Photo: Iñigo De la Maza/Unsplash

By MARK LORENZANA

The Mexican federal government on Thursday, Oct. 20, published a list of products that can be imported into the country duty-free as part of President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) move to combat inflation, and to curb rising prices that are affecting the basic basket of food items in Mexico.

On the night of Wednesday, Oct. 19, a presidential decree was announced that exempts the payment of tariffs on select products until Feb. 23, 2023, or possibly until Dec. 1 of the same year.

According to the decree, a registry of importers of products of the basic basket will be created, overseen by Mexico’s Tax Administrative Service (SAT). These importers registered with the SAT will then be given a single universal license. They will need to comply with requirements and obligations, however, or risk suspension or termination from the registry.

Among the duty-free products are vegetables, corn, rice, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk and beans.

Experts have warned, however, that exempting several companies from the tariff — and licensing only a select few — is discriminatory to the smaller businesses and importers that are not part of the registry, especially those that might not be able to comply with stringent requirements.

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