Becoming a Cross-Border Business: 9 Tips for Shipping from the US to Mexico

shipping from US to Mexico

Want to open up your business to a larger market? Then consider shipping from the US to Mexico!

Shipping to Mexico gives you access to over 125 million potential customers. Who wouldn’t want that?

Knowing how to ship to Mexico is the problem. The country has stringent packaging requirements, and customs can delay some shipments by several daysor even weeks.

Luckily, we know the best ways to ship to Mexico. Want to learn more, and see how you can improve your business’ customer base, with no extra effort on your part?

Then read on, and start taking advantage of one of the world’s top emerging markets!

1. Have Your Documents Prepared Before Shipping

Before you send off your cargo, make sure you have all the necessary documents attached. These include a letter of instructions, a bill of lading, a commercial invoice, and a packing list.

You will also need to have arranged a Mexican customs broker for the package. If you’re shipping with us, we will have that arranged for you.

Cargo inspections at the border warehouse can add significant times when shipping from the US to Mexico. Some couriers offer expedited services, which will be able to clear customs more quickly.

2. Ensuring Your Importer is Legal

When shipping to Mexico, you must ensure that your importer is legally registered. The importer needs to be on the Padron de Importadores, a master list of registered importers in Mexico.

This is done for tax purposes, with those on the register having to pay tax. if your importer isn’t legally registered, you could lose cargo, business, and cash.

3. Understand How Shipping from the US to Mexico Works

The process of shipping to Mexico isn’t much different from shipping domestically. However, there are a couple of important stops along the way.

The process works like this:

  • Your carrier will take your load, and drive to the Mexican border.
  • The shipment’s documents will be checked by the driver and Mexican customs agent.
  • You will be required to pay pedimento, or import tax, before it can be cleared by customs.
  • Your cargo will cross the border and will likely be inspected by customs.
  • Once across the border, the driver will take the goods and deliver it to its final destination.

4. Shipping by Air

If you’d like the speediest possible service, consider shipping to Mexico by air. Having your cargo shipped to Mexico by plane can take as little as one day. If your items are extremely time-sensitive, this could be the best option for you. The process for this is similar, except on some occasions you are able to clear at the airport once your cargo arrives in Mexico instead of at the border.

5. Ensure That Your Cargo is Legal

Even if your cargo is entirely legal in the United States, it could pose a problem to Mexican authorities. It isn’t only obvious items like narcotics and weapons that could pose a problem, either.

Some perfectly legal medication in the United States is illegal under Mexican law, as their regulations can be strikingly different from our own. Check the medication’s legal status in Mexico before shipping.

Another less obvious example is second-hand clothing. It is illegal to ship used clothes or shoes that aren’t your own, so sending items bought in Goodwill is out of the question. This is despite Northern Mexico having a strong business culture around reselling clothes.

Predatory fish are also illegal to ship to Mexico. This law is in place to protect the country’s ecosystem.

6. Determine Your Item’s Value

Some carriers have limits on the value of items that they are willing to ship to Mexico.

The goods’ value will also determine whether an import certificate is required at the Mexican border, or eligible for NAFTA certification.

7. Ensure that Your Load is Packed Securely

When you pack your cargo for shipping from the US to Mexico, make sure that it is securely packed. This is particularly true with fragile cargo. Ensure your items are securely crated, strapped and banded before loading onto the truck.

While your courier will be as gentle as possible with your cargo, accidents do happen. Customs agents have also been known to break fragile items by mistake.

8. Consider Insuring Your Cargo

Talk to your carrier about insurance for your freight. The costs of this will depend on the value of the cargo.

This way, if the cargo breaks or is lost in transit, you will not have lost money. Cargo insurance is not standard in Mexico, you must specifically ask for it from your carrier.

9. Make Sure the Carrier Has All the Consignee’s Information

It’s easy to ship to Mexico, but we will need a range of information on the recipient. Without this information, shipping will be impossible.

Your carrier will need the recipient’s:

  1. Company Name
  2. Full address
  3. Phone number
  4. Tax identification number, or RFC number
  5. Email Address
  6. Contact Name
  7. Delivery Number (if required)

Final Thoughts on Shipping to Mexico

Are you ready to start shipping from the US to Mexico? The process is easy, and once you’ve done it the first time, your next shipments will be a breeze.

We guarantee that we’ll do everything we can to help make shipping to Mexico as easy as possible, no matter whether you’re a novice or a veteran.

Got any questions for us? Ready to get a quote for your cargo? Then get in touch with us, and we’ll answer any questions that you might have.