What are the document requirements for exporting to Mexico?

International Business Opportunities

Exporting to Mexico will involve certain types of documents.

In this blog we will be looking at the following documents most frequently associated with doing business in Mexico:

  • Approved exporter status
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Commercial invoices
  • Dangerous goods
  • Duties & taxes
  • EUR 1
  • Export licences
  • Packaging list
  • Tariff Harmonised System (THS) codes

Please always seek professional and legal advice before embarking or undertaking any key aspect linked to your export business.

Approved exporter status

If you export regularly and HMRC will issue a 'no value limit' invoice declaration.

Bill of lading

Documents which are used in the shipment of goods by sea.

Originals and copies go to certain key people, including the broker, customer and shipper.

Information on the bills needs to match that shown on the invoice and the packaging list.

Certificate of origin

A document showing where the product originates from and confirmation it fulfils/complies with standards in Mexico.

Commercial invoices

Commercial invoices are required for all shipments to Mexico and should display:

  • Suppliers full name, address and tax ID number
  • Importers full name and address
  • Description of goods
  • Quantity
  • Price of the goods (per unit and total)
  • Total amount of the invoice
  • Declaration of the origin of the goods (EUR1)
    Declaration: "The prices, quantities, descriptions and origin of the goods included in this invoice are sworn to be true and correct".

Dangerous goods

There are rules and regulations regarding inner and outer packaging, what type of packaging to use, labelling, marks and also training/qualifications of the drivers allowed to transport. Having looked at some of the various sites, think it’s best to get help from the UKTI if you have dangerous goods and are starting out on your export business.

Duties and taxes

Mexico and the EU have a free trade agreement. In order for this to be work properly, the certificate of origin document is very important as it’s that document which gives EU originated goods preferential access to Mexican markets.


The EUR1 is a movement certificate and is used to claim zero duty in Mexico. It can be completed by the exporter (certificate and invoice wording should match) and can be endorsed by UK Chambers of Commerce.

Export licences

The UK Government has placed export licensing controls on certain goods. These include:

  • Goods for military use
  • Goods with radioactive sources
  • Goods of national heritage
  • Goods which have certain chemicals used in the production of controlled drugs

So if it isn’t on the list, you probably won’t need one. But speak with the UKTI or HMRC first.

Packaging list

A packaging list is normally required when there is more than one package being shipped.

Information on that packaging list includes:

  • Number of packages
  • Description of what is in/contained within each package
  • Net, gross and legal weight of each package
  • Total shipment weight

The packaging list should be accompanied with the commercial invoice.

Tariff Harmonised System code

The Harmonised System (HS) code is an international method of classifying products for export purposes. It is advised to insert the HS code or at least the first 4 digits on the certificate of origin.

Having written this blog to try and share the journey someone exporting to Mexico would go on has left my head a little fried. This stuff is all new to me and so my only true advice would be if you start to feel or think you may start to feel the weight of it all, get some expert help.

Written by Darren Elliott.

Further information about doing business in Mexico

Business Opportunities in Mexico
Interpreters & Interpreting for Mexico
Etiquette for Mexico
Mexcian Spanish vs

Why the article? You’re not experts in this field.

True, but we do strive to understand our client markets, so our clients benefit from a better level of service when it comes to translation and legalisation … www.tlcuk.biz.