AMLO to Create Independent National Customs AgencyBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:38
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration announced via the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) that the General Customs Administration that was previously under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance (SHCP) would become independent after 180 business days.
Before this takes place, Congress needs to formalize the certification of function transfer from the General Customs Administration. After, the new agency will have to balance a yearly fiscal budget while counting on customs service contributions. Notably, the new agency may not rely on additional resources or increased budget during the respective fiscal year.
According to the document the move aims to increase the efficacy of the agency, combat corruption and, more importantly, to heighten national security measures.
“[Mainly,] at points of access to the country, preferably considering the hiring of personnel who have stood out for being the guarantor of transparency, honesty and service to the people of Mexico, as is the case of those who belong or have belonged to the armed forces, to join the new decentralized administrative body as personnel.”
Autonomy will allow the agency to standardize procedures related to national security and to the inspection of international agreements signed by the country for the elimination of trade barriers, reads the document.
In a press conference, the president rationalized the implementation of the armed forces to carry out agency tasks given that:
“Customs are always coveted by corruption, we had already started with the delivery of the ports of the Navy, before the ports were a [source of plunder].”
Going forward the agency will have complete authority over its regulations, implementation, fiscal budget, assets and income. In addition to this, as a decentralized agency, it can petition the services of the armed forces to carry out its work. To ensure transparency and dissuade corruption attempts from within the agency it must report the proper collection, administration and accounting of revenues collected to the Service Tax Administration (SAT).
In agreement with interim provisions of the decree, Horacio Duarte, director of the General Administration of Customs will head the nascent National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM).