The Key to Streamlining the Customs Compliance Process


Streamlining the customs compliance process is critical when moving manufacturing to Mexico in order to establish and maintain a successful operation. However, there are comprehensive guidelines that can be challenging to navigate, particularly for those who are just starting to learn the import/export requirements. Although seemingly straightforward, the smallest misstep can result in delayed or rejected shipments, which can derail business activity and result in hefty fines.


Operators must generate import documentation and prepare goods for inspection for every shipment. Both accuracy and efficiency are essential to prevent costly disruptions. To minimize risk and simplify the task at hand, many manufacturers choose to work with an experienced shelter services operator, such as IVEMSA. IVEMSA handles operations on both sides of the import/export process. This includes:


  • Preparing customs documentation
  • Administering Mexico customs software for compliance
  • Ensuring manufacturers are maximizing benefits per the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
  • Minimizing unnecessary duties and fees


Partnering with a shelter company is a time- and cost-savings solution that helps U.S. manufacturers operate more efficiently in a foreign environment and creates a smoother experience overall.

Import and Export Documentation Accuracy

To get started with the customs compliance process when nearshore manufacturing in Mexico, importers must first be registered with the country’s Official Register of Importers to prevent tax fraud. By working with a shelter operation, manufacturers can work under the registration and certification requirements already in place.


Once an entity is officially listed, import and export documentation is required. This includes a customs declaration, commercial invoice, and bill of lading (a receipt detailing the list of a shipment of goods). Compliance documents demonstrating product safety should also be submitted. Additionally, importers who wish to receive preferential tariff treatment must follow the minimum data elements as outlined under the USMCA certification of origins requirements. Each claim must identify the importer, exporter, and producer contact information, as well as a description and HS tariff classification of the goods, origin criteria, and authorized signature and date.

Proper Planning for Inspection to Prevent Delays

The logistics of sending and receiving goods requires inspection and comparison of goods to the supplier documentation provided. Any arising issues must immediately be sent to the manufacturing company to resolve, which can be time-consuming. Furthermore, any goods entering Mexico for the first time may undergo an extensive inspection. A customs compliance specialist can plan ahead for the timing of these types of shipments to keep the process as streamlined as possible.


When accurate documentation, regulatory compliance, and proper planning aren’t consistently adhered to, manufacturers are at risk for fines and possible confiscation of goods. Plus, the proximity advantage of Mexico manufacturing can quickly become obsolete when there are problems or delays with shipping. This makes expertise and experience implementing a proven system a component to simplifying operations and preventing any potential setbacks.

Shelter Services Help Optimize the Manufacturing Experience

Working with an experienced customs compliance specialist improves import/export documentation accuracy, preparation of goods for inspection, and it ensures your company is using the USMCA and other free trade agreements to your fullest advantage. It lifts the burden off your shoulders so you may solely focus on your operations. We establish the best ways to make sure your products are meeting compliance and being shipped and distributed on schedule.


Handling the customs compliance process is only one of the many services available as part of the full shelter company experience. Manufacturers can feel confident in our excellent track record spanning 38+ years. To learn more about how IVEMSA can help save your company time and money, contact us today.




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