How to get freight to Mexico
On July 1, 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially replaced the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and brought new requirements for shippers looking to move freight across the U.S. border. Though these changes were designed to make importing and exporting easier for businesses, shippers must still follow important steps and regulations to get their freight through customs. Learn how shipping to Mexico works and see how ArcBest can help.
Know what you can ship
Most commercial freight can be exported to Mexico as long you have the proper paperwork, but some carriers may have certain restrictions. Ask about any prohibited items to be sure you’re meeting their guidelines.
Have the right documents
While your domestic carrier will only need a Bill of Lading, the other parties involved in the shipment will need additional documents:
Includes information about the parties involved in the shipment, what goods are being transferred and where they originated. It must also have a statement and signature certifying that the invoice is true.
Shipper’s export declaration
Required by the U.S. Department of Commerce for shipments that are exported to certain countries, contain controlled items or exceed a certain dollar amount.
USMCA Certificate of Origin (if required)
While NAFTA had an official certificate of origin, USMCA will accept any document stating 9 types of information:
- Who the certifier is (importer, exporter or producer)
- Certifier contact information
- Exporter contact information
- Producer contact information
- Importer contact information
- Description and HS tariff classification of the good
- Origin criteria
- Blanket period
- Authorized signature and date
Not required for goods valued at less than $1,000 USD.
Note: Carriers must now also issue a Carta Porte Supplement in advance of the shipment. Make sure you’re communicating all necessary information to help avoid delays.
Find a freight forwarder and customs broker
Ground freight bound for Mexico travels the same way as any shipment within the U.S. until it reaches a shipping facility near the border. At that point, a freight forwarder and customs broker are required to complete the shipment since you must be a Mexican entity in order to import products into Mexico. While most carriers won’t recommend specific forwarders or brokers, they should be able to provide a list to help you hire them. It is the importer of record’s responsibility to communicate who the freight forwarder and Mexican custom’s broker are when importing any products.
Here’s how these parties work together to move freight into Mexico:
- Your domestic carrier delivers the shipment to your freight forwarder of choice, which then acts on behalf of your Mexican customs broker to prepare it to cross the border.
- The freight forwarder off loads, inspects, verifies and classifies the product being imported, makes sure customs documentation is correct and creates a pedimento (crossing document), and hires a drayage company.
- The drayage company takes the shipment over the border, presents it to Mexican customs, and delivers the freight to the carrier handling final delivery.
- The carrier delivers the shipment to the consignee.
Ship to Mexico with ArcBest
With offices located at border-crossing points and throughout Mexico, experienced bilingual support, and simplified rates and invoices, ArcBest makes it easy to get shipments into Mexico. We offer:
- Less-than-truckload and ground expedite to most locations through ABF Freight® and Panther Premium Logistics®
- Truckload services (including flatbed and other specialized equipment)
- Air shipping and hand-carry services
- Drayage services
- Single freight bill rated door-to-door
- Complete shipment tracking from U.S. origin to final destination
- Dedicated trailer pools for priority shipments
- Multiple ports of entry for door-to-door shipping
For more information or to get a quote, please contact your account manager or call 800-610-5544.