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Nearshoring In Mexico: What Is The Immex Program?

Updated: May 9



The IMMEX Program (Manufacturing, Maquiladora, and Export Services Industry) is a mechanism that allows for the temporary importation of goods necessary for use in an industrial or service process aimed at the production, transformation, or repair of foreign-origin goods for export, without paying the general import tax, value-added tax, and, if applicable, countervailing duties.


This program has its origins in the mid-1960s when the maquiladora industry began to develop in Mexico as a result of the high labor costs in Japan and the United States. In 1965, the Export Maquiladora Industry Promotion Policy came into effect, through which the Federal Government supported industrialization in the northern border of Mexico. Finally, in 2006, it was decided to update the aforementioned policy, and the Decree for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquiladora, and Export Services Industry became effective.


The importance of the IMMEX program lies in its consolidation as a significant driver of industrial development in Mexico, generating rapid growth in employment, establishments, and foreign investment attraction. This has allowed it to become the second-largest source of foreign exchange, surpassed only by oil exports.


The objectives of the IMMEX program include:

  • Allowing foreign companies to export their goods to Mexico.

  • Promoting the country's manufacturing industry.

  • Increasing the competitiveness of Mexican companies in exports and access to international markets.

  • Providing certainty, transparency, and continuity to company operations.

  • Reducing logistical and administrative costs.

  • Modernizing, streamlining, and reducing procedures to enhance fiscal oversight capacity in an environment that fosters investment attraction and retention in the country.

  • Creating employment opportunities.

Advantages of the IMMEX program for Mexican manufacturers include:


  • Tax and tariff exemption: The exemption from paying taxes and tariffs on imported inputs and components allows IMMEX companies to reduce their production costs. This provides them with a competitive advantage over competitors from other countries.

  • Temporary importation: The ability to temporarily import inputs and components necessary for the production of export products allows IMMEX companies to have greater flexibility in their operations. This enables them to reduce production times and increase productivity.

  • Access to new markets: By participating in the IMMEX program, Mexican manufacturers gain access to new markets, expanding their opportunities for export and business growth. This can lead to increased sales and revenue for participating companies.


Modalities of the Program

IMMEX Shelter Program

One or several foreign companies provide technology and productive materials, without these latter directly operating the program.

IMMEX Holding Company Program

When the manufacturing operations of a certified company, known as the holding company, are integrated within the same program with one or more controlled subsidiaries.

IMMEX Industrial Program

When an industrial process is carried out for the elaboration or transformation of goods intended for export.

IMMEX Services Program

When services are provided for export goods or export services are offered, solely for the development of activities determined by the Ministry of Economy, subject to the opinion of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).

IMMEX Outsourcing Program

When a third party is enlisted to carry out manufacturing operations.

IMMEX Application and Authorization

In accordance with the IMMEX Decree and the Rules of the Ministry of Economy, for the purposes of authorizing a program, the following must be considered:


Contents of the application (attach digitized documents):


  • General company information, including details about partners and/or shareholders, as well as the legal representative;

  • Detailed description of the production process or service, including the installed capacity of the plant to process the goods to be imported or to perform the service under the Program, and the percentage of that capacity actually utilized;

  • Commercial description of the goods referred to in Article 4, sections II and III of the Decree, to be temporarily imported under the Program;

  • The productive sector to which the company belongs; and

  • The commitment to annually achieve exports valued at over $500,000 USD, or its equivalent in national currency, or to invoice exports, comprising at least 10% of its total invoicing.

Attached documents to the application:


  • Testimony or certified copy of the deed containing the partnership contract, and, if applicable, its modifications to the management system and shareholding integration, which should include the registration details with the corresponding Public Registry.

  • Copy of the document legally proving ownership of the property where the Program operation is intended to take place, indicating the property's location and attaching photographs of it. In the case of lease or loan agreements, it must be proven that the respective contract establishes a minimum compulsory term of one year and that it has at least eleven months remaining validity as of the date of application submission.

  • Maquila contract, purchase agreement, purchase orders, or firm orders, demonstrating the existence of the export project.

For requests made for the granting of an IMMEX program, on the single window portal, regardless of the requested modality, the following must be complied with:

  • Indicate the requested program modality.

  • Specify the address where IMMEX operations will take place.

  • Production capacity to be used for each product, including:

    • Tariff fraction of the imported merchandise and the manufactured product.

    • Installed capacity (volume and unit of measure of the Tariff).

    • Percentage of capacity utilized.

  • Specify the RFC (Tax ID) of the companies conducting sub-manufacturing operations, if applicable. Specify the RFC of the controlled company(ies), if applicable.

  • Specify the RFC of the company(ies) conducting manufacturing operations (outsourced), for the outsourcing modality, if applicable.

  • Specify the RFC and program number of the companies receiving the services covered by the program, only when provided to IMMEX companies within national territory, if applicable.

  • For goods listed in Article 4 of the IMMEX Decree, section I, items a, b, c, and d, specify the tariff fraction of the export product(s), as well as the tariff fraction of the imported input(s).

  • For goods listed in Article 4 of the IMMEX Decree, sections II and III (items a, b, and c), indicate the commercial description of the imported goods.

Additionally, they must comply with the following requirements according to the modality:

  • Services Modality:

    • Investment program containing information regarding the premises where the operations will be carried out, including descriptions of investments in real estate, furniture, machinery, and equipment, as well as location plans, photographs, and floor plans of the relevant facilities.

    • Number of personnel hired directly or indirectly, estimated value or total of imports, volume or estimated value of production or service.

  • Holding Company Modality:

    • Shareholders' meeting minutes, detailing the shareholding participation of the holding company and its subsidiaries.

    • Certified entries from the shareholders' register book.

    • Maquila contracts that each subsidiary has entered into with the holding company or a maquila contract outlining the obligations undertaken by both the holding company and the subsidiaries regarding the objectives of the requested program, duly notarized.

    • A written statement indicating the percentage of shareholding participation concerning the holding company and the foreign-resident company, if applicable.

  • Outsourcing Modality:

    • Document in which the company or companies that will carry out the outsourcing process express their agreement and at the same time declare under oath the truthfulness regarding the temporarily imported goods.

In the context of nearshoring, the IMMEX program is crucial for Mexico as it enables the country to offer foreign companies the fiscal and operational advantages necessary to relocate their operations there. Additionally, the benefits of the IMMEX program allow Mexico to increase its competitiveness as a manufacturer within the global market, making it an attractive option for foreign companies looking to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness.


At SPARX, we possess the experience and capability required to handle merchandise as part of the IMMEX Program. We offer a comprehensive range of services to assist companies importing goods temporarily, as well as in their subsequent exportation.


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