Maquila Reference is designed to serve as a reference/guide for the Maquiladora Industry and Mexico manufaturing.

Manufacturing in Mexico: IMMEX / Maquiladora Program

IMMEX / Maquiladora Program

Manufacturing in Mexico as a maquiladora under the IMMEX program (formally known as the Maquiladora Program) can offer tremendous benefits for virtually any foreign manufacturer, especially those selling into the North American market. Established in 1965 by the Mexican government as a way to reduce unemployment along the borders, the maquiladora program offers foreign companies easy access to inexpensive labor, favorable tax benefits and special import/export terms via some 44 free trade treaties and agreements with countries around the world. The IMMEX program, however, requires companies to follow strict regulations and compliance, especially in the areas of Customs (Import/Export) and Accounting. A strong administrative team is highly recommended.

The early years of the maquiladora industry mostly brought unsophisticated assembly to Mexico, primarily in the textile, industrial and simple electronics industries. Nonetheless, the program continued to gain momentum and by 1985 was the largest source of foreign exchange in Mexico. With the introduction of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, maquiladoras quickly became the country’s second largest industry, behind petroleum, with some 2,700 facilities employing more than 1.5 million people. The Mexican government responded to the growth with both new infrastructure and a strategic plan for better education and training for its citizens. By the turn of the 21st century, the maquiladora industry was completely transformed into a sophisticated manufacturing base servicing the Aerospace, Medical Device, Electronics, Automotive, Metal Mechanics, Consumer Products and Alternative Energy industries. While there was a decline in growth in the 2000’s when companies were shifting manufacturing to China, Mexico manufacturing is again on the rise and the maquiladora industry is once again experiencing substantial growth.

Related Links:
Office of United States Trade Representative: Click Here
United States Customs and Border Protection: Click Here

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