An important part of supporting quality level in companies and industrial parks have are certifications or distinctive that endorse their work, either in constant update in foreign trade standards it must follow, social responsibility exerted by its employees and with its production, customers and suppliers treatment, as well as with the sustainability it has.
The Mexican Foreign Trade Council, Northeast Chapter (COMCE NORESTE) issues some certifications, one of them is the Safe Chain of Mexican Foreign Trade, which helps achieving and maintain the C-TPAT records granted by CBP part of the United States customs; while at the SAT in Mexico issues the AEO (Authorized Economic Operator.)
According to the director of operations at COMCE NORESTE, Christian Alejandro Cantu Gonzalez obtaining these kind of official certificates speeds up the import and export shipment, “some of the C-TPAT benefits are: shipments are reviewed in less time, transports can use the fast lane which is exclusive for companies or certified logistics chain, with this companies reduce their products’ arrival times and have less restrictions; in addition of decreasing the pollution risk of the freight with drugs or terrorism due to the same processes they have about safety. While the AEO is similar, but it is issued by the Mexican customs, with this document import times are speeded up, less requirements, in case it is presented times can be expanded in temporal imports that through the CASCEM obtaining (Safe Chain of Mexican Foreign Trade) these certifications can be achieved.”
In addition, Cantu Gonzalez assured that with these emissions it is reduced in 75 % the border crossings time what leads to a reduction in costs, “depends on company type and products, for setting an example perishables delivery times are quicker and its duration larger, likewise the units that transport them save in diesel.”
This program to obtain the certifications is voluntary as most of all. COMCE NORESTE has served more than 700 facilities in Mexico and the United States through the Safe Chain of Mexican Foreign Trade, same that applied to obtain the AEO, all were approved; among them are Grupo BIMBO, Carrier, ALFA, Cemex, Femsa and Vitro. The Council works with export, import, transportation, customs brokers, and logistics operators companies and serves from 3 trucks to an industrial group or big transportation company. Up to March 15th there were a total of 786 AEO companies in Mexico, representing 55 % of the foreign trade in Mexico in 2017.
In Nuevo Leon 48 companies among imports and exports have this certification, 13 are terrestrial transporters and 3 customs brokers, most of them are located in Apodaca, followed by Escobedo and Guadalupe.
There are 600 export companies approved and 100 transporters in the country. 73 countries have the AEO program in the world and 17 more in process to be approved, in total more than 18 thousand companies are certified in AEO in the world.
The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA, by its Spanish initials) has had the Program of Environmental Audit and Nuevo Leon for 25 years, is one of the States with more participative companies nationally, and certifies Clean Industry, Environmental Quality and Touristic Environmental Quality.
“The certification is a volunteer program that is renewed every two years, where companies have a grade of fulfillment with the environmental standards of the three levels of Government and wish their practices are supported as optimum for the environment,” said Victor Jaime Cabrera, delegate of PROFEPA in Nuevo Leon.
In order to be able to credit a company they have to go through a long process where an auditor certified by the Mexican Accreditation Entity. “Auditors take us through the process. The Certificate has several levels 1 and 2; level 2 is equivalent to a high fulfillment that provides the company the possibility that after carrying all the fulfillments it can compete for being one of the 18 companies that achieve it,” the delegate said.
Another certification is the one of Clean Industrial Park, where all companies linked to good practices in Nuevo Leon Whirlpool became the first Park endorsed in the country by the end of 2013.
There are also companies in the state with environmental excellence such as General Electric, Coca Cola, “these brands fulfill the Environmental Standard on its three levels of Government and have gone beyond fulfilling the Lay, they fulfill innovations and they adopt them to the certification process,” Cabrera said.
There is also the distinctive Socially Responsible Company (SRC) granted by the Mexican Center of Philanthropy, which is not merely a certification, but a logo that seeks credit and recognize the companies by their commitment of providing social value to their operations, products and services to the public as well as for employees, according to Aaron Diaz Gonzalez, in charge of Support and Information of Corporate Social Responsibility.
In Nuevo Leon a total of 48 big companies have this evaluation, while the results from the SMEs are expected by the end of July, as those documents are still being evaluated.
The accreditation is valid for one year and it is obtained through a diagnostic process, which consists of an online questionnaire, in which companies place documented evidence. Since the CEMEFI is a civil association and not an authority, accreditation is defined as a trustworthy exercise for companies to show the activities and programs they carry out day by day, all under a confidentiality agreement.