Mexico Export Manifest, Modernization & How Filers Can Keep Pace

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was created to help promote economic growth by easing the flow of goods and services between Canada, the United States and Mexico. As a result of trade agreements as well as the need for modernization, security requirements and other factors; each of the three governments is creating separate single window systems patterned after the World Customs Organization (WCO) model.

In Mexico, the implementation of the Ventanilla Unica is a significant milestone towards facilitating trade by improving procedures and replacing paper with digital information. With added automation and improved connectivity, Mexico may be better equipped to realize further benefits from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as NAFTA and others, including the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).Mexico is the first country in North America to achieve a single window on the import side. Similar to other Single Window Initiatives (SWIs) such as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) in the U.S. and the Canadian SWI, the Ventanilla Unica Mexico serves as a portal for the international trade community to submit information. The government also receives benefits including better control and visibility into imports and exports.

The Ventanilla Unica has already started to simplify the flow of import manifest information between stakeholders and several government agencies. Following the implementation and continued refinement of import manifest processes within a single window system, Mexico is now pursuing the possibility of an export manifest.

The Mexico export manifest will begin with air, followed by ocean and other modes of transport. Both air and ocean are expected to use the updated Cargo Extensible Markup Language (Cargo-XML) protocol to transmit Mexico export manifest submissions. Timeframes are likely to be mode specific and are anticipated to be in line with other global export security filing initiatives.

The industry is keeping a close watch on the development of export manifest regulations especially in regard to truck shipments. With the truck mode of transport accounting for the majority of the value of goods between the three NAFTA countries (Source: U.S. Department of Transportation), the methodology used to support the movement of goods should be as streamlined as possible while still ensuring security.

From an operational perspective, although many companies watch regulatory developments closely, some may struggle to incorporate practical procedures that can keep pace with compliance updates. As each regulation arises or changes, businesses often must slow operations, revisit submission methods and train employees on new processes. In a rush to move toward compliance, new platforms may prove to be too limited for higher-volume filers, or too complex for lower-volume filers and infrequent shipment destinations.

As a leader in the field of regulatory compliance, Descartes is developing a Mexico export manifest solution that can help businesses onboard with the regulation as details are refined. The solution builds upon the Descartes global cargo security filing portfolio that can quickly adapt to new requirements. The Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) also includes a data translation service to map legacy Cargo-Interchange Message Procedures (Cargo-IMP) to the updated Cargo-XML format to help with the transition.  Please click here to view our global security filing options or contact Descartes for more information.