Trade with Mexico
This guidance provides information on changes to certain aspects of trade that are covered by the UK-Mexico agreement. It is for UK businesses trading with Mexico.
UK-Mexico Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA)
The UK has signed a trade agreement with Mexico which came into force on 1 June 2021.
What the agreement includes
The continuity agreement includes provisions on:
- trade in goods - including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas, rules of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary measures
- trade in services
- intellectual property, including geographical indications
- government procurement
Tariff rates on goods
Preferential tariff rates for bilateral trade in goods between the UK and Mexico continue to apply as set out in the agreement. In some cases, the applied preferential rates for imports into the UK have been adjusted due to changes in the UK’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff schedule (for example, removing of the entry price regime and certain complex agricultural duties).
For a short period, from 1 January until the agreement entered into force, goods entering Mexico from the UK were subject to MFN tariffs. However, businesses are able to claim back (from the Mexican Government) any tariffs paid in excess in this temporary period. Further details on this can be found in the side letters exchanged with Mexico. The Mexican Government has also issued specific guidance on the rebate scheme and how to claim back any tariffs paid in excess during this temporary period.
You can use online tools trade with the UK and check how to export goods to check product-specific and country-specific information on tariffs and regulations that currently apply to UK trade in goods. These tools are regularly updated to reflect any changes.
Tariff rate quotas (TRQs)
Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) are being applied. Utilisation before the TCA enters into force have been deducted from the volumes in the TCA. TRQs in the TCA have been tailored specifically to the UK.
Further details on this can be found in the side letters that were exchanged with Mexico and that form part of the TCA.
To find out the TRQs, see table 4 of the parliamentary report.
Rules of origin
Claiming preferential rates for your exports from the UK
Unless you are permitted to provide an origin declaration, you will need to fill in a certificate of origin to claim preferential treatment.
The UK continues to use the EUR1 format for movement certificates with trade partners that have mutual FTAs with the EU, including Mexico. These movement certificates are identical to those previously in use, but the place of origin on the certificate is now marked as the United Kingdom instead of the European Community. EUR1 certificates of origin that have been updated to show the UK are now available from your usual provider, such as the chambers of commerce.
If you previously used an EUR1 form with a mutual EU trading partner, you can use the new EUR1 form that shows the UK as the place of origin.
Using EU materials and processing in your exports to Mexico
You can use EU materials or processing in your exports to Mexico. The UK and Mexico must have fulfilled the necessary requirements set out in the Incorporated Rules of Origin Protocol and Annexes in the TCA. You must also ensure the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in TCA and the other relevant conditions are met.
For example, you cannot simply package or label a product from the EU and export it to Mexico as a good originating in the UK.
See the list of operations which are insufficient in Incorporated Article 7 of the Rules of Origin Protocol.
If you use EU materials or processing in your exports to Mexico, you need to submit evidence to the Mexican customs authorities. See Integrated Article 3.a, paragraph 6(c) for details.
Sending your goods to Mexico through the EU and other countries
Goods transited through the EU are not subject to the same restrictions as those in transit through other countries.
For example, you are able to split a consignment in the EU when exporting goods to Mexico, provided the goods comprising the consignment have not cleared customs in the EU.
Transit through any other country is possible provided your goods remain under customs surveillance and do not undergo operations other than unloading, reloading or any operation designed to preserve them in good condition.
Origin quotas in the TCA have been tailored specifically to the UK. Please see table 6 listed in the agreement Parliamentary report, which details the origin quotas.
Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)
The approvals for Mexico’s commodities and establishments continues to be recognised. The UK’s import pre-notification system IPAFFS (the UK’s Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System) includes:
- approved exporting establishments listed on TRACES (the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System)
- approved establishments added to TRACES during the transition period
These establishments therefore remain eligible for export to the UK.
Find guidance on the import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).
See guidance on how to apply for an export health certificate.
The UK will accept most goods that meet EU requirements on product safety for a time limited period. There are also requirements for the use of a UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark for goods sold in Great Britain. The UKCA mark covers most goods which previously required the CE marking.
The government has published guidance on:
- placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain
- using the UKCA marking
- Conformity assessment and accreditation
If you are selling goods in Mexico, you need to meet the regulatory requirements as set out in Mexican law.
Providing services in Mexico
If you’re a UK business who provided services in or to Mexico before 1 January 2021, the way you provide these services and the access you have to certain services markets in Mexico will now have changed.
Mexico may have imposed new trade restrictions on some types of services. You may now no longer have the right to provide some services, or to provide some services in particular ways, in or to Mexico. If in doubt about how the services you provide to Mexico are affected, you should contact the relevant regulatory body in Mexico.
You also need to follow the terms set out in Mexico’s legislation. This might include:
- getting an authorisation or licence to provide a service
- complying with local business regulations
- abiding by Mexican nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors
If in doubt, consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Mexico to help you comply with specific regulations. You can also contact your local chamber of commerce for advice. The authoritative source for Mexican market regulations is the Mexican Government.
Providing services in the United Kingdom
If you are a Mexican business providing services in the UK you will trade on the terms set out in the UK’s proposed WTO GATS schedule. This proposed services schedule replicates as far as possible the UK’s previous obligations such as they exist in the schedules of the European Union. The terms set out in the services schedule form the basis of the UK’s trade policy whilst the certification process is being completed.
Read the UK’s proposed WTO GATS schedule of specific commitments and list of Article II (MFN) exemptions.
The UK and Mexico have a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which will remain unaffected. Investment protections between the UK and Mexico remain unchanged.
An e-notification service called Find a Tender (FTS) is used to post and view UK public sector procurement notices. Businesses are able to use FTS to view public procurement notices published by UK contracting authorities.
UK businesses bidding for future tenders in Mexico
The UK-Mexico TCA provides each party with access to certain procurement markets of the other. UK businesses may no longer receive guaranteed non-discriminatory access to Mexican procurement tenders.
Businesses undertaking or considering government procurement bids in Mexico should contact the relevant procurement authority or obtain specific legal advice.
Mexican businesses bidding for future tenders in the UK
Following entry into force of the TCA, the UK continues to grant Mexican businesses the same non-discriminatory treatment that they previously received under the EU agreement until midnight on 31 December 2021. After this period Mexican businesses may no longer receive guaranteed non-discriminatory access to UK procurement tenders.
Existing procurement bids
Any government procurement bids in Mexico or the UK that were accepted and contracted before the 1 January 2021 are not affected. UK businesses undertaking or considering government procurement bids in Mexico from 1 January 2021 onwards are encouraged to contact the relevant procurement authority or obtain specific legal advice.
Most forms of intellectual property (IP) protection upon which UK businesses rely have not changed. UK businesses can still benefit from the IP protection they have already secured in Mexico. They are able to apply for new IP protections as before.
Geographical Indications (GIs)
Geographical indications (GIs) protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products. The UK-Mexico Spirits Agreement, which includes GIs, was signed on 30 November 2020 but is not yet in force.
Irish Whiskey/Whisky, Irish Poteen and Irish Cream will be protected as GIs in Mexico under the UK-Mexico Spirits Agreement when it enters into force. These can be produced anywhere on the island of Ireland.
Tequila is already protected as a GI in the UK. The other names in the UK-Mexico Spirits Agreement will be added to the UK’s GI register as soon as the Spirits Agreement enters into force.