You probably tried this tequila-related beverage and thought “wow, this is tasty, it has a promising market projection in my home country, importing it sounds like a nice idea!”.
Mezcal is a distilled liquor, made from agave, the same plant that is used to make tequila. There are a series of differences between the two beverages. Firstly, mezcal’s production is based on craftwork whereas the production of tequila is highly industrialized.
Contact us to get a free consultancy session on how to trade with mezcal. You just have to mention that you read it in this post!
Secondly, the various regions in Mexico where mezcal can be produced include the possibility to use diverse species of agaves with different tastes, while just agave azul is used for the production of tequila.
Lastly, the concentrations of agave and alcohol are very different. Mezcal must be made 100% from agave and is up to 55% of alcohol while tequila is up to 45% alcohol and a minimum of 51% agave. Read more about mezcal here.
Now, you might already be an experienced importer who is thinking of importing mezcal as it is becoming very popular. On the other hand, you might be new in importing merchandise. In this case we strongly advise you to consult the requirements with your local international trade governmental institution. From a legal perspective, you usually just have to register as an importer but the paperwork changes from country to country.
Regardless of your country, below we include some of the essential aspects that should be considered before you start to plan importing mezcal to your local market.
The first thing is to find mezcal producers that comply with a certain set of requirements regarding human consumption standards.
Precisesly, you will have to find producers that are certified by the Consejo Regulador de Mezcal (Mezcal Regulation Council), registered in the exporters’ standard, COFEPRIS and certificate of origin.
The institution that regulates the production of mezcal. Specifically, it approves if a liquor that is made of agave can be called mezcal.
In Spanish known as Padrón de Exportadores, is a requirement for businesses to export. It is how the government follows-up exports.
Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks. It is the governmental institution in charge of checking safety matters of products.
An essential requirement to request if your home country has a free trade agreement with Mexico. By showing proof that the product, in this case mezcal, is produced in Mexico, the cargo may be exempt from tariffs. This may depend on the agreement, but in the cases of Canada, USA, it is exempt because of the USMCA. In the same manner, it is exempt within the European Union in conduct of the EU- Mexico Trade Agreement.
Every party in the supply chain of mezcal (producer, retailer, etc) can provide the certificate of origin.
According to our experience, the key element to save time is to be clear on how much you are willing to distribute or sell, together with the price you are willing to pay to check if their interests match with yours.
Furthermore, this is the information you should request from the producer:
We have been working with mezcal producers in their internationalization processes, if you want any suggestions on what producer fulfills these and more requirements, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Apart from asking whether your possible exporters fulfill the national criteria that are set for exporters, you should look up what are the specifications to import mezcal in your local market. This can be easily done by finding the tariff fraction. As a hint that might be helpful, in Mexico, for example, is 2208.90.05.