flag Mexico Mexico: Legal Environment

In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution


Business Contract

General Observation
A contract is considered international if the parts involved have a permanent residence or are established in different states or if the contract has objective contacts with more than one state.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Mexico is member of the Vienna Convention for the application of the International Contracts of Real Estate transactions.
Advisable Incoterms
It is advised to use the Incoterm FOB (Free on Board) or CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight).
EXW is one of the best options for the seller but he must organise his own transportation.
Language of Domestic Contract

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (in Spanish)
Secretaria de la Educacion Publica (in Spanish)
National Institute of Copyright (in Spanish)
Regional Organisations
World Intellectual Property Organisation
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Industrial Property Law
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Industrial Property Law, Article 16
10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Copyright Law
75 years after the death of the author  
Copyright Law
75 years after the death of the author. Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Law of Industrial Property
20 years  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners are entitled to impartial justice.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Yes, as long as it is an officially certified translator.
Legal Similarities
The Political Constitution of Mexico is the basis of the Mexican legal system. The judicial system is a combination of constitutional theories and American civil rights, as well as judicial revisions of different legislative statutes. Mexico accepts compulsory jurisdiction from the International Court of Justice, but with limitations.

The Different Legal Codes

Civil Law Federal Civil Code
Commercial Law Commercial Code
Criminal Law Criminal Code
Checking National Laws Online
Federal Legislation ( In spanish)
Other Useful Resources
Mexican Government website

The Jurisdictions

Supreme Court of Justice It is the maximum constitutional court and head of the Federal Judicial Power. It protects the order established by the Mexican Constitution, keeps the balance between other powers and government domains through its court rulings.
Electoral Court It is the maximum authority jurisdictional specialized in controlling and solving disagreements on the federal elections, as well as actions and resolutions that can violate political and electoral rights of the citizens.
Circuit Collegiate Courts It is in charge of  providing direct protection against conclusive judgments or against resolutions. It is the appeal court for judgments already pronounced either by the district judges or the responsible of the superior court, as well as extradition orders dictated by the President of the Republic as a response to a petition from a foreign government.
Circuit Unitary Courts It performs judgments of protection promoted against deeds from other circuit unitary courts. It is the appeal court for issues heard on first instance and district courts; it is the resource for a denied appeal. It qualifies impediments, excuses and rejections from district judges; etc.
District Courts They are in charge of crimes of federal order, procedures of extradition, authorizations to interfere in private communications, and controversies between the application of federal law in administration, civil or labor subjects. Also indirectly involved in resolving crime, administrative, civil and labor issues.
Federal Judiciary Council Manages, supervises and disciplines the judicial course of the Judicial Power of the Federation with the exception of the Supreme Court and the Electoral Court.  It determines the division and competence of territories and specialization - by subject - of the Circuit Collegiate, Circuit Unitary Courts and District Courts.

Court Officials

Supreme Justice Court (in Spanish)
The Supreme Court is the guardian of the Constitution, the protector of fundamental rights and the arbitrator who settles disputes.

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International Dispute Resolution

In Mexico, it is possible to use arbitration as a method to solve controversies.
Arbitration Law
Commercial Code
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
One to three arbitrators can be selected to represent each party.
Arbitration Procedure
The party that recurs to arbitration present its petition in written to the organisation that will manage the process. The date when this request is presented is the date when the process of arbitration is open. The other party shall eventually present its written argument as well.

The petition must contain: full name and address of all parties involved; exposition of the events which lead to the present claim; and demands and proposals regarding the place, rights and language chosen. An agreement to arbitrate and the basic contract must be included as well.

For more information, visit the Centre of Arbitration in Mexico

Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Information System of Exterior Commerce (Sectors Covered: Commercial Arbitration)

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Latest Update: July 2024