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August 15, 2019
Julia Hecht

Shipping Hazardous Materials to Mexico: What You Need to Know

Shipping hazardous materials to Mexico can be a complicated process since there are many organizations involved with the regulation of dangerous goods and their transportation. If you’re new to the process, it can certainly be more than a little overwhelming. 

If you’re interested in shipping hazardous materials to Mexico, then you’re going to need to be familiar with all the different agencies involved with the regulation of transporting hazardous material, including:

  • DOT
  • EPA
  • CBP
  • OSHA
  • NRC

In addition to that, you will need to ensure that you have all the required shipping documents. 

What is Considered hazardous materialsWhat is Considered Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials are any materials that could pose a reasonable risk to health, safety, or the environment if they are accidentally released from their container. They could be liquids, solids, or gases, and have varying degrees of danger. This stuff might sound like nuclear bombs and strange chemistry, but in reality, it’s much more common than that. There are many everyday household objects that qualify for being classified as “hazardous materials.” 

Take a look at this list of hazardous materials that are commonly shipped for consumer use:

  • Paint
  • Household cleaners
  • Pesticides
  • Lithium batteries
  • Petroleum
  • Gasoline
  • Helium
  • Pool chlorine
  • Acetone
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Fireworks
  • Car airbags

Regulations for shipping hazardous materials


Regulations for Shipping Hazardous Materials to Mexico

The Department of Transportation (DOT) refers to all hazardous materials that are being shipped as “dangerous goods.” In order to protect the workers, the companies, the roads, and even public health, dangerous goods have a strictly regulated transportation process in the U.S. and Mexico.

In addition to the laws established by the U.S. agencies, the shipment of dangerous goods must also be compliant with all of Mexico’s regulations for transporting hazardous materials as well. Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), however, this process has become a bit easier as the three countries involved have begun harmonizing the regulations for certain commodities. 

Before transporting dangerous goods, you must first get authorization from the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) and the Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Mexico before you will be allowed to move your shipment through Mexico. You will also need authorization from DOT in the U.S. Once your shipment has been authorized by all the required agencies, then you can move forward with getting the appropriate documents.

Land transport of dangerous goods from the U.S. to Mexico must be accompanied by several documents:

  • A Bill of Lading
  • A Commercial Invoice
  • A Freight Invoice
  • An Inward Cargo Manifest
  • A Letter of Instruction for Handling
  • A Packing Slip
  • A Shipper’s Export Declaration
  • A Dangerous Goods Declaration Form
  • A Pedimento Customs Entry Form
  • A Safety Data Sheet

All documents should be in both English and Spanish, to reduce the chances of misunderstanding. This also allows for appropriate hazard communication in the event of a spill, so responders to the incident can react appropriately to control it.

Finding the Right Shipping Service

When dealing with shipments of hazardous materials, you need to be extremely careful about following appropriate hazardous materials regulations and picking a carrier that is hazmat certified. The stakes are much higher with hazmat shipments than any other type of shipment since mishandling can lead to severe consequences. 

If a hazmat container leaks, either from poor packaging, improper storage, a collision, or something else, then it can have disastrous effects on public health, infrastructure, and the environment. There are many things that could go horribly wrong with mishandled hazmat freight, but here are just a few:

  • Maritime transportation interruption
  • Widespread serious illness
  • Destruction of personal and public property
  • Wildfires 
  • Ecosystem collapse
  • Radiation leakage
  • Death

Obviously, with such serious consequences, you will need to be extra careful when selecting the right carrier. If you want to play it safe, as you should, then you could leave the decision up to a third-party logistics company to verify the hazmat certification claims made by carriers and find the most trustworthy option for your hazmat freight. 

Hazmat Cross-Border Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

R+L Global Logistics makes the process of shipping hazardous materials to Mexico easy! No matter whether you're looking for Laredo cross border shipping or anything else, we are prepared to be your strategic partner. Our multi-lingual staff and over 30 years of cross-border shipping experience means that we can offer the best in customer service and successful deliveries. However, our real-time freight visibility and expedited shipping aren’t the only services we offer. We can also help if you need warehousing, customs brokerage, or supply chain management assistance. We only work with the most trusted and reliable carriers, so you can rest easy knowing that your hazmat shipment is in good hands whether you are shipping textiles or looking for trusted manufacturers in Mexico. We have you covered. Ready to request a quote? Contact us!



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