U.S. exporters are focusing their ire on the Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT), Mexico’s tax agency for what they see as an increasing number of costly, time-consuming NAFTA audits and re-audits by the agency.
These exporters say the current Mexican government had promised to streamline the audit process.
“NAFTA rules of origin in this industry are very complex and require review of multiple levels of processing, which usually occurs at different company,” Elise Shibles, a customs and trade attorney, said in a statement. “It’s hard enough having to go through a NAFTA verification audit once, but being subjected to re-auditing when you’ve already passed with flying colors seems unduly harsh on business.”
Jorge Morales, managing director of STTAS de Mexico Servicios de Comercio Exterior, sees the status quo is tying companies on both sides of the border up in knots and hampering the flow of trade. Much of this can be blamed on confusion between processes and policy inconsistencies at the Mexican tax agency.
“Despite the fact that SAT is telling us that Mexican importers can submit NAFTA documentation on behalf of U.S. exporters, only a small number of Mexican importers know about this important benefit because SAT is handling this issue only as an internal regulation that hasn’t been properly disseminated among all involved companies,” he stated. “The lack of uniformity is confusing for our clients.” - Jon Ross