Mexican Import Duties Changed for Chinese Goods: 2007-2013

Dec. 12, 2013: 
Interested in Mexico’s rules for importing Chinese-made goods?

If you have read years of internet posts and web-forum accounts, you likely believe that Mexico has super-high duties (300% or more) on “Made in China” goods.    Fortunately,  this has not been true since 2012.   Current duties on Chinese goods now range from 0%  (on juicers) ,   to 5% on lighting ballasts,  to 30% on footware, pants, and sport shirts.  When you pair these modest duties with the new $300 per person of Duty Free goods when driving in, and $500 per person when flying in,  coming to Mexico has become easier and easier over the last 3 years.

This also means that the years of internet-advice to scrape off the “Made in China” stickers is  officially  out-of-date.

History of Mexican Import Duties on Chinese Goods:
In 2001, Mexico agreed to vote to allow China’s admission into the WTO. That vote came with a price-tag: 6 years of 100% – 1000% duties on Chinese goods imported into Mexico.  Under the WTO agreement, Mexico was formally allowed to protect key-sector’s goods like clothing, electronics, toys, and footware for 6 years with typical duties of 300% to 350%.

This meant that before 2008,  many Americans and Canadians advised people visiting Mexico to remove any evidence of “Made in China” when flying or driving into Mexico with household goods,  toys, Christmas presents, etc. ~ to avoid the 3X to 4X import duties imposed by Mexico/Aduanas ~ .   These duties were designed to protect key industrial and economic sectors in the Mexican economy,  just like the USA continues to spend $10’s of billions of dollars to subsidize American farm products – to protect American agribusiness.

Under these WTO agreements, Mexico began selectively reducing import duties on some Chinese goods in 2007.    The key term to remember for these changes is “TIGIE”: TARIFA DE LA LEY DE LOS IMPUESTOS GENERALES DE IMPORTACIÓN Y EXPORTACIÓN (TIGIE).

The Secretaria de Economia (SE) has issued regular incremental changes in TIGIE rules for duties on Chinese goods 23 times between 2007 and 2013, with the major changes in import duties on Chinese goods occurring in 2011-2012. Each of these TIGIE changes in duties on Chinese goods were so frequent and incremental, ~ each typically changing duties on only a handful of categories of goods ~ that there have been almost no public reports on expat forums of the net changes.   This means most expats do not realize that duties on Chinese goods now range from 0% to 30%, with most being taxed at 15%.

While the “new” duty rates are still high for some products (30% for footwear, sport shirts  and pants), the changes in many areas have reduced duties to Chinese goods to modest levels, like 15% on kid’s bicycles and toys. This means that we can likely bring in our “Made in China” CHRISTMAS presents and toys with no hassles.

This table is an example of recent typical product classifications, showing the difference between previous compensatory duties on Chinese-origin goods and the current base duty according to the “TIGIE” ( General Importation and Exportation Tax program ) program:


HTS code Product type 2011 Compensatory duty TIGIE duty
8712.00.02 Children’s bicycles



6106.10.01 Sports shirts



8516.31.01 Hair dryers



6204.62.01 Pants



8504.10.01 Lighting ballasts



8509.40.02 Juicers



6402.20.01 Footwear



6402.99.01 Sandals



8509.40.01 Food blenders



Source: TARIFA DE LA LEY DE LOS IMPUESTOS GENERALES DE IMPORTACIÓN Y EXPORTACIÓN (TIGIE)    Diario Oficial de la Federación, Secretaría de Economía

To put it all into context, Mexican governmental rule makes typical travel into Mexico even easier.    It means that we can now bring in “Made in China” toys with no big hassles, under the current $300 USD Duty Free of allowed non-personal items imported per person when driving into Mexico, and $500 per person Duty Free when flying into Mexico.

So…   It’s now (officially) time to enjoy the Holidays,   declare all of the things you bring into Mexico ~ including Christmas toys ~ and not worry about removing any “Made in China” labels.  (???)

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This article is not meant to cover all items we might want to import into Mexico.   If you are interested in more details on importing things into Mexico?  Read more at:   What Can I Bring into Mexico: Mexican Customs Rules – The Article

Universal Disclaimer:   We offer this information only for informational and entertainment purposes, not as tax advice nor legal advice, nor import regulatory advice.

*    *    *   *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

4 Responses to Mexican Import Duties Changed for Chinese Goods: 2007-2013

  1. Pingback: Mexican Import Duties Changed for Chinese Goods – 2013 Update | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Manuel says:


    I enjoyed reading a lot of your articles and I think I’m not the only one who finds many of them very helpful. I specially liked your Spanish translation of car parts and the phone call information. I think they will come in handy when I decide to stay longer there.

    Since you already wrote about importation to Mexico of Chinese products, will you write something about where to source products in Mexico in your future posts? Products like hats, shoes, bags, electronics or even clothes? We import those in China and Hong Kong but we’re constantly searching for other sources to buy from to minimize shipping costs and delivery time and I read somewhere that Mexico also manufactures those kind of products.



  3. Jay Kim says:


    Your articles are very informative and seem very helpful. What about automotive parts? I have a business in selling car accessories in mexico they are made in china. How much taxes will I need to pay?

    For example my invoice is 1,100 worth of car accessories. Im having a huge issue having some movers bring in my parts through otay mesa near tijuana and truck it all the way to guadalajara. Its taking 1-2 months.

    Im thinking of shipping from SD Ca to Nuevo laredo and passing it across and the drive is much shorter distance to Guadalajara.

    Do you have any advise for me? Im in need of help right now. Thank You


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