Shipping to Mexico

Customs House Brokerage

Core products

Export Customs Clearance Transit Documents (in bonds)
Customs Clearance is a government requirement to introduce or extract cargo in/out of the country, that involves the "clearing" of goods before the customs (Customs Authorities), at the port of entry. Formalities may vary according to the traffic mode and applicable customs regimes based on the traffic mode and the authorized customs regimes. It must be process by the importer, exporter or by the Customs Broker or Customs Broker Agency. In bond is the authorized customs regime to transport the cargo from the customs of entry to an internal custom, without completing all the formalities. Cargo travels under customs control and the customs clearance is completed at the destination customs.
  • Definitive Export Entry Declaration
  • Temporary Export Entry Declaration
  • COVE & VUCEM support
  • EDI capabilities 
Transit entry declaration

Additional Custom House Brokerage services 

Cargo Review at origin HTS Classification Non-Tariff Regulations (NTR) obtainment Duty Minimization Other customs regimes support
Review at origin process, allows the importers to complete a full validation at origin and expedite the cargo release at customs, by completing the customs clearance with the information from origin. This process is allowed to importers with a government authorization. HTS Classification process to determine the correct HTS code Based on the HTS code, specific Non-Tariff Regulations are required (i.e. Health and environment authorizations, national standards, etc.)   Customs clearance for special Customs Regimes
  • Deposito Fiscal
  • Recinto Fiscalizado Estrategico


Signed Direct representation letter Power of Attorney (POA)

Signed by the Trader on Company Letter Headed paper. This grant’s permission for Customs Broker to complete CHB on behalf of the Trader and provides the required details to enable internal account creation

Mandatory documents required:

  • Fiscal /Commercial invoice(s)
  • Packing list(s)
  • Cargo description to complete Classification Number / HS code

Additional documents (where applicable) *

  • Copy of the Bill of Lading
  • Licences
  • Health Certificates
  • Preference Certificates
  • VGM certificate

* Originals to be submitted to Damco where necessary


Q: What is the Pricing / Cost of these services?
A: Pricing is dependent on the service package you choose. Please contact our office to discuss which option is right for you

Q: What can hold up my Customs Clearance?
A: A variety of reasons can hold up a clearance, to name a few but not limited to, would be awaiting mandatory documents, awaiting payment, customs holds, Port Authority holds and vessel delays.

Q: What is and Why do I need the “padron de importadores”?
A: Is the customs authority register of all mexican importers. This subscription must be completed if you want to complete an import process in Mexico.

Q: What is the benefit of using Maersk CHB powered by Damco?
A: Simple coordination by being MAERSK the point of contact for the cargo shipping as well as for CHB related queries.
Saving time by eliminating the time associated in communication between the customer and the customs broker. The communication will be handled directly by MAERSK.
Fast and easy process Fast clearance process and detail visibility that helps to react in case of any exception.
Easy pricing with a flat rate according to monthly volume, or if required, ad-hoc rate for specific projects.
Compliance by assuring the correct declaration before Mexican customs.
Local invoice with the local charges and expenses, as well as the CHB

Q: What is a classification number HS Code?
A: A classification number is a unique 8-digit code that relates to a specific product and determines and determines the amount of Duty payable and the Non-Tariff Regulations required to clear the cargo. 

Q: Why do I need to provide a classification number HS Code / detail cargo information?
A: Correct classification of goods is critical to identification of cargo’s arriving into Mexico and the related Non-tariff regulations required. Cargo description and technical information are required to determine the correct classification.

Q: How will I know when my shipment has cleared customs?
A: Our team will email the customer with clearance paperwork as soon as the shipment has been released from customs and is free to leave the port.

Q: Who can I contact regarding my Customs Clearance?
A: Please contact Michelle Hernandez

Q: Who will invoice me for my Customs Clearance?
A: Damco will raise an invoice with the local charges and expenses, as well as the CHB.

Q:I have a query regarding my Customs Clearance Invoice, who can I contact?
A: Please contact Michelle Hernandez

Abbreviations & Explanations

CHB = Customs House Brokerage
VAT = Value Added Tax
HTS = Harmonized Tariff Schedule
OEA = Authorized Economic Operator (Operador Económico Autorizado)
POA = Power of Attorney
NTR = Non-Tariff Regulations
COVE = Proof of Value
VUCEM = Electronic window

Cut offs

Service POL Booking request (previous to departure date) Shipping instructions (previous to departure date) Customs Clearance (previous to arrival date)
TA3 823 Veracruz Thursday Prev Dep 17:00hrs Friday Prev Dep 15:00 hrs Monday Prev Dep 15:00 hrs
Altamira Monday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs Tuesday Prev Dep 14:00 hrs Wednesday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs
TA6 646 Veracruz Tuesday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs Thursday Prev Dep 15:00 hrs Mondays Prev Dep 17:00 hrs
Altamira Wednesday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs FridaysPrev Dep 15:00 hrs Friday Prev Dep 18:00 hrs
AC2 698 WB Manzanillo Monday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs Thursday Prev Dep 17:00hrs Friday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs
Lázaro Cárdenas Tuesday Prev Dep17:00 hrs Thursday Prev Dep 17:00hrs Friday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs
AC3 699 Manzanillo Wednesday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs Thursday Prev Dep 17:00hrs Friday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs
Lázaro Cárdenas Thursday Prev Dep 17:00hrs Friday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs Monday Prev Dep 17:00 hrs

Demurrage and Detention

One Clock Combined

The following applies for exports and imports in both SD and CY modes. The new One Clock Combined structure replaced the Demurrage and Detention, and only applies for the Detention charge and for the total exceeded time.

Customers with check in guarantee:  

  • To request the letter it is mandatory to be up to date on your payments and to have moved no less than 80 FFEs in the previous twelve months.

Customers without check in guarantee:

  • Will have to make a deposit in guarantee of USD 1,000 per container, and a maximum of USD 5,000 per BL. – Please review the rates for reefer containers with your local Maersk agent
  • For the guarantee deposit to be valid, a copy must be sent to indicating the BL number. The payment must be reflected in our bank accounts three days before the shipment release.
  • Attached to the previous documentation, customer must include the cover page of their bank statement (showing CLABE) and the reimbursement format.

Another alternative is providing a certified check, which will only be received in Mexico City office.

The new "One Clock Combined" structure includes the following free time, applicable both for imports and exports:

Maersk Mexico  offers the possibility to be exempted from the Check in Guarantee , only if the Customs Agent is affiliated with the AAAPVER in Veracruz  or the AAAPUMAC in Manzanillo , and if the agent granted this concession . 

Combined Demurrage and Detention  (EXPORT)

Free time DRY Flat & Open top REEF IMO
Days CY port 15 5 5 7
Days CY rail ramp 15 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Days SD 15 5 5 15
Days after free time expiration 20’ DRY 40’ / 40’hc Special REEF
Price from 6th day onwards Free Free 200 USD 200 USD
Price from 8th day onwards Free Free 200 USD 200 USD
Price from 16th day onwards 120 USD 120 USD 200 USD 200 USD


  Effective January 1st, 2017
Reefer plug-in free:  2 days for cargo moved under SD service only
Storage fees should be paid directly to the terminal


Special Cargoes

OOG and IMO cargo are subject to standard Maersk approval procedures. 
Please dial 50103500 Option 2  for detailed information


Bill of lading restrictions

  • As part of the US Customs 24 Hour Rule regulations, "To the order of" bills of lading are not accepted for shipments destined to the US or routed via US ports.
  • US Customs does equally not accept the commodity descriptions "Freight all kinds" and "General merchandise", nor the package type "pallets". Commodity description should be always in English.

Lazaro Cardenas Export Restrictions

Based on restrictions imposed by Mexican regulations, the following commodities cannot be moved via Lazaro Cardenas port:

  • Pickled Poultry classified under Harmonized Code
  • Unmethylated alcohol, Methylated alcohol, and alcohol classified under Harmonized Code 2207.10.01, 2207.2, 2208.90.01
  • Tequila classified under Harmonized Code 2208.90.03
  • Sound recording equipment (only compact disc burners) classified under Harmonized Code 8520.90.99

Weight / Measurement Restrictions

From  1  June 2008

The maximum weight limitation in Mexican Roads (not applicable to the CY shipments and for cargo moved by all train) is been revised to the below restrictions according to Mexican Law NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 published in the Official Gazette since 1 April 2008.

Dry Cargo

  • Tandem maximum 20 Tons per container
  • Single maximum 22 Tons

Reefer Cargo

  • Single maximum 23

For general information about equipment dimensions and capacity go to: 

Dry equipment 
Reefer equipment 
Special equipment

Live load/unload free time

All customers will have 6 hours free time to live load/unload containers.

Special Cargoes

Oversized cargo, Break bulk cargo and Hazardous cargo, are subject to standard Maersk approval procedures. 

Equipment Restrictions

45' equipment IS NOT ACCEPTED. There are not exceptions for this rule.


As per the local regulation, a container is considered as abandoned by the local authority when it reaches below amount of days after arriving at terminal as per below:

Country Export Import
Mexico / General cargo 90 days 60 days
Mexico / Special cargo (Perishable, Reefer DG, OOG) 3 days 3 days

Email your local office

If you want to speak to a sales person about a new shipment or if you have a question about your existing shipment, you can email us and we will respond within the next two days. If you have a more immediate question, you can search for help online.