Key points:

  • Importing from Mexico to the US can be cost-effective but requires knowledge of regulations, taxes, and trade agreements like USMCA
  • Businesses must comply with CBP regulations, calculate taxes and fees, and understand restricted items and documentation
  • Easyship's free import duty calculator helps businesses estimate import costs and ensure compliance with US regulations

Mexico was the top 2023 trading partner of the US based on import volume, at over $475 Billion. China and Canada followed closely behind, highlighting the strong trade ties within North America under the USMCA trade agreement.

Country Import Value (in billion USD)
Mexico 475.6
China 427.2
Canada 421.1
Germany 159.7
Japan 147.3

In the dynamic and evolving market of importing from Mexico to the US, businesses face a complex web of regulations, taxes, and procedures designed to ensure compliance with both countries' laws.

Navigating these requirements efficiently is crucial for any business looking to leverage cross-border trade advantages while minimizing costs and legal hurdles.

What is Customs and Border Protection?

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plays a pivotal role in regulating imports into the U.S., safeguarding against prohibited and restricted items, and ensuring that all merchandise complies with U.S. laws.

The CBP enforces regulations on a wide array of goods, from alcoholic beverages to plants, ensuring that restricted items are correctly identified and managed according to specific guidelines​​.

How to Calculate Taxes and Fees

Import activities are subject to various taxes and fees, including excise tax and local taxes, which can significantly affect the overall cost of importation. Besides these, other fees might include customs duties and border protection fees, which are calculated based on the value, quantity, and type of merchandise imported. Understanding these charges is crucial for budgeting and financial planning​​.

FREE Easyship Import Duty Calculator to United States

Easyship provides a user-friendly duty calculator tool to estimate import duties and taxes on your shipments to the United States. Click here to access this calculator for FREE now! 

This tool can be a valuable resource for eCommerce businesses looking to determine the landed cost of their products and ensure they are adhering to de minimis regulations.

Importing From Mexico to the USA

Impact of Excise Tax and Local Taxes

Excise taxes are levied on specific goods, such as alcoholic beverages, and can vary widely depending on the product and country of origin. Similarly, local taxes may apply, further influencing the cost structure of imported goods. Businesses must account for these taxes to ensure accurate pricing and compliance​​.

USMCA Trade Agreement

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) began on July 1st, 2020, and is a modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in effect from 1992.Trade agreements, like the USMCA, offer pathways for reducing or eliminating certain duties and taxes on imports.

These agreements can significantly impact the economy of importation, making products more competitive in the market. Utilizing such agreements requires a thorough understanding of their criteria, including country of origin requirements and tariff codes​​.

Formal Entries and Import Documentation

For shipments above a certain value, formal entries are required. This process involves detailed documentation, including a bill of lading, commercial invoice, and the Customs Declaration Form. Accurate completion of these documents is essential for a smooth customs clearance process and avoiding delays​​.

Addressing Restricted Items and Regulations

Certain items are restricted or prohibited from import due to safety, health, or environmental concerns. Alcoholic beverages require specific licenses and permits, while plants may be subject to quarantine and inspection to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory to avoid penalties​​.

Using Customs Brokers for Smooth Operations

Customs brokers can facilitate the import process, helping businesses navigate customs regulations, prepare necessary documentation, and liaise with government agencies. Their expertise can be invaluable, especially for businesses new to importing or dealing with complex shipments​.

Importing From Mexico to the USA

Importing from Mexico: Summary

Importing from Mexico to the US presents a viable opportunity for businesses aiming to expand their market presence and reduce costs. However, success in this endeavor requires a comprehensive understanding of the importation process, including taxes, customs regulations, trade agreements, and logistics management. 

By staying informed and proactive, businesses can navigate the complexities of international trade, ensuring compliance and optimizing their operations for maximum efficiency and profitability.

For more information and guidance on importing goods and navigating the associated challenges, businesses can consult resources provided by Customs and Border Protection and trade experts, ensuring they remain compliant and competitive in the global economy.


How much does it cost to import goods from Mexico?

The cost of importing goods from Mexico depends on various factors like product type, shipping, and duties.

Are imports from Mexico duty-free?

Imports from Mexico may not be duty-free, so check the specific tariff rate for your product.

How do I import produce from Mexico?

Importing produce from Mexico requires following regulations and obtaining necessary permits.

What is Mexico's top 5 imports?

Mexico's top 5 imports include machinery, vehicles, electronics, mineral fuels, and plastics.

What is an illegal import?

An illegal import is any good brought into a country without the required declaration or permit.

What items are illegal to import into the US?

Items like fruits, meat, and certain plants might be illegal to import into the US for agricultural reasons.

What is the limit for US customs import?

The limit for US customs import without filing formal paperwork is generally $800.

What food is not allowed to bring to us?

Foods with meat or dairy products, or those with pest risk, might not be allowed into the US.