Shipping to Mexico

Customs House Brokerage

Core products

Import 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 Import Entry Declaration
  • Temporary Import 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


Padron de importadores (Registry of Importer)

The importer must complete the “Padron de importadores” subscription before customs authority. 

Encargo conferido (Power of attorney)

The importer must authorize trough “encargo conferido”, the customs broker to act on his behalf to complete Import CHB.

Mandatory documents required:

  • 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
  • Non Tariff Regulations Certificates
  • Certificates of Origin


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

Demurrage and Detention

Combined Demurrage and Detention import

Combined Demurrage and Detention combined starts as from discharge day (included), ends with gate-in empty day (included) to terminal.


Free time:

Type DRY Flat & Open top REEF IMO
CY Port 7 5 5 7
CY Rail 10 No acceptance No acceptance 10
SD Rail + truck 15 No acceptance No acceptance 15
SD Truck 15 5 5 15


Tariff after free time:

Days after free time expiration 20’ DRY 40’ / 40’hc
45’ DRY
Flat & Open top 20’ REEF 40’ REEF IMO Shipper’s owned
As from 8th day to 10th day 120 USD 120 USD 200 USD 200 USD 200 USD 120 USD  
As from 11th day to 14th day 150 USD 150 USD 200 USD 200 USD 200 USD 150 USD  
As from 15th day to 21th day 160 USD 160 USD 200 USD 200 USD 200 USD 160 USD  
As from 22th day onwards 170 USD 170 USD 200 USD 200 USD 200 USD 170 USD  


Special Cargoes

OOG and IMO cargo are subject to standard Maersk approval procedures.

Special Customs Requirements

Documents required:

  • Revalidated B/l
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing List
  • Origin certificate for selected countries

All containers are subject to random anti - narcotics authorities inspection. In case the container is inspected, a copy of the commercial invoice will be required.

24 Hour Rule (AMS) for Import cargo to Mexico

Effective 1 September 2007 Mexico Customs will apply the 24 Hour Rule (AMS) for Import cargo to Mexico.

This new regulation requires Maritime Transportation Companies to provide all relative information pertaining to the merchandise carried and consigned in the cargo manifest, 24 hour in advance before loading the goods onto the ship for cargo moved into Mexican ports.

Information should be sent through electronic transmission and shipper is responsible for providing the following data:

  • Name and complete address of the shipper, consignee, and notify party, as stated in the bill of lading.
  • Amount of merchandise and measurement unit. For merchandise transported in containers, the amount and measurement unit shall also be specified for each container.
  • Gross weight or volume of the merchandise. For merchandise transported in containers, the gross weight or volume shall also be specified for each container.
  • Merchandise description, avoiding general descriptions that do not allow proper identification of the nature of the merchandise; such as: “general cargo”, “dry cargo”, “chemicals”, “perishable items”, “bulk merchandise”, “bulk minerals”.
  • Number, quantity and dimensions of containers.
  • Seal number(s) for each container.
  • Type of service contracted.
  • In case of dangerous merchandise, state class division (IMO class) and United Nations number (UN Nr) and Contact telephone number in case of emergency situation.
  • Fiscal area where the merchandise will be stored before loading or upon unloading.
  • Ships estimated date of arrival or departure.

Should you have questions require any assistance regarding this information, please contact Maersk sales executives at +52 5010 3500


Lazaro Cardenas Import Restrictions

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

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

Weight / Measurement

Below find maximum weights allowed at Mexican roads:

Eq No. of axles No. of tires Ctr and vehicle tare Cargo weight Total weight allowed
Single (one ctr per truck) 5 18 18 tons 25 tons 43 tons
Tandem (two ctrs per truck) 9 34 24 tons 42.5 tons* 66.5 tons

* 42.5 equals 21.25 per container

For more information about equipment dimensions and capacity go to:  
Dry Equipment 
Reefer Equipment 
Special Equipment

Special Customs Requirements

- Revalidated B/L 
- Commercial invoice 
- Packing list 
- Origin certificate for selected countries

Special Cargoes

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

Container Inspection

All containers are subject to random anti-narcotics authorities inspection. Nonetheless, ALL cargo originated at South America will be subject to inspection. In case container is inspected, a copy of commercial invoice will be required.

Equipment Restrictions

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

Import Cargo Clearance

For through Bill of Ladings, where Maersk is responsible for Carrier Haulage, cargo will be moved for imports once customers through their representatives at Mexican ports (Customs House Brokers - CHB) have confirmed to Maersk port office that cargo has been cleared from Mexican Customs.

CHB need to fill the Trucking / Rail format and submit to Maersk port office with 48 hours in advance.

Maersk Mexico will be not held responsible for any demurrage of container or storages to Terminal Operator if above has not been complied.

Arrival notice to customers is merely a courtesy and as such does not make Maersk responsible to absorb any extra charge if Arrival notice is not received by customers.


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.