International Affairs Division (IAD)

Mexico


LABELING REQUIREMENTS

Labeling requirements for beverage alcohol products (beverages with an alcohol content between 2% and 55% by volume) are outlined in Mexican regulation NOM-142-SSA1-1995.  Labels must include the following information, in Spanish:

  • Name/brand name of the product
  • Type of product (e.g. wine, malt beverage, etc.)
  • Net content (in metric units)
  • Country of origin (e.g. “Producto de ______”)
  • Name/company name and address of the importer
  • Alcohol content (followed by “% alc. vol.”)
  • Lot number
  • Warning statement which reads: El abuso en el consumo de este producto es nocivo para la salud” [Abuse of this product is hazardous to your health], as per Article 218 of the General Health Law
  • Beverages that contain aspartame must include the following statement: “Fenilcetonúricos: Contiene fenilalanina".
  • Beverages that contain 50g or more of sorbitol must include the following statement: “Contiene sorbitol: El abuso de éste edulcorante puede causar efectos laxantes”.
  • Specialty products and cocktails must include a list of ingredients, to be included directly after the term “Ingredientes:” -- these must be listed in the decreasing order of their percentage of the product's total composition

Please note that the name, type, and content of the product must be on the principal label of the product.  All other information may be placed on any other label.

Specifically for wine coolers and other similar products:

  • Name and address of the importer or Federal tax registry number
  • Warning statement which reads:El abuso en el consumo de este producto es nocivo para la salud” [Abuse of this product is hazardous to your health], as per Article 218 of the General Health Law

Specifically for brandy products:

  • The word “Brandy” must be in a conspicuous location on the label and as well as the wording “100% de uvas [100% from grapes]”.  The importer must be able to prove the veracity of this claim.

Upon request by the Ministry of Economy, the Mexican importer may be required to provide information on the producer of the beverage, including the producer’s name, address, etc.

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REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The following is a list of the documents that must be presented in order for the imported product to be released from the Mexican Customs authorities.

  • Importation Declaration (Pedimento de Importación)
  • Commercial invoice -- must include issue date and place, name and address of the consignee, detailed listing of goods (including quantities, types, identification numbers, unit value, etc.), and name and address of supplier
  • Bill of lading or Airway Bill of lading
  • Sanitary import notice (to be done on company letterhead, and which should contain the name of the product, quantity, name and address of the producer, name and address of the importer, the port of entry, and the applicable import tariff numbers.  The letter should be addressed to the Secretaria de Salud [Ministry of Health])
  • NAFTA Certificate of origin (as applicable), in order to obtain NAFTA tariff benefits
  • Certificate of Free Sale (U.S. exporters can request these through TTB.  Visit our Export Documents section for more information)

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LICENSING

The following steps are required of importers in Mexico who are seeking to import beverage alcohol from abroad.  U.S. exporters are advised to obtain the services of an experienced and reputable importer (through various sources, including through the U.S. gricultural Trade Office in Mexico City) who will import their products into Mexico.  The information below is provided in order to help exporters understand U.S./Mexico trade requirements.

Importers of beverage alcohol products must first register in the Registro Federal de Contribuyentes (Federal Taxpayers Registry or RFC), before commencing business.  This process is to be completed with the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT).

Importers must subsequently enroll in the Padrón de Importadores” (or Registry of Importers) and also in the “Padrón de Importadores de Sectores Específicos” (Registry of Importers in Specific Sectors).  This last requirement is applicable to importers of various products, including wines, spirits, beer, cigarettes, and denatured alcohol products.

For enrollment in the “Padrón de Importadores”, importers must apply online, at http://www.aduanas.gob.mx, filling out the application titled “Solicitud de Inscripción al Padrón de Importadores”.  In order to complete this process, the importer is required to have an advanced electronic signature issued by SAT and an active RFC.  The importer will also be required to register all of the Customs brokers that will clear shipments on their behalf*.

*Please note that importers are required to retain the services of a Customs broker or in-house Customs agent.

After enrollment in the “Padrón de Importadores”, the importer should proceed to register in the “Padrón de Importadores de Sectores Específicos” by filling out the SAT registration form as well as submitting company documents attesting to the company’s establishment (e.g. act of incorporation), a copy of the requestor’s ID, and a power of attorney, if applicable.

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IMPORT PROCEDURES

Mexican law permits only customs brokers to file requests for the clearance of goods through Customs.  Clearance is done electronically, through a system called SAAI (Sistema Aduanero Automatizado Integral).

Customs brokers must submit a Pedimento de Importación (Import Declaration) to Customs through the SAAI system.  The Pedimento is then validated by Customs.

Once the Pedimento is validated, the customs broker pays all applicable duties and taxes on behalf of the importer. The Pedimento is then presented to a Customs official who reviews the documentation and approves/disapproves it.  An inspection may be done subsequently (these are done on a random basis) and then final clearance is granted.

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INDUSTRIAL ALCOHOL

Importers of industrial alcohol must register in the “Padrón de Importadores” (or Registry of Importers) as well as the “Padrón de Importadores de Sectores Específicos” (Registry of Importers in Specific Sectors).  Importers should follow the same steps as those listed in the Licensing section, above, for registration procedures.

Labeling for denatured alcohol packaging must be in accordance with NOM-050-SCFI-2004, which requires the minimum following information:

  • Generic name of the product, when it is not easily identifiable by the consumer
  • Net content (in metric units)
  • Name and address, including postal code and city and state of the importer (this information may be added after importation into Mexico, but before being entered into commerce)
  • Country of origin statement (e.g. “Producto de…” or “Manufacturado en…”)
  • Warning statement (if the product is toxic or potentially dangerous)

According to Mexican import laws, the importation of denatured alcohol is exempt from duties ONLY when the importer has a written declaration certifying that the goods have not benefitted from the U.S. Sugar Reexport Program.  In the case where this declaration is not present, the standard duty of 10% + 0.36 applies.  For more information on taxes and tariffs, please refer to the Taxes/Tariffs section below.

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TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Importers of tobacco products must register in the “Padrón de Importadores” (or Registry of Importers) as well as the “Padrón de Importadores de Sectores Específicos” (Registry of Importers in Specific Sectors).  Importers should follow the same steps as those listed in the Licensing section, above, for registration procedures.

Labeling for tobacco products is regulated by the recently passed Ley General Para el Control del Tabaco (General Law for Tobacco Control); however, the implementing regulations for this Law have not yet been issued.  As such, the Ley General de Salud (General Health Law) will stay in effect until such date.  This law requires that 25% of one side of the package (front or back) contain one of the following health warnings:

  • Dejar de fumar, reduce importantes riesgos en la salud” (Stop smoking, this reduces many health risks)
  • Fumar es causa de cáncer y enfisema pulmonar” (Smoking causes cancer and emphysema)
  • Fumar durante el embarazo, aumenta el riesgo de parto prematuro y de bajo peso en el recién nacido” (Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth and of low weight in the newborn child)

In addition, another side must also include another of the above warnings.

For information on taxes and tariffs on tobacco products, please refer to the Taxes/Tariffs section below.

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TAXES/TARIFFS

All alcoholic beverages sold in Mexico are subject to Mexico’s 16% value added tax (VAT). In addition, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and denatured alcohol are also subject to the Impuesto Especial de Productos y Servicios or IEPS (Special Tax on Products and Services).  See below for tax rates.

Commodity

IEPS (Special Tax)

Beverage with alcohol content up to 14%

25%

Beverage with alcohol content above 14% and up to 20%

30%

Beverage with alcohol content above 20%

50%

Denatured alcohol

50%

Cigarettes

160%

Cigars and other tobacco

160%

Handmade cigars and other such tobacco

30.4%

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CONTACTS

U.S. Embassy, Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Col. Cuauhtémoc
06500 México, D.F., México
Tel: (52) 55 5080-2000
Fax: (52) 55 5511-9980
Web: http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Mexico City
Liverpool 31, Col. Juarez
06600 México, D.F., México
Tel: (52) 55 5140-2600
Fax: (52) 55 5535-8357
Email: atomexico@usda.gov
Web: http://www.mexico-usato.com/

Administración General de Aduanas (Customs Directorate), Servicio de Administración Tributaria/SAT
Hidalgo 77 Modulo 1- 3er Piso
06300 México, D.F., México
Tel: (52) 55 5228-3437
Fax: (52) 55 5288-3353
Web: http://www.aduanas.gob.mx/

Embassy of Mexico, Washington, D.C.
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: (202) 728-1600
Fax: (202) 728-1664
Web: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/eua/

Dirección General de Normas, Secretaria de Economía
Av. Puente de Tecamachalco #6, Sección Fuentes, Col. Lomas de Tecamachalco, 53950, México
Tel: (52) 5629-9500
Fax: (52) 5520-9715
Web: http://www.economia.gob.mx/

Secretaria de Salud
Lieja No. 7 Col. Juárez
Deleg. Cuauhtémoc
06600, México, D.F., México
Tel: (55)1102-0900
Web: http://portal.salud.gob.mx/

The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports.  Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.

TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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Page last reviewed/updated: 11/07/2014

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