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Mexico Resources

Summary

Mexico imposes few controls on international money transfers below US$10,000. The peso is a fully convertible currency and sending money to Mexico or transferring money out of Mexico is not restricted. Above US$10,000 seek the advice of one of specialist brokers below.

Mexico's money transfer regulations

Personal money transfers and funds related to investment, including post-tax profits, dividends, royalties and fees, may be freely remitted at market exchange rates.

Combating organised crime is a major issue in Mexico, and authorities have introduced a number of restrictions on bulk cash payments. The amount of money that can be transferred to or sent out of Mexico at any one time is capped at US$10,000 or the equivalent in foreign currency. In 2010, the government placed several limits on cash transactions in US dollars; for example, the use of dollar bills was prohibited for sales over S$100, foreign tourists were limited to changing US$1,500 per month, and bulk cash deposits in Mexican banks were capped at US$14,000 per month. According to national authorities, this cut sharply the use of US dollars for money laundering.

In September 2014, Mexico removed the $14,000 monthly limit for USD cash deposits for companies that operate in the border region with the US, in an effort to stimulate bilateral trade. Companies in this area may now make unlimited deposits if they agree to closer financial monitoring by Mexican authorities.

Given its proximity to the US and heavy bilateral trade flows, currency exchanges in Mexico consist almost exclusively of transfers of US dollars to pesos.

Mexico's regulatory authority

The central bank, the Bank of Mexico, monitors the health of the financial system, issues national currency, and works to sustain the countrys foreign exchange reserves and price stability. A separate commission under the authority of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, the National Banking and Securities Commission (Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, CNBV), exercises direct supervision of the banking and capital markets and ensures that companies comply with financial regulation.

The Foreign Exchange Commission, comprised of officials from the Bank of Mexico and the Ministry of Finance, is responsible for setting foreign exchange policy. Since 1994, the Mexican peso, has been on a free float exchange rate regime, where its value is set by free market supply and demand. The central bank can intervene in the foreign exchange market to prevent disruptive swings in pesos exchange rate, which primarily consists of interest rate changes and foreign currency auctions.

Trade and investment issues

Mexico is very open to foreign capital flows and is working to encourage more foreign direct investment (FDI) under its Pact for Mexico economic plan. Regulatory changes introduced in late 2013 will allow foreign companies to invest in oil exploration and production, ending the historic monopoly of its state-owned energy firm, Pemex.

The government has introduced several new measures since 2013 meant to expand the countrys tax base. Mexico had the lowest level of tax revenue among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries in 2012, at just 9.7% of GDP. The government aims to add another percentage point to this through additional changes to the tax code in 2014. These regulations are subject to change in the future, and we recommend consulting sector-specific tax regulation before undertaking any investment project.

Economic background

Mexicos economy is highly reliant on trade, and therefore on the foreign exchange market. The country has signed some 50 free trade agreements with countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia, the most important being the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 with the US and Canada. In terms of combined GDP of its members, NAFTA is the largest trade bloc in the world.

Currency

Mexico's monetary unit, the peso (MXN), is made up of 100 cents, or centavos. The central bank issues banknotes in values of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos. Coins are issued in values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos, and 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos.

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