Regardless of the opinion of the automotive industry in Mexico, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador published -in its evening edition of the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF)- the decree to regularize imported used vehicles, also known as chocolate cars, providing them with incentives and facilities valid until July 20 of this year; although it excludes luxury, sports or armored units from the benefits.
The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) announced the rules and guidelines for the definitive importation of vehicles that circulate in Mexico illegally, and determined that only units for work use and transportation of people who are in Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Nuevo León , Sonora and Tamaulipas; as well as in the states of Baja California Sur, Durango, Michoacán de Ocampo and Nayarit, may benefit from the decree.
In the decree, the federal government clarified that the measure has the objective of controlling insecurity in the country and generating certainty for work vehicle owners that were purchased in the United States and Canada.
Therefore, it limited the regularization of vehicles that have restricted or prohibited their circulation in the country of origin or in Mexico, either due to technical characteristics or are reported as stolen, or related to a crime in an investigation folder. In addition to its age being eight or more years prior to the definitive importation.
According to the guidelines of the import decree, “used vehicles whose Vehicle Identification Number (NIV) corresponds to the vehicle’s manufacturing or assembly in Mexico, the United States or Canada (…) that as of October 19, 2021 were in the territory of the aforementioned states and do not have the document that proves their legal stay in the country, for the purposes of their regularization in the national territory, they may be definitively imported without requiring a certificate of origin, prior permission from the Ministry of Economy, nor registration in the Register of Importers”.
Guillermo Rosales, president of the Mexican Association of Automotive Dealers (AMDA) reacted to the evening publication of the federal government, to which he stated “the regularization of automobile smuggling will be promoted.”
He regretted that the industry had not been taken into account to define the guidelines of the decree on illegal vehicles, when President López Obrador had promised to consider the opinion of the automotive production sector that is facing one of the worst crises in its history, as a result of different factors such as the economic crisis, the Covid-19 and the shortage of semiconductors.
However, the federal government argued that the decree seeks to implement mechanisms that help the most needy families to obtain legal certainty about the vehicles they obtain.
“It is considered convenient to grant a fiscal stimulus and administrative facilities that allow the owners of the vehicles to achieve their legal stay in the country, through the payment of an amount of 2,500 pesos for use,” he established.
For the definitive importation into the country of used vehicles under the terms of this Decree, the owner must carry out the definitive importation process through a customs agent or agency, he said.