President Andrés Manuel López Obrador published a decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) announcing the creation of the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM), a decentralized body of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
On July 14, 2021, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) decreed the creation of the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM) as a decentralized administrative body of the SHCP and give it autonomy to administer customs outside of the Tax Administration Service (SAT).
The ANAM will organize and lead customs and inspection services, apply and ensure compliance with the legal trade regulations, and collect foreign trade taxes and duties.
The National Customs Agency of Mexico may have personnel that belong or have belonged to the armed forces, a move that has raised some eyebrows given the uncertainty as to what their exact roles would be.
The National Customs Agency of Mexico will be tasked with collecting taxes and duties applicable to foreign trade operations. It will lead the customs and inspection services, verify the legal stay of goods in national territory, including their verification of origin; and seize goods whose legal stay in the country is not accredited.
Additionally, the ANAM will manage the national importers’ registry and represent Mexico in fiscal and customs controversies.
The Decree also outlines that the customs officials need to coordinate with external bodies like the Armed Forces to preserve security at the country’s points of entry, as well as with foreign agencies to enforce tax compliance and avoid illegal activity.
As a result, Mexico’s customs authorities will be empowered to participate in international trade negotiations, enter into inter-institutional agreements with related agencies. All the while, the ANAM will maintain its cooperation with the SAT to administer, collect, and account for federal taxes.
The federal government’s decision to provide the country’s customs system with its autonomous agency within the Ministry of Finance is seen as a move in the right direction as it raises the level of importance placed on customs and trade compliance. This will in turn bring about a larger budget and less bureaucracy for Mexico’s customs to have more impact on strategic projects that facilitate international trade and provide greater security to the country’s infrastructure network. It is important to note as well, that the creation of the ANAM follows customs’s regulatory best practices, as a majority of customs agencies are independent from their respective countries’ tax authorities.
The SHCP has six months to implement the decree given that the corresponding reforms have to be emitted.