ARTICLE 3.18.2 (REGISTERING EQUIPMENT)/CONSULAR PERMIT
On March 24, 1997, a ruling was published in the Ruling For International Business (put out by the Mexican government), that greatly streamlines the process of importing production goods (equipment, set dressing, props, wardrobe, etc.) into México. This provision was formerly available to those primarily in communications media and has now been extended to the cinematography (film) industry. It greatly decreases the amount of time and scrutiny generally required for truckloads of goods to cross the border.
Previously, you could only register your personal equipment (tools of trade), but this new provision allows rental equipment to be registered and brought into México on a temporary basis -- eliminating the need for a customs agent or a pedimento. The way it works is as follows:
The person securing the registration must possess a valid Mexican work permit or be a Mexican national living abroad. He or she would bring the following information to the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles or San Diego:
a) Manifested lists of equipment (containing serial numbers, values, etc.) from each of your vendors.
b) A copy of your company’s articles of incorporation (to show proof that it is indeed a film company)
c) A copy of your contract, deal memo or paycheck stub (to show proof that you work for the company).
Once the documentation is accepted, the lists of equipment/goods will be stamped, as well as your work permit. The person who secures the registration under his or her work permit then becomes responsible for the return of the equipment. Permission to export goods using this ruling is extended for no more than a six-month period.
Registration can not be used for any shipments that will not be returning EXACTLY as they entered México, and it cannot be used for definite (expendable) exports.
Keep in mind that this ruling has limitations, and Mexican Customs is still evaluating its effectiveness. It could be discontinued at any time, so check with the Mexican Consulate or your Mexican Production Manager before planning to use it.