What is an AVU or Authorized Verification Unit?
An Authorized Verification Unit is a legal entity, be it a person or a company, competent and endorsed by the Mexican Accreditation Entity (as well as accepted by the Ministry of Economy) to review imported products and protect consumers in compliance with the law.
What is your job?
The Authorized Verification Unit is in charge of evaluating your imported merchandise and then certifying that it complies with all the country’s official regulations, and therefore, that they are safe products for the consumption of citizens.
The verification unit moves to the site where the merchandise is detained as soon as it arrives in the country to carry out the pertinent procedure, issuing a Compliance Report The company’s products have been tested to be satisfactory, thus demonstrating that the content of the products complies with the Mexican government’s requirements and corresponds to the labeling standards.
Benefits of a competent Authorized Verification Unit
In order to streamline logistics, the verification unit ensures that newly imported products can be freely distributed in accordance with labeling standards.
When importing, it is common that labels are in another language or do not comply with Mexican Official Standards.
Therefore, the Verification Unit allows the merchandise to be moved legally to its distribution stores as soon as possible.
Thus, in order to ensure that customs clearance procedures are expeditious and consume the least amount of resources, it is important to have the support of a competent and experienced Authorized Verification Unit.
How does UVA work?
The procedure for the verification of your goods by the UVA, in general terms, is as follows:
- In advance, a Request for Inspection Services must be made to the customs office where your goods are located. You will obtain this document from the Conformity Assessment Body, and with it you will have the green light to move your merchandise to the place where you normally store it.
- Remember that this Request for Inspection Services must include information such as: identity of the person responsible for the import, characteristics of the merchandise received in the country, the labeling compliance The address of the site where the products will be moved to for further verification.
- After this, the selected Authorized Verification Unit will arrive at the storage site to perform its work. Depending on the nature of the goods, and at its discretion, the UVA will either perform on-site validation or take a sample of the product for subsequent evaluation at another, better qualified facility (laboratories, etc.).
- It is important to note that the time and handling of such verification may vary depending on the merchandise. Broadly speaking, evaluations are made by eye, checking measurements, collecting samples, evaluating from a laboratory or through a thorough inspection of documents related to the products.
- If everything is in order taking into account the indications of the NOM, then the UVA will issue a Compliance Report. With this document, it will be guaranteed that your merchandise can be traded without generating any risk to anyone.
Regarding labeling, you must remember that you have up to 30 days to prepare it correctly, following the NOM guidelines.
Other alternatives for official labeling
The two additional ways to perform this same procedure with all possible legality are direct labeling at customs, or through PROSEC.
It is possible to have the product labeled directly at customs, but this requires a qualified supplier. This modality has almost fallen into disuse due to the difficulty of carrying it out, although there are still cases in force in the country.
Tagged with PROSEC
This procedure can also be recorded through the Sector Promotion Programs. First you must make a registration request to the Tax Administration Service (SAT) and then go to the Foreign Trade Digital Window (Ventanilla Digital de Comercio Exterior) and submit the following documents:
- Request for authorization or extension of PROSEC programs: specifically, manage format SE-03-023 and 24.
- Articles of Incorporation and Power of Attorney (original and certified copy).
- RFC (copy).
- Document endorsing the ownership of the property where the production takes place (original, copy and photos).
- A letter of Fact made by the public federary. In this way, it is legally proven that you as a company have the legal space to carry out your company’s activities (production or import storage).
After this, you will be granted authorization within 15 working days, along with a 24-digit folio.
Importance of complying with official Mexican standards
NOM stands for Normas Oficiales Mexicanas (Mexican Official Standards ) and every product and service available to the public is regulated by these standards.
Specifically, we are talking about a compendium of guidelines, regulations, indications and laws oriented to these resources, with the purpose of determining whether they are in order, or rather, suitable to be consumed or experienced by customers.
The NOM even establishes specific terminology for certain areas, as well as standard labeling on products within the country, and a symbology along with a certain packaging method to consider a product legal in the whole word.
By complying with these regulations, you will avoid complications and fines and ensure timely distribution of your products.
Regulations in force from 2020 onwards on verification units
In October 2020, the Ministry of Economy published in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) the general rules and criteria for foreign trade (http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5601629&fecha=01/10/2020).
These new rules mean that goods can no longer be moved under the «letter of non-commercialization» previously used to move many imported products.
Now, without exception, companies must comply with the NOM on commercial information.
How to comply with Commercial Reporting Standards?
Mainly, the Ministry of Economy itself contains on its website all the regulations, as well as the relevant information to be able to sell your products within the country in the simplest way possible.
Getting services endorsed by this entity is fundamental, especially in the verification part where the UVA plays the main role.
Once you adjust to the regional regulations as it should be, there will be the possibility to start any process without delays caused by legal nonconformities.
Now you know, competent verification units avoid fines, unnecessary delays and save time, resources and money.