IMMEX program overview

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Knowing the foreign trade promotion programs that exist in Mexico, allows taxpayers to make the most of their foreign trade operations, thus generating not only profitability and higher profits but also promoting prevention to avoid any fine for omission of information , misassigned customs regimes, omission of tariff and non-tariff regulations, etc.


One of the most important development programs in Mexico is the IMMEX program (Manufacturing Industry, Maquiladora and Export Services Program) which has generated economic and social growth for Mexico. Here are some important data to measure the importance of the program in the Mexican economy:

  1. Together with NAFTA, it was the ideal partner to promote industrial development and attract a large part of foreign and national investment focused on export markets.
  2. It is one of the main tools that our country has to compete with schemes internationally used by our competitors, such as free zones and other similar programs in the world.
  3. They contribute to T-MEC regional integration, leaving clear rules for third countries to invest in the region and enhancing the rest of the Free Trade Treaties and Agreements signed by Mexico
  4. It is a program that allows building global supply chains in various sectors represented by the Chambers and Associations that subscribe here, thus joining forces to compete successfully at a global level, in addition to representing a strategic complement that strengthens and links the national industry , including MSMEs, with international markets.
  5. It is an export engine that generated 277 billion dollars in 2019, and a surplus of 64 billion dollars of economic income (greater than foreign exchange for oil, tourism or remittances).
  6. It is an important source of formal employment (17.49% of permanent employment registered in the IMSS), with salaries that on average amount to 9,428 pesos (workers and technicians), which is equivalent to 2.5 times the general minimum wage.
  7. In 2019 alone, it attracted productive investment in the amount of 8.2 billion dollars, considering only the temporary importation of machinery and equipment.


The data and results of the program have been positive for the Mexican economy and being part of the IMMEX program encourages companies that use it since through this tool many have benefits such as:

  • Reduction of the value added tax VAT.
  • Reduction of the general import tax.
  • Reduction of compensatory fees.
  • Tariff preferences.


In order to enjoy these benefits, the company must be registered, this program is aimed solely and exclusively for legal entities, must have the advanced electronic signature certificate (issued by the Tax Administration Service), have the federal registry of taxpayers, that the tax address is active and also registered in the RFC and present the necessary documents to complete the registration. The program, once issued, has no term as long as the requirements that are requested for the control of the program are met. Year after year hundreds of companies lose their program due to non-compliance with the rules that they must comply with in order to enjoy the benefits of IMMEX. In 2018 alone, the Ministry of Economy suspended 456 programs.


A very important point is to know that there are several modalities for its application. The most important ones are mentioned below.

  • The first is the industrial type, which includes all manufacturing factories.
  • The second is of the hostel type, in which the national factory will participate in the production chain of a company, the final product will have to be returned exclusively to the same foreign company.
  • The third is services, this may include companies that are dedicated to providing services to other companies, for example, cleaning, operation, maintenance, and so on. If the foreign company is within the IMMEX program, even if the services are in national territory, it is considered as an export and for that same reason it continues to enjoy the benefits that we have already mentioned.
  • The fourth is outsourcing, this modality is for certified companies that do not have facilities to carry out production processes and then carry out manufacturing operations through third parties that they register in their Program


Companies that want to be part of this program can temporarily import many products for later export. The secretary of economy details the 3 categories of goods that can be imported temporarily:

  1. Raw materials, parts and components that are going to be totally used to integrate export merchandise; Fuels, lubricants and other materials that are going to be consumed during the production process of the export merchandise; Containers and packaging; Labels and brochures.
  2. Containers and trailer boxes.
  3. Machinery, equipment, tools, instruments, molds and spare parts for the production process; Equipment and apparatus for pollution control; For research or training, industrial security, telecommunications and computing, laboratory, measurement, product testing and quality control; As well as those who intervene in the handling of materials directly related to export goods and others related to the production process; Equipment for administrative development.


The IMMEX program is one of the broadest topics in Mexico’s foreign trade and this program requires in-depth study in order to fully understand it and apply it correctly. In the present writing the generalities of the same are detailed. On the other hand, year after year modifications are made that must be studied so that the program is not canceled due to lack of compliance with the new changes that exist year after year. For 2021, the changes made 12/24/2020 will be applied, where Annexes I and II of the IMMEX Decree are modified.