Guide to Exporting Cattle to Mexico
Skip to content

This quick reference guide was created to help highlight livestock exporting procedures found on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) webpage and assist all exporters of live cattle into Mexico. The exporting procedure has recently changed. Please familiarize yourself with the protocol and Questions and Answers to Breeding Cattle Protocol listed on APHIS to ensure a smooth process in selling and transporting live cattle into Mexico.  Below are some highlights of this USDA guidance:

U.S. Exporter Responsibilities:

  • Exporters must make a reservation with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) for adequate livestock pen space at their ports of inspection. Note that space availability at the border is very limited and must be secured prior to shipment. TDA inspection facilities are located at the following ports:

                 Livestock Pen Contacts and Locations

  • Contact a local veterinarian with USDA accreditation to issue health certificates for any/all livestock you are trying to export into Mexico. 

Important Notes

  • Exporter's local veterinarian with USDA accreditation must seal all cattle trailers at "Point of Origin."
  • It is the responsibility of the USDA accredited veterinarian and the Exporter's shipping agent to advise the USDA Veterinary Services (VS) port veterinarian of the date of arrival of the animals. The protocol requires that the VS port veterinarian, in the presence of a "Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación" (SAGARPA) approved Mexican veterinarian, breaks the seals on the trucks to unload the animals. SAGARPA has indicated that if necessary, a state or accredited veterinarian can also break the seals in the presence of the SAGARPA-approved veterinarian.
  • Exporter must verify that the Mexican buyer is registered and organized as a valid rancher/buyer through the Mexican "Sistema Nacional de Identificación Individual del Ganado" (SINIIGA) program. Buyers must be registered as Importers through Mexican Customs via the "Padron de Importadores" system, a national registry of importers and exporters. To be able to import or export most products into or from Mexico, the Mexican company that will be the importer or exporter of record must be registered to do so. They must have a legal invoice for what they wish to import.
  • Broker should provide any other pertinent forms/documents needed for exportation of livestock (e.g., "NAFTA Certificate of Origin" form, which must be issued by the Exporter). 

Mexican Importer Responsibilities That Exporter Should Confirm:

  • Make sure you get confirmation that the Mexican Importer has contacted the "Direccion General de Inspeccion Fitozoosanitaria" (DGIF) at least 30 days prior to the exportation of the livestock, in order to coordinate livestock inspections and to obtain an import permit. DGIF is the organization of the federal Mexican veterinarians that will be conducting the inspections at TDA's Export Facilities.

  • Make sure you also get confirmation that SINIIGA has been contacted and arrangements have been made to have your livestock tagged by these federal veterinarians from the state of entry into Mexico.

  • Mexican buyer is required to be registered and organized as a valid rancher/buyer through the Mexican SINIIGA program. Buyers must be registered as Importers through Mexican Customs via "Padron de Importadores."