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Arrival at the Border

a)     Transfer and/or Reloading

 

Transfer or reloading of goods usually is done on the US border side and before crossing the border. To this end, a Mexican carrier has to enter the US with his truck. Usually, this maneuver takes place in an authorized warehouse or cold storage, and it consists of shifting /mounting the refrigerated container carrying the goods from the US truck onto the Mexican truck. The objective is for the Mexican truck with the refrigerated container to cross the border, enter Mexico and transit in the Mexican territory without any inconvenience. This is because there is a special permit required for US truckers by the Mexican Government to drive on Mexican highways. This is done with most of the shipping companies since it is more practical for them.
 

It is common for the forwarder of the load and the Customs Broker to be the same company or the same company group. This facilitates communication, and thus, it speeds up the exportation process. 

Once in the warehouse or cold storage of the load re-forwarder (on the US side of the border), a pre-inspection is recommended.
 

If any US shipping company is interested in getting a permit before the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation to enter with its trucks into Mexico and deliver the goods in the final destination, the following link may be reviewed:   http://www.sct.gob.mx/transporte-y-medicina- preventiva/autotransporte-federal/temas-internacionales/autotransporte-transfronterizo-mexico- estados-unidos/

 

b) Entry into the Bonded Warehouse

 

i. When the customs review is carried out before the OISA’s inspection
 

The trucker of the shipping company shall find the signage at the entry, and go to one of the modules according to the automated system for importation at customs, and give the person in charge of the module the pedimento for the goods in question. Then, he shall follow the fiscal route and pull over in one of the customs review platforms if the result at the module is Customs Review (Red Traffic Light). Otherwise, he goes to the exit/completed module to exit the bonded warehouse towards the external verification site that has been hired to perform inspection of goods by the animal health authority (SENASICA).

 

 

ii. If OISA’s Inspection Takes Place before the Customs Review

The trucker shall find the signage at the entry and show that he has an appointment with the Customs Broker at the Sanitary Verification and Inspection Point (PVIZ). Then, he will go to the bonded warehouse where the internal PVIZ is located, which has been hired to carry out the inspection of goods by the animal health authority (SENASICA). He shall pull over in the platform he is indicated, and wait for the inspection to take place. Once, the inspection is finished, he shall wait for the instructions by the Customs Broker, so he is given the pedimento covering the goods and so he can follow the fiscal route to go to the automatic-selection modules of importation at customs and to follow the steps indicated in paragraph 1 until he leaves the exit/completed module.

 

c) Initiation of Inspection by SENASICA
 

i. Mexican Foreign Trade Digital Window (VDMCE)

The single window (VDMCE) is intended to allow individuals, through an electronic one-stop shop, to carry out applications regarding importations, exportations and foreign trade transit of goods, in accordance to the steps stated in the Decree, and given the case, those defined by the corresponding Mexican authorities for foreign trade.
 

Use conditions:

https://www.ventanillaunica.gob.mx/vucem/otros/CondicionesdeusoVUCEM2017.pdf

On the 14th of January, 2011, the Decree creating VDMCE System was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation.

https://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5174688&fecha=14/01/2011

 

The VDMCE system will automatically generate four types of folio numbers, which SENASICA’s authorized inspectors will manage in the portal depending on the stage of the paperwork process:
 

For folio numbers with a 200 included, this refers to the entering procedure for document review. If this phase is met satisfactorily, it will trigger a Document Review Opinion letter. An example of a request folio number under document review would be: 1502200200320137033000004.
 

When the folio number contains a 500, this is a physical inspection request which triggers an Importation Certificate. An example of a physical inspection request would be: 1502200500120137002000113.
 

When the folio number contains a 600, this refers to a modification request. An example would be: 150220160012137002000001.
 

When the folio number contains a 700, this refers to a deferral request or renewal of a previously issued certificate. Example: 150220070012137002000001.
 

The folio number of a released importation certificate will be 17 digits in length. It is made up in the following way: 3 digits: Customs; 2 digits: OISA; 2 digits: inspection site; 4 digits: year; and consecutive 6 digits. Example: 23039102013002819.
 

For more information, consult the General Guide for the certification of goods regulated by SADER, imported for commercial purposes. Available at:

https://www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/868776/Gu_a_Comercial_Nuevo_formato_01_Noviembre_2023.pdf

ii. Verification and documentary review
 

The role of the Customs Broker:

The Customs Broker hired by the party interested in importing poultry goods into Mexico shall verify that the goods in accordance to their tariff classification are registered in the “Agreement Setting Forth the Merchandise Classification and Codification whose Importation is Regulated by SADER, through SENASICA” as published in the Official Gazette on September 3, 2012 and its subsequent modifications. This information is contained in the following links:

 

http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5266223&fecha=03/09/2012

 

The Customs Broker shall verify that the merchandise requirements in question are included in the module of animal health requirements for importation in the following link:

 https://sistemasssl.senasica.gob.mx/mcrz/muestraComb2.jsf 

 

The Customs Broker shall file the application before OISA to get the importation certificate.

 

This application shall be submitted through the One-Stop Shop on the following link. www.ventanillaunica.gob.mx/vucem/index.htm or on SENASICA’s web page: https://www.gob.mx/senasica

or in person at the OISA where the merchandise will be crossing.

 

What OISA’s Staff Do:
 

The OISA in question will resolve the importation certificate request through the same way it was requested.
 

OISA’s staff in question will verify that the application submitted to the VDMCE contains the correct information in accordance with the goods to be imported, and it will review the following items in accordance with the Article 89 of the Federal Animal Health Act and 61 of the By-laws.

 

The information declared in the VDMCE must be the same as the digital documentation and the international zoosanitary certificate.

 

  • Application form.

 

  • Customs, OISA, inspection site, type of request, request, international animal health certificate, tariff classification, description, unit of measure, country of origin, country of departure, use, and species.

 

  • Domestic mobilization information, transportation, first federal verification point upon crossing. If the user does not know the information of the carrier of goods, this section can be left blank, or if there are different license plates, it shall be indicated that the listing will be attached as a document, making sure it is in the corresponding section.

 

  • Destination and exporter with full address. When there is more than one exporter, verify that the one with the largest volume is listed. The address of the destination often is the same as the business address.

 

  • Information regarding payment shall be correctly entered in the corresponding section, proof of payment and the payment key shall match the one declared, and shall correspond with the formality in question. Data entered by hired Customs Broker and to be reviewed by OISA’s staff are: bank, date, access key, amount paid and DPA reference code.
     

  • The number and type of presentation of the goods; the number of pallets must be declared as mentioned in the shipment, for example:
     

  • Presentation: Pallets.
     

  • Quantity: 20.
     

  • Type: Boxes.

 

Attached documents shall match the data entered and meet the requirements or measures indicated in the combinations or digitalized official letters by the Customs Broker.
 

iii. Verification and Physical Inspection
 

In order to ensure compliance with requirements for the importation of goods regulated and to guarantee the sanitary condition of goods, before the issuance of the importation certificate, SENASICA will physically inspect the goods to be imported into Mexico to make sure they comply with all requirements established in the zoosanitary requirements sheet (HRZ) applicable legal provisions, as the case may be.

 

Once the Customs Broker hired by the party importing goods into Mexico has obtained the “200” folio number by OISA (which makes sure that the document review was correct), he shall request the physical inspection of the goods through the VDMCE. This will take place once there is certainty regarding the shipment crossing to avoid errors in the process. This will take place once there is certainty regarding the shipment crossing to avoid errors in the process.

When the regulations indicate that the goods shall arrive strapped to the entry point, and due to logistics, it is necessary to change the load from a foreign vehicle to a Mexican one, or due to the review by other authorities, OISA’s staff may consider the following:

 

It may verify the rupture of the strapping when, due to logistics, it is necessary to change the load from a foreign vehicle to a Mexican one, taking into account the following:

 

a) The person in charge of OISA shall evaluate (based on staff, operations and scheduled activities) if some staff member will do the verification of the strapping.

 

b) OISA’s staff will check the integrity of the strapping and that the number matches with the declaration on the international sanitary certificate issued by the Country of Origin.

 

c) If they match, they will break the strapping, and this will be stated on the back of the international sanitary certificate, including: date, name and signature of the person in charge.

 

d) The Customs Broker’s representative hired by the person interested in importing goods to Mexico will give the documents to the OISA’s staff, and he shall take them to the inspection site, writing the SADER strapping number that will be given by OISA personnel in order to continue the process.

 

It will be verified that the identification present in the boxes corresponds to what is declared in the documentation of the merchandise to be imported.

In the physical inspection of products and byproducts of animal origin in boxes and combos, OISA’s staff will do as follows:

 

  1. PVIZI will unload 100% of the goods of the container in the inspection area.

  2. Will verify that 100% of the cases or combos are well identified. In the case of meat, variety meats and offals, the following shall be presented:

  3. Origin label in English with the generic product name, net weight in kg, plant’s name and number, as well as the pack date.

 

Label in Spanish with the following information, and which matches what is stated on the international sanitary certificate:
 

  1. Country of Origin.

  2. Authorized plant’s name and number

  3. Authorized plant’s address.

  4. Product name.

  5. Legend: “Manténgase en refrigeración” (“Keep refrigerated”) or “Manténgase en congelación” (“Keep frozen”) as the case may be.
     

All boxes or combos shall visibly bear the inspection stamp by the corresponding health authority from the Country of Origin, as well as the lot number specified in the international sanitary certificate.

 

For refrigerated products in boxes or combos, OISA’s staff will carry out the sensory examination of one piece of one of the selected boxes or selected pieces from the combos. The rest will be visually verified, and the sampling will be done to send to the lab. 

 

The sensory inspection (sight, touch, smell) will be done to detect anomalies and/or alteration in color, smell, foreign material and uncommon consistency for the goods to be imported.

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iv. Opinion on the Formalities
 

OISA’s staff shall:
 

1. Allow the process to continue if there were not any non-compliances during physical inspection of the goods.
 

2. Deny the process when:
 

a) Goods do not match the one on the documentation.

b) According to NOM-159-SSA1-1996 Mexican Official Standard, one(some) limit(s) is(are) not complied with for the required items.

c) When the rejection is for some product lot, documentation and product shall be stamped with the legend “Rechazado” (“Rejected”).
 

3. In case of a partial rejection of goods of a load, the formality modification may be requested as long as the return or destruction of the rejected goods is verified.
 

4. Verify that the transportation is clean and disinfected for the load.
 

v.  Modification, renewal of Certificates Issued by SENASICA.
 

When an importation certificate issued by SENASICA shows orthographic errors and/or typos, as long as they do not compromise the safety of goods and the identification of shipments, it will not lose its validity. Thus, no modifications or corrections will be required.
 

A renewal (deferral due to expiration date); or modification (incorrect or missing data) of zoosanitary health certificate, may be requested as long as the fee equivalent to 50% of the importation certificate is paid, in accordance to Article 86-A of the Government Service Charges Law in effect (Refer to the Standards Section). The replacement of the document may be requested through the VDMCE Portal. An acknowledgment of receipt will be obtained for the replacement request. If available, the pedimento will be attached, as well as the previous importation certificate issued by SENASICA, and the tariff classification resolution opinion issued by CUSTOMS AUTHORITY, and, given the case, the change of the tariff classification derived from a Customs Review.
 

In case of a renewal of the importation certificate issued by SENASICA, it may only be requested once. (Each Certificate is effective for 8 calendar days to be used in importation clearance).
 

d) Replacement or “In lieu of” Certificate

 

Egg products.
 

It is issued to correct minor data or typos, or in case of loss of the export health certificate, in situations, such as:
 

  • The original certificate did not have the required information.

  • The original certificate had incorrect information (typos).

  • The name of the consignee or importer has changed.

  • The certificate is lost or damaged.

 

To request a modification or replacement of the export health certificate, the exporter may:
 

a) Request it at USDA’s office at the border in question as long as there are personnel to take care of said request.
 

b) In case there is no personnel at the border, it shall be requested before USDA’s official at the establishment or plant where the original export health certificate was issued.
 

In both instances, an email shall be sent with a document/free text letter indicating the reasons for the request, as well as supplementing such request with form FSIS 9060-6, and the original certificate with its 4 copies shall be returned, except that the original certificate had been lost.
 

In case the original certificate has been lost, the exporter shall declare on the document/letter before USDA’s certifying official that if the original certificate is found, it will be returned.
 

The exporter shall request the replacement certificate within ninety days if the product is not frozen or is not stable. If the product is frozen or stable, the exporter has 364 days to request a replacement certificate.
 

A replacement certificate for a lot does not represent the current condition of that lot. 
 

The replacement certificate must be dated with the same date appearing on the original certificate.
 

Multiple export certificates may be issued to replace an original one if the exported product was subdivided to send to more than one consignee, and if each one of the parties demands an export certificate, as long as:
 

1. The lot has originally been manifested in sufficient detail to allow a direct correlation of the corresponding containers identification and weights on the new certificate; and

2. The original certificate is returned to be cancelled.
 

No replacement, or “in lieu of”, certificate may be issued in cases where the problem, failure or inconsistency has been of a healthy nature.

 

e) Inspection process by the customs authority (SAT)

 

For the initiation of this process, it is understood that the vehicle with the goods had been previously presented in the automated selection module.
 

i. Fee customs clearance (Green Traffic Light)
 

It is the result of the automated selection process which allows to clear merchandise without a review from CUSTOMS AUTHORITY, that is to say, once the carrier submits the pedimento to the modules and the pedimento has been scanned and a “free clearance” has been obtained, the carrier may go to the exit module of Customs to continue on to its final destination.

 

ii. Customs review (Red Traffic Light)
 

Once the trucker submits the pedimento in the automated selection modules, the pedimento has been scanned and the “customs review” is over, he will have to go to the designated platform and pull over in one of the lanes to begin with the Customs Review by the official allocated by the Integral Automated Customs System (SAAI) by CUSTOMS AUTHORITY.

 

1. The verifier will visualize and get the Customs Document Number subject to Customs Review by the Review System (SIREM).
 

2. The verifier runs a search of the Customs Document in the remote consultation (internal) system.
 

3. The verifier reviews the Customs Document, matching the information of the Customs review therein contained.
 

4. The verifier physically inspects the goods.
 

5. The verifier identifies if it is difficult to identify goods, if this is the case, he continues with the process, otherwise he will move to number 6.


5.1 The verifier requests support from the Sampling Support Area (UTAM)

5.2 The sampling process for goods at Customs begins.
 

6. If the verifier detects any irregularity during the Customs Review, if it is the case, he continues with the process. Otherwise he will move to item 7. 


6.1 The verifier informs his or her direct boss about the detected irregularity.

6.2 The verifier records in the SIREM System the incident detected.

6.3 If the verifier frames the incidence as a simple one, he/she continues with the process, otherwise he/she moves to item 6.4.7.1 

 

6.3.1 The verifier fills out a Record of Circumstances.

6.3.2 He initiates the simple incident settling process in Customs Review. 

6.4 The verifier frames the detected incidence as a serious incidence. 

6.5 The verifier fills out a Record of Circumstances indicating the facts and retention of goods, and submits the documentation to the Legal Department.

6.6 The subprocess continues in the Legal Department.

7. The verifier decides if he asks for Gamma Rays help. If so, he continues with the process, otherwise he moves to number 8.


7.1 The verifier delivers a copy of the Customs Document to the driver. 

7.2 The verifier tells the driver to go to the Gamma Rays module to have the goods scanned. 

7.3 The Gamma Rays operator scans the vehicle sent by the verifier from the importation platform.

7.4 The Gamma Rays operator gets the image and notifies the verifier to review the image. 

7.5 The verifier based on the image scanned by the Gamma Rays operator and his own review, determines if there is any irregularity and continues with the process. If no irregularities are found, he continues with the process moving to number 9. 


7.5.1 The verifier physically inspects the goods, trying to identify the irregularity observed in the image, and continues with the process moving to item 6.1.
 

8. The verifier decides if he requests support from the Non-Intrusive Inspection (RNI). If this is the case, he continues with the process, otherwise he moves to item 9.


8.1 He starts the X Rays review (RNI) for the importation at the border Customs point.
 

9. The verifier carries out the certification and releases the Customs Document and vehicle.
 

10. The exit module operation process in the bonded warehouse at the border Customs site starts.

 

iii.Transit to the Final Destination
 

Once the goods have been inspected (under the Red Traffic Light) either by staff from SENASICA and CUSTOMS AUTHORITY, or if the pedimento Customs clearance was the result of the modulation with the Green Traffic Light, the driver shall go to the final destination with the goods: a warehouse, retailer or Federally Inspected Establishment (TIF). Under no circumstance, the driver shall detour anywhere else.

 

At all times, the box or container transporting the goods shall remain closed unless an authority, i.e. the Navy, Army or Federal Police requests to open it for national security reasons to verify it is not carrying goods different from those declared. It is important for the driver to keep the importer informed if a circumstance like this takes place. And he shall request the authority who opens the transportation, if possible, to provide a document or report of the search.

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