Port 2 Port | Nov 24, 2008
Israel, Mexico signed the amended Israel-Mexico Free-Trade Agreement
The newly signed amendment allows for goods originating in Israel or Mexico to undergo minimal processing or storage in a third country such as the US or EU, and still retain duty-free status.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Yishai, and Mexican Minister of Economics, Eduardo Sojo Garza-Aldape, signed last week a memorandum confirming the final text of the Amendment to the Israel-Mexico Free-Trade Agreement of 2000.
The amendment was negotiated over a long period of time by the Mexican commercial attaché and the foreign trade division at the Minister of Industry,Trade and Labor. Boaz Hirsch, foreign trade division director, said that the new amendment was a breakthrough in the bilateral agreement and was aimed at solving a problem faced by many companies that want to transit products made in either Israel or Mexico through a third country, such as the US or the EU.
Within the framework of the existing agreement, the transit of such goods via a third country, required redefining the country of origin of the goods and the payment of customs duties, because the free-trade agreement required direct shipment of goods between Israel and Mexico as a precondition for the customs exemption.
The newly signed amendment allows for goods originating in Israel or Mexico to undergo minimal processing or storage in a third country, before shipment to Israel or Mexico without this transit affecting the goods’ duty-free exemption, under the bilateral free-trade agreement. The agreement will be formally approved and come into force in 2008.
Liat Shacham, Israel’s commercial attaché to Mexico, said that Israel’s exports to Mexico in the third quarter of 2008 was $230 million, an increase of 8% compared with the parallel period in 2007. Israel’s import from Mexico during the same period was $160 million, an increase of 60%.