Frequently Asked Questions

Mexico offers a wide range of opportunities for U.S. businesses. Nearly 50,000 American small and medium-sized companies already export to Mexico and it is the second leading export market for U.S. companies, after Canada. Besides its geographic advantages, Mexico is an attractive market because of strong legal protections, macroeconomic and political stability, and due to benefits from the North American Free Trade agreement.

There are some differences between American and Mexican business cultures. For example in Mexico there is a culture of indirectness, especially in regards to saying “no.” Work relationships may be more rigid and dress more formal. Also, not meeting business deadlines may not necessarily mean a Mexican company is not interested. Businesspeople in Mexico like to spend some time getting to know you before talking business. It is very important to have face-to-face meetings early in your dealings with potential partners.

The short answer is most of them. For more information please review Chapter 4 of the Country Commercial Guide.

Typically, Mexican importers expect to receive some sort of payment terms when purchasing from U.S. exporters. As interest rates are much higher in Mexico than in the U.S. a good strategy is to get to know the services the U.S. Export-Import Bank has to offer, such as various term loans and export credit insurance programs.

Pirated products in Mexico are perceived as an affordable way to have access to similar quality products. To protect your intellectual property work with an IPR lawyer to obtain a trademark/patent locally, as having a U.S. patent will not be sufficient. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for more information

There are many ways to get your products to Mexico, whether by truck, rail, port or air cargo, with about 80 percent of merchandise entering via truck. Remember that third party logistics can greatly simplify your cross border shipping process.

Due to Mexico’s regional concentration, local representation will yield better results than a single, nation-wide distributor. Also, you may consider partnering with a Mexican entity as this has certain benefits like permission to participate in federal procurement tenders and to sell to the Mexican military, defense units, and/or police.

Mexican customs are strict about importation. Be sure to have all proper documentation included with the shipment.   If your product qualifies for NAFTA status and you are completing a NAFTA certificate of origin, some frequent mistakes made by U.S. exporters include incomplete importer/exporter information and lack of detailed descriptions of the shipment.

Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business. However, violence among transnational criminal organizations has created insecurity in some parts of Mexico. Prior to traveling to Mexico it is recommended to review the Department of State’s Travel Alerts.