipments from the United States and Canada of at least US$50 for taxes and US$117 for customs duties, so it would appear that prior to or upon implementation of the USMCA further changes to the foreign trade rules would be required in order for Mexico to comply with the minimum US$117 de minimis threshold for duties.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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