Congratulations! After lots of hard work, your business is ready to start thinking about exporting to other markets, and the most viable option is Mexico.
So, you start researching about how to become an exporter. But, the more you research, the less you seem to understand…
Even though Mexico is our next door neighbor, all the different rules and regulations involved in an importing-exporting transaction, can make you feel lost and overwhelmed. And on top of that, the language is different, the culture is different, how on earth are you going to get through all that??
Relax… While your best move is to contact a business strategist with experience doing business in Mexico instead of trying to figure out everything on your own, here are some important things to consider in the early stages of your international trading venture.
Mexico is our second largest export market. Even though Minnesota’s main exports are agricultural products such as turkeys, pork, beef, soybeans, corn, and wheat, the possibilities are endless. Car components, electrical parts, and plastics are only some of the main products we export to Mexico, and more recently vehicles, engines for military aircraft, machinery, iron and steel products, and many others, are growing rapidly.
Mexico presents a huge advantage to U.S. exporters, which is that transportation options are not only limited to air or sea. Land transportation could be a cheaper, and even faster alternative that may positively affect the pricing and availability of your products in the Mexican market.
Unlike other Latin American countries, Mexico has a strong distribution infrastructure, which makes it easier for exporters to make timely deliveries at competitive prices, whether by sea, air, or ground (rails or roads).
NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and simplified the process to exporting goods to Mexico. However, as a savvy exporter, you must be well informed about the appropriate tariff treatment of each of your products and its components.
As you can imagine, there are necessary documents required by Mexican authorities that need to be prepared in advance, in order for the shipment to go as planned. Some of these documents are the invoice, the Certificate of Origin, certificate of free sale, any required sanitary (or otherwise) requirements, proper labeling (it has to be in Spanish), and others that may vary depending on your product. By following the appropriate procedures, and preparing the right documentation in advance, your shipment will pass through customs swiftly and smoothly.
If you don’t want to get totally involved in the exporting process, at least at the beginning, a good option is to employ an agent or a distributor to sell your products. A distributor buys your products directly from your location in U.S., whereas an agent receives a commission on the sale. That way, you can start testing the waters, without having to go through a learning curve that might not get you the results you want, as quickly as you’d like.
In any case, a good business advisor is the safest way to go. Visit trade shows, contact Pro México and the U.S. Commercial Service, and start visiting the country and making connections with legitimate organizations. After all, going global gets easier every day with the help of today’s technology, and it can be just the right move for your business.