Sending Samples to Mexico–What Are They Hiding?
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Sending Samples to Mexico–What Are They Hiding?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I recently attended a government-sponsored webinar and was puzzled when I heard the content experts promoting outdated and costly methods of temporarily importing samples into Mexico. There was no mention of using ATA Carnets which has been an acceptable temporary import document into Mexico since May of 2011. Instead, the arcane Mexican temporary import regulations were described as the way to bring samples in Mexico. So I ask myself, "Why would the logistics professionals not mention the ATA Carnet as a viable temporary import option in to Mexico?" Here are the possibilities I came up with, none of which are satisfactory:

Not all samples shipped into Mexico are eligible for an ATA Carnet. This is true. Nothing consumable or combustible or any postal traffic can be put on a carnet. This eliminates all food items and pharmaceuticals. But it still leaves numerous categories of goods that are eligible to enter Mexico as samples using an ATA Carnet.

Carnets are not accepted at every port in Mexico. This is true. However, carnets are accepted in 12 commonly-used ports.

Carnets are fairly new in Mexico and, therefore, are not a reliable temporary import document into Mexico. Hundreds of carnets have been used successfully into Mexico since May 2011.

The 3PL pros don't know about carnets or how easy they are to use. This doesn't seem very professional nor likely but it's possible. We work with numerous Freight Forwarders who are highly knowledgeable and conversant in the use of the ATA Carnet.

The organizers of the event didn't think there was interest in carnets. Not likely. We inquired in advance if carnets would be included in the part of the program called "Sending Samples to Mexico."

There is an advantage to the presenters to NOT mention carnets. I hate to think that the reason is purely profit motive. And I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist. So, you be the judge. Carnets are one of the only, if not the only, import into Mexico that does not require a Mexican customs broker. So a customs broker doesn't make any money if a foreign importer doesn't use a customs broker when he uses a carnet to bring in samples to Mexico. Maybe it's just easier and a little more profitable to go with the status quo?

If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them. It just doesn't make sense to me.