On January 06, 2016 changes to the Decree for the development of the Maquiladora and Export Services Industry Program were published in the Official Gazette of the Federation [in Spanish: el Diario Oficial de la Federación]. A summary of some of the most important rules are indicated as follows:
Concept of certified companies.
The concept of a certified company is updated, establishing that it will be understood as a company that is certified by the Tax Administration Service [in Spanish:SAT], in accordance with what is indicated in the general rules.
Extension of duration of time for temporary importation of merchandise.
Some deadlines are repealed regarding the temporary importation of merchandise, leaving open the possibility that it may be 18 months. As regards to online transfers, it specifies that the period will be up to 6 months.
With respect to online transactions with domestic suppliers who are not part of an IMMEX program, the period will be 18 months.
Goods considered sensitive.
Annexes I and II are amended. In addition, Annexes I BIS, ITER, and III are repealed.
The indicated goods in Annex I (some types of sugars, cocoa, syrups, alcohol, tires, and textiles) could only be imported through an agreement with the Secretariat of Economy [in Spanish: la Secretaria de Economía], which would allow it in cases such as acts of God, force majeure, or supply.
For those IMMEX service companies, they will not be able to carry out activities that involve the importation of goods as indicated in Annex II. Exceptions are anticipated for those companies that are certified, as well as for those that fulfill the requirements as determined by the Secretariat through the agreement.
Application for National Importers Registry for specific sectors.
When section I of Article 6 BIS was repealed, the benefit disappeared for the Maquiladora companies with non-registered programs in the National Importers Registry for specific sectors.
The National Importers Registry for specific sectors should be completed no later than February 05, taking into account those changes that will come into effect 30 calendar days after the date of its publication.
New requirements for securing IMMEX program.
The requirements have been extended for applying to the IMMEX program. General information will be requested from the partners and/or shareholders, as well as from the legal representative. At present, all applications must be submitted with an investment program that fulfills the requirements that are established in the decree.
Additionally, companies must prove that they are not on the list of delinquent taxpayers, in accordance with articles 69 and 69-B of the Mexican Internal Revenue Code [in Spanish: Código Fiscal], and as such they must have a favorable judgement issued by the Tax Administration Service.
Transactions with companies that provide pre-assembly export services.
Companies that provide sub-manufacturing services must continue to be registered. Other requirements are added that confirm that the sub-manufacturing companies enjoy a favorable standing and that they are not in the list of delinquent taxpayers; according to articles 69 and 69-B of the Mexican Internal Revenue Code. One must consider that the Secretariat of Economy or the Tax Administration Service will make verification visits to the places where these sub-manufacturing activities are carried out.
Cancellation of IMMEX program.
It specifies that the grounds for cancelling the program are when there are temporarily no imported goods at the registered addresses, and when the said goods are greater than $155,000.00 pesos.
It includes new grounds for cancellation which consists in failure to prove the delivery of the temporary imported goods due to transfers and/or notices with companies that provide them with sub-manufacturing services.
It establishes that those companies that cancel their program with them will not be able to secure any program for a period of five years from the date in which it is cancelled. This restriction is also applied to partners and/or shareholders who belong to these companies.
In addition to the previously mentioned grounds for cancellation, other cases by decree are considered. To cite a few: the merchandise is not at the addresses that are registered at the Tax Administration Service, the documentation that was submitted is false, the information is either altered or false, the authorities detected that the partners are associated with companies that have cancelled the IMMEX program with them; among others.
Definition of maquila transactions for Income Tax.
The definition for a maquila transaction as contained in article 33 of the decree is revoked, since it is already in article 181 of the 2014 Law on Income Tax.
Revocation of benefits regarding Value-Added Tax refunds.
Two benefits are eliminated for Value-Added Tax refunds. For certified companies it consists in obtaining refunds in a 5 day period, as well as a 20 day period for Value-Added Tax returns for any IMMEX company.
The only benefit now in terms of Value-Added Tax returns for IMMEX companies will be for those that are certified for the Value-Added Tax [in Spanish: IVA], and the Special Tax on Production and Services [in Spanish: IEPS]; and for which a 10 to 20 day period is foreseen for obtaining the said refunds.
Owing to the importance that these changes represent, we suggest that your advisors from the Foreign Trade Department be contacted, since these changes will come into force 30 calendar days after their publication, which was January 06 of this year.