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Q.: Where will my freight cross the border?

A.: The actual border crossing depends on the location of the consignee's/importer of record's broker. CMS is able to move LTL, FTL and Rail shipments to and from all the major border crossings

Q.: What documents will I need to ship between the US and Mexico?

A.: The basic Mexican import document is the "Pedimiento de Importacion". This document must be accompanied by a commercial invoice (in Spanish), a bill of lading, and documents demonstrating guarantee of payment of additional duties for undervalued goods if applicable, and documents demonstrating compliance with Mexican product safety and performance regulations if applicable. Import documentation may be prepared and submitted by a licensed Mexican Customs broker, or by an importer with sufficient experience in completing the documents.

  • A Shipper's Bill of Lading consigning the goods to the ultimate customer in care of the Border Broker. Bills of Lading should have a complete description of the materials being shipped and include telephone numbers of all related parties, Including the name, address, and telephone number of the custom broker involved.
  • A commercial invoice describing the material in detail and including a value of the goods being shipped. A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is optional (it is not a transportation document) but it can be beneficial to your customer by identifying the materials as being covered by the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and (possibly) eligible for reduced duties. This must be issued by the exporter and does not need to be validated or formalized. Products not qualifying as North American should NOT have a NAFTA certificate of origin.

Shipments with a value over US$2,500 going to Mexico from the US will also need a completed US Shipper's Export Declaration. And CA$2000.00 from Canada Mexican Customs law is very strict regarding proper submission and preparation of customs documentation. Errors in paperwork can result in fines and confiscation of merchandise as contraband. Exporters are advised to ensure that Mexican clients employ competent, reputable Mexican importers or customs brokers.

Q.: What are the exporter's obligations in regard to the NAFTA Certificate of Origin?

A.: Exporters or producers that prepare Certificates of Origin shall provide copies to their own customs administration upon request. Exporters or producers that provide a Certificate of Origin must maintain records pertaining to the exportation for five years or such longer periods as may be specified by their country. The United States require that records be kept for five years. Exporters or producers that complete a Certificate of Origin shall notify all parties to whom the Certificate was given of any change that could affect its accuracy or validity. Please refer to NAFTA Facts documents #5000-5005.

Q.: I have been told that I need a Certificate of Origin for my product. What do I need to do to comply?

A.: Shipments to Mexico may need: 1) the NAFTA certificate of origin; or 2) a certificate of origin to determine country of origin for non-NAFTA goods. The NAFTA certificate or origin should only be used if the product qualifies as North American using the NAFTA rules of origin. Information regarding the NAFTA certificate of origin can be found on NAFTA FACTS document 5003. Information on the non-NAFTA certificate of origin may be found on document 8410.

Q.: What is a Harmonized System number?

A.: Harmonized System (HS) numbers are classification numbers assigned to identify a specific type of product. The HS number is used by Customs authorities to apply duties and taxes. These numbers are typically 6 to 10 digits long. The first 6 digits are standardized worldwide, while additional numbers are used by some governments to further distinguish products in a certain category. In the United States, HS numbers are also called Schedule B numbers. To provide tariff information, the HS number up to the 6-digit level only is required.

Q.: Do I need a Freight Forwarder/Custom Broker?

A.: When shipping between the US and Mexico, the consignee or importer of record will normally select a Custom Broker to handle the clearance activities at the border. CMS Shipping can offer you Mexican, American and Canadian Customs clearance at any crossing border.

Make CMS Shipping your Mexican partner and we will take care of it all.

Simplifying cross border solutions with 20 years of experience.

One Number with Endless Solutions 1 (844) 688-8600. On Time All the Time!


Call: 1 (844) 688-8600
We have the expertise and infrastructure to ensure that your freight will be delivered on time with a solution that meets your schedule and budget.
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