Border Crossing Process
- Through rate or Rule 11 rate to final destination.
- Have a Freight Forwarder for clearing customs in the U.S.
- Have a Mexican customs broker for clearing customs in Mexico.
- Both shipper and consignee have a profile with all railroads involved.
- Once car is waybilled, it has 72 hours to clear customs, otherwise it will start generating demurrage charges, either with U.S. bridge carrier and/or with Mexican railroad (exceptions apply).
- Car needs to clear Mexican customs in order for Mexican railroad to issue the NIU (Unique Identification Number) to be able to cross the border.
Required Data for U.S. to Mexico Shipments
Shipments to Mexico that originate on CSX are interchanged with BNSF, KCS or UP at the border. To minimize delays, the following should be provided on bills of lading (or shipping instructions) to CSX:
- Effective Nov. 6, 2006, the following parties require full address (street, city, state/province):
- Care of party
- Ship from
- Pick up
- Freight forwarder
- Exporter name (if different from the shipper/consignee)
- Broker name, city, state, and patent number, if known
- Country of origin (rail origin)
- Full route information
- Value of shipment and specific currency (for bonded shipments)
- Piece count
- Weight and unit of measure
- Destination port and country (rail destination or port for multimodal shipments)
- Commodity description (Must be specific and detailed. FAK [freight of all kinds] or STC [said to contain], etc. descriptions are not acceptable and will be rejected by customs)
a. Harmonized Commodity Code if available (required for TE type bonded shipments)
- Type of customs entry required (For bonded shipments)
- Seal Number(s)
The U.S. to Mexico Shipment Process
The following steps occur when preclearing a rail car moving from the U.S. into Mexico:
- The origin shipper documents the car with the origin railroad carrier by submitting shipping instructions and provides the information to the U.S. freight forwarder.
- The U.S. railroad at the border issues a despacho previo notice within hours following online billing or receipt of a waybill from connecting rail carriers.
- The U.S. freight forwarder furnishes the necessary documentation for an export movement into Mexico (including copies of the waybill) to the Mexican customs broker.
- The customer establishes how export duties or other dues will be paid with the U.S. freight forwarder. The Mexican customs broker pays the import duties. The Mexican customs broker predocuments the shipment with Mexican customs.
- The Mexican customs broker predocuments the shipment with the U.S. railroad at the border.
- The Mexican customs broker delivers the prefiled documentation to the U.S. freight forwarder.
- The U.S. freight forwarder delivers copies of all documents to the U.S. connecting railroad at the border, and pays any document delay or demurrage/per diem, if applicable.
- Finally, the U.S. railroad prenotifies the car to cross into Mexico.
- With despacho previo, cars cross into Mexico for final delivery without being detained at the border. The exception to this process is when Mexican authorities (Hacienda = Treasury) randomly check cars at port of entry.
- Mexican carrier will issue a NIU (Unique Identification Number), so that car can be cleared from customs and cross the border.