The maquiladora program was started by the Mexican government in 1964 to fight growing unemployment in the country at the time. The original program was called the Programa de Industrialización Fronteriza (Border Industrialization Program), and it allowed foreign-owned companies to set up manufacturing operations in Mexico where there was an ample supply of skilled workers available at lower wages than what existed in many other countries.
At about the same time, the IMMEX (Manufacturing Industry, Maquiladora, and Export Service) program was launched which provides import duty-deferral benefits to manufacturing companies with IMMEX certification. These companies are also commonly referred to as maquiladoras. They are exempt from the 15% value-added tax that is normally assessed on temporarily imported equipment and goods needed to support their manufacturing or repair of products.
The IMMEX program also established the framework for shelter services in Mexico and formed the basis for the conception of Tetakawi Manufacturing Solutions.
Later, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the additional incentives and tax benefits it contained, gave the maquiladora program an additional boost.
What Exactly Are Shelter Services?
Shelter services is the term used to describe the services provided to a manufacturing organization by a Mexican partner. The shelter services company acts as the legal entity that takes care of the complex compliance and legal issues involved with doing business in Mexico.
Tetakawi also provides access to a large portfolio of industrial real estate, a qualified local workforce, administrative support, advisory services and information, and pretty much anything else that is needed to establish and grow a manufacturing operation in Mexico.
Leveraging the high-quality resources of a shelter service company allows the manufacturer to focus on its core business rather than get bogged down in details that are outside its wheelhouse. The company still makes its own business decisions and controls its intellectual property, but the facility and personnel are managed by the Mexican shelter services partner.
What Can a Shelter Service Company Do for Me?
Tetakawi provides a wide range of services to businesses of all sizes and in different industries from aerospace and medical devices to automobile and textile manufacturers.
They provide services including, but not limited to:
- Cost estimation
- Customs analysis
- Site selection
- Access to established manufacturing communities in numerous locations
- Import and export support
- Recruiting and retention
- Payroll administration
- Startup support
Tetakawi is called a shelter service because its programs shelter foreign companies from the risks and potential liabilities that would normally occur if it incorporated in Mexico as a foreign subsidiary.
This type of arrangement is also attractive because it allows manufacturers to be more agile and scale quickly to changing economic conditions and supply and demand issues. When foreign manufacturing partners with Mexican shelter services companies, they can save on taxes, permit and license fees, infrastructure expenses, and labor.
Because Tetakawi has nearly 35 years of experience as a shelter services company, they have the in-house expertise to ramp up operations in a fraction of the time that a company moving to Mexico would be able to do on its own.
Choose Your Shelter Services Partner Carefully
When looking for a shelter services company to partner with in Mexico, look closely at their experience and the types of organizations they have helped in the past. Some specialize in specific business sectors, and you want to make sure their experience aligns with your needs.
In addition, dig into the type of services they provide so you know all aspects of your operation will be addressed. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to find someone to help with a situation you thought was already being managed.
Consider asking the shelter company about:
- The fees they charge for their services
- The full list of services available
- What costs are included in a lease
- How facility costs are divided between the shelter provider and the manufacturer
- If the shelter service provider holds a separate license just for your company?
The efficiencies and protections offered by shelter services providers are enormous. Tetakawi offers comprehensive, hassle-free services for manufacturing operations coming to or expanding in Mexico.