On December 26, 2020, the Ministry of Economy (“SE”) published in the Federal Official Gazette (“DOF”) the “Resolution that Establishes the Goods Whose Import and Export are Subject to Regulations Issued by the Ministry of Energy” (the “Resolution”) superseding the permitting regulation for import and export of hydrocarbons and petroleum products, originally published by the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) in the DOF on December 29, 2014. 

As analyzed previously, the Resolution constrains the procedure for filing and obtaining import and export permits and establishes additional requirements.  As a result, the legal framework for marketers of products such as gasoline, diesel and jet-fuel have changed significantly.

Please click here for our previous post regarding the impact of the Resolution.

Although concerns were manifested by individuals and especially the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (anti-trust agency) alerting that the Resolution could cause severe damage to the market, especially with respect to the free market and the promotion of private investment, the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (“CONAMER”) granted on December 24, 2020 the green light for the early publication of the Resolution. 

Notwithstanding the comments and suggestions made through CONAMER’s website, the relevant content of the Resolution remains as originally proposed with respect to permitting procedures and with some minor amendments in the products subject to the Resolution (i.e. the published Resolution left out petrochemicals not-related to the petroleum sector such as etilic alcohol). This will likely mean that there will be judicial actions filed against the Resolution but regardless of the outcome, the damage is done because Mexico is in effect changing the rules of the Energy Reform.  These changes will impact not only the importers of fuels but also the upstream investors that were counting on 20 year export permits to produce their crude.  It is early to measure the extent of the damage, but these types of measures generate uncertainty and lack of confidence in the regulatory system.

In the meantime, as provided in the transitory articles, the Resolution is in full force and effect as of December 28, 2020, becoming the new regulatory framework for the import and export of hydrocarbons and fuels.