NAFTA Agreement Effects on Importing US/Canadian Used Cars into Mexico

November 12, 2014
There have been internet reports from facilitators describing how Aduana’s rules for importing used cars will be changing on Jan. 1, 2015. One version says that cars older than 10 years will not be allowed, except for the standard “classic car” policies.

Since some of Mexico’s past changes to Aduana rules for importing Canadian and US used cars have been driven by NAFTA agreements, it seemed like time to review the NAFTA guidelines/limits that are running-in-background to know NAFTA’s Jan. 1, 2015 requirements.

Since we are neither lawyers nor NAFTA experts, we are left providing quotes of the NAFTA agreement that fit this issue from an OAS source that was published and copyrighted in 2014 (current?):   http://www.sice.oas.org/trade/nafta/anx300a1.asp

North American Free Trade Agreement   Annex 300-A
Trade and Investment in the Automotive Sector

Appendix 300-A.2: Mexico
Auto Decree and Auto Decree Implementing Regulations

Used Vehicles
24. Mexico may adopt or maintain prohibitions or restrictions on imports of used vehicles from the territory of another Party, except as follows:

(a) beginning January 1, 2009, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles that are at least 10 years old;

(b) beginning January 1, 2011, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles that are at least eight years old;

(c) beginning January 1, 2013, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles that are at least six years old;

(d) beginning January 1, 2015, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles that are at least four years old;

(e) beginning January 1, 2017, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles that are at least two years old; and

(f) beginning January 1, 2019, Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of originating used vehicles. ”

Again, as we are not legal professionals,  we can only take “clause (d)” at face value – that 4 year old and older US and Canadian used cars will be eligible for import into Mexico.

As in other complex legal agreements, there may be other clauses that modify or overrule this prescription,  allowing Mexico to set different policies or add modifications,  but when we review the dates of past changes in Aduana import policies, we find that they agree with the NAFTA requirements listed above.

in the meantime:  We’ll keep digging into this to develop a final story, and welcome insights from readers.

Disclaimer:  All information presented on Yucalandia is for educational and entertainment purposes only.  Please contact a licensed professional for appropriate legal advice.
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For more details on Mexican Import/Aduana rules, please see our main article at:
Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan. ©Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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11 Responses to NAFTA Agreement Effects on Importing US/Canadian Used Cars into Mexico

  1. Larry Lengyel says:

    SteveI nationalized my car last year at the border according to the requirements and it is now licensed in Sinaloa.  What is the process I need to follow if I want to sell my car back in the US in my home state?  Lorenzo y  Katalina   “Live your life with honesty, dignity and compassion, knowing that there is nothing so powerful as the emboldened kindness of one human being reaching out to another.”  .

     

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Larry,
      Excellent question.

      Assuming you formally exported the car from the USA, I understand that US CBP has to inspect the car to be sure that key emissions components are still in place and working to EPA standards, and to also meet US DOT safety requirements. I don’t know what else they check.

      At that point, you get temporary registration in the border state (Texas, AZ, NM etc) that allows you to drive to your destination. When you get to your US home – you re-register the vehicle with that State’s DMV.

      I don’t know where/when you can get a title.

      Some unnamed people say they have ordered duplicate titles from their previous home state before they return back to the USA – giving them a formal ownership document to use for getting license plates/registration when they are back in the USA – but again, we are NOT legal experts, and we offer no advice nor guidance on that approach.

      Will you need the assistance of a licensed Customs Broker to import the vehicle back into the States? If so, they would know how to do it.
      http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/importing-car
      and
      https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/218/~/requirements-for-importing-a-vehicle-%2F-vehicle-parts

      Happy Trials,
      steve

  2. Pingback: Update for Mexico Customs Vehicle / Car Import Rules | Surviving Yucatan

  3. CC says:

    Thanks a lot. My vehicle is 10 years old. line 591 in the values PDF. There is no value shown 🙂 does that mean I’ll pay only the paperwork fees and no applicable tax on the vehicle itself?
    Muchas Gracias- CS

  4. norm says:

    I have a question Steve. I’m looking to buy a new car for Linda. I found a type of Honda that fits my requirements and was built in Mexico. Does being built in Mexico cut the cost of importing the car into Mexico should I decide to live in Mexico for a few years? No big deal Steve but I was wondering if you knew anything about importing a Mexican built auto from the US.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Norm,
      Nope, it does not help cut the cost.

      Only 8 & 9 model year old NAFTA cars qualify for permanent imports into Mexico(starting from Nov 1 of a year… Nov 1 2007 manf. date = 2008 model year) … so 2007 & 2008 NAFTA made cars are eligible for import until Oct 31, 2016.

      Licensed customs brokers are charging $2,000 to $3,000 to do permanent imports into Mexico of qualifying cars.

      There’s also the 72 hr CBP formal export requirement for US titled cars… but some customs brokers get that process done before Americans arrive at the border.. making it just a 2 hr – 3 hr process.

      When are you coming?
      steve

      • norm says:

        NAFTA was only for the wheels I guess.
        I have family obligations right now, my Dad is in the end game from what I can see. Linda’s mom is in the same straights so it won’t be this winter. We stayed home last winter as well but we are just hitting 60 this year so we should have some good years in Latin America ahead of us.

        I have a 09 Cobalt but it is only worth 3-4 thousand usd, really not worth importing at a $3000 fee. I’ll just have to buy there. I wonder what constitutes a “classic car”?
        Take it easy, nk

      • yucalandia says:

        Classic cars: 30 yr old & older…

      • jeremyfiel says:

        HI Steve,
        I’m interested in importing heavy trucks (semi trucks) into Mexico to invest into an existing business venture with a friend in Mexico. I’m having difficulty finding information for heavy trucks restrictions. Someone recently mentioned something about 2007 or 2008 models being allowed to drive across without dismantling. Any info you can share?
        thanks

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Jeremy,
        The last time we tried to import trucks into Mexico, (10 years ago) only non-dually fairly light trucks were allowed for us.

        Check with a good licensed customs broker about what is possible now,
        steve

        See our main article on Driving & Vehicle Importation in Mexico:
        https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      • jeremyfiel says:

        Thanks a lot!

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