Electronic Invoice (In Spanish CFDI) for Foreign Trade Operations
Electronic Invoice (In Spanish CFDI) for Foreign Trade Operations


On March 1st , 2016 the Mexican Tax Administration Service [in Spanish: el Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT)], published on its webpage the complement that must be used for issuing a CFDI for definitive export transactions of merchandise, using the customs declaration code “A1”.

Taxpayers who carry out this type of transaction are obligated to issue an electronic invoice CFDI in which this complement is annexed. In addition, this document generates additional obligations for agents or customs brokers; since it will also be required to register the tax folio of the aforementioned CFDI in the custom’s export declaration with the code “A1”.

It is important to point out that the aforementioned complement will be mandatory as of July 1st , 2016. Nevertheless, companies or individuals that wish to use the said complement before the aforementioned date could implement it in advance.

A summary of the most important points are given below that must be taken into account to comply with this new obligation:

Information required by complement for Electronic Invoice (CFDI) for Foreign Trade Operations.

In the CFDI complement for foreign trade transactions the required and optional information can be identified, and which is indicated in the following tables: (View PDF)

As previously outlined, there are several items that the Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT) asks us for, but if we also carefully analyze this information is also included in the customs declaration, only that now is also being included in the Electronic Inoice (CFDI), these will help tax authorities to have better control of the aforementioned transactions.

Electronic invoice (CFDI) for exports on a consignment basis.

When dealing with the exporting of merchandise on a consignment basis in which the export transaction does not constitute a sale, the electronic invoice (CFDI) must be prepared adding the complementary foreign trade transactions and filling out the field “line-item description”, that deals with the exporting of merchandise on a consignment basis; and deducting in the CFDI in the field that refers to “discounts”, the same value, which will produce a zero balance electronic invoice (CFDI).

In addition to the aforementioned in the previous paragraph, taxpayers can choose to issue an electronic invoice (CFDI) for the total amount of merchandise without any discount being reflected; however, later on they will have to choose any of the following options:

1.- Cancel the electronic invoice (CFDI) that was made for the export, and issue a new invoice (CFDI) that covers the merchandise that, if applicable, may have been sold.

2.- Issue an invoice (CFDI) for disbursements.

Electronic invoice (CFDI) for export of samples and advertising.

In those cases, where the exporting of merchandise is intended for advertising or samples, that is, when there is no sale, the CFDI with the foreign trade transaction complement must be prepared in consideration of the following:

The value of the cost of goods to advertise or for display purposes must be taken into account according to the related cost of the commercial invoice (CFDI).

Subsequently, in the body of the invoice (CFDI) in the field marked “discounts”, the same amount must be included, and through which the issued invoice (CFDI) will be assigned a zero value.

Electronic invoice (CFDI) for transfer of plastic containers of exported products.

When dealing with the export of plastic containers, packaging, and products used for the transferring of goods, an invoice (CFDI) must be prepared separately.

For those assembly plants (“Maquiladoras”) that are registered in the IMMEX program, a customs declaration with the code “A1” must be prepared for exporting merchandise, as well as another customs declaration with the identifier EB (Packaging and Packing); including the corresponding codes for pallets, racks, trays, small plastic baskets, etc.).

Tax Identification Number or Tax ID Number

The Tax ID Number or Tax Identification Number must be provided by the importer and/or recipient of the goods from the country of destination.

When dealing with exports to the United States [in Spanish: EEUU], the Tax ID Number must be validated by an Authorized Certification Provider [in Spanish: Proveedor Autorizado de Certificación (PAC)], who digitally stamps the electronic invoice (CFDI); and through a comparison of the aforementioned information with a list of the Tax Identification Numbers that the Mexican Tax Administration Service [in Spanish: SAT] provides to them, or through the computer-based consultation tool, the same authority will determine it as such.

It is worth noting that the Tax ID Number syntax in the United States is nine consecutive digits, not including hyphens or spaces.

Captions or additional fields

Any product specification, texts, captions, or other commercial information or requirements that are regulated in an importing country will be included in the CFDI field referred to as “addendum”.

INCOTERM codes in the Electronic Invoice (CFDI).

The INCOTERM merchandise code will be included in the field as established in the complement, and it will have sufficient space for a three-position code.

In case you need to include more information, you must add to the same in the field marked “addendum”.

Customs tariff classification

8 digits without periods will be included and must be selected from the catalog provided by the Mexican Tax Administration Service [in Spanish: SAT] in the complement to the electronic invoice (CFDI) for export.

Recipient of merchandise and/or name of addressee

In the fields relating to name, designation, or corporate name of the recipient of the merchandise and/or addressee, you can include the legal name. In case you do not have the aforementioned information, you can register the brand name or name recognized.

Export of merchandise by courier service and/or shipping company.

For these assumptions the use of a transaction complement for foreign trade transactions will not apply.

Customs Validation

Customs offices will carry out a process of verification of the electronic invoice (CFDI) through the consultation systems that will validate the existence of the folio of the electronic invoice.

In addition, you can perform a verification of the information contained in the electronic invoice and the declaration, as well as of the documents and the phisycal review of the merchandise.


The tax authority has been constantly updating due to globalization and technological advances, focusing mainly on modernizing processes and obtaining information from specific transactions; making sure that taxpayers comply adequately with the obligations; as we can now observe with this new CFDI complement for foreign trade transactions.

One subject which the tax authority is placing emphasis on deals with transactions carried out by foreign residents. That is why providing information through these channels will mean more efficient access to databases, and it will be able to identify or analyze which foreign residents have commercial relations as taxpayers.

The majority of the information that will be provided in this new complement was already handled in the customs declarations, however any other obligation implies that taxpayers may have a greater administrative burden.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.