Mexico's efforts to stimulate its border economy by raising the minimum wage and lowering certain taxes don't necessarily extend to the customs brokers tasked with getting goods across the border's ports of entry. Rene Vidal, president of the Association of Customs Brokers in Sonora, explained why brokers are cautious about applying some of the new incentives. Mainly, the reduction in sales tax rate from 16 percent to 8 percent.
"We still don't know where our responsibilities are going to lie down the future. So, we've heard talks that if we apply the 8 percent and we charge only 8 percent of the tax, that if for some reason the federal government sees that something wasn't done correctly … they can go ahead and charge us for what we didn't charge," Vidal said.
Mexican customs officials still apply the full 16 percent sales tax on items imported at the border, according to Vidal. "In no way is it any type of benefit to reduce for 8 percent for anything that has to do with customs purposes."