Exporting guide to Mexico


Mexico is the world’s 15th biggest economy (World Bank, 2020). Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Mexico was £5.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2020 (ONS, 2020). The World Bank now classes Mexico as an upper-middle-income country. Demographically, the economically active population continues to grow.

Steady export growth from UK

Since 2010, UK exports to Mexico have grown at a steady 7% annually and bilateral trade has been increasing year on year since 2014 (ONS, 2020).

Strategic gateway

Mexico is a strategic gateway, to both the US and Canada and the rest of Latin America. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force on July 1st, 2020. Replacing NAFTA, this new agreement widens Mexico’s corridor of commerce with the largest consumer market in the world.

Large and youthful market

Mexico's population of 126 million is the word's 10th largest. Its capital Mexico City is home to 21.3 million inhabitants, and is the second largest metropolitan area in the Western hemisphere. Mexico is a trillion-dollar economy, enjoying stable economic conditions. It's a young nation, with 50% of the population under 28 years old (World Bank, 2020; World Population Review, 2020).

Mexico statue

Mexico: at a glance


Mexican peso

Business languages


You may need a translator

GDP per capita


UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Economic growth


(IMF, 2021)

Time zones

GMT -5

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Mexico have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Mexico

Preparing to export


If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Mexico, provided certain conditions are met.


Certain products, goods, processes and services must comply with Mexican regulations called normas (website in Spanish), or NOMs, before they can go on sale in Mexico. The main types of NOMs cover security, labelling and emergency.

Healthcare products must be registered with Mexico’s public health regulator COFEPRIS (website in Spanish) with documentation provided in Spanish.


NOM-50 is the regulation referring to product labels. Imported product labels must be in Spanish and include:

  • a description of the goods
  • mark of origin
  • number of items
  • importer’s name and Mexican tax identification number
  • exporter’s name and Mexican tax identification number
  • whether an instruction manual is needed
  • any expiry date
  • metric measurements

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Mexico.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Mexico

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

The Mexican Intellectual Property Institute (website in Spanish) regulates the use of patents, trademarks, advertisement and business names in Mexico.

Business behaviour

Many people in Mexico don't speak English and you may need a translator. A basic knowledge of Spanish will help you make a good impression.

Business attire is more formal in Mexico than in the US or Europe.

You need to use professional titles when greeting someone. If they don’t have titles you should call them Señor (Mr), Señora (Mrs) or Señorita (Miss) followed by their surname.

Avoid bribery and corruption

Mexico ranks 138 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2018.

In 2015 Mexico’s government introduced a national anti-corruption system to co-ordinate enforcement on federal, state and municipal levels. However, implementation remains a challenge and there are risks to look out for. We recommend that you:

Read guidance on what the UK bribery act means for your business and how you can reduce risk.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.