Making a sale to Mexico is not much different than selling to a neighbor with a few minor exceptions. Once the Mexican buyer has selected the animals and the selling price has been determined, the following steps will help ensure a smooth transaction:
- It is a common practice for the buyer to give you a down payment that is enough to cover your costs of testing the animals for export.
- Determine with the buyer how and when the final payment will be made. Payments can be cash, wire transfer, check (written on a U.S. bank) that can be confirmed or a letter of credit.
- You should also determine if the animals are to be sold f.o.b. ranch or if the sale price will include delivery to the port of export. If the Mexican buyer is responsible for delivery of the animals to the border, help him locate a trucker. You will be more familiar with truckers in your area, and the buyer will appreciate your help.
- Make sure you have the buyer's name, address and telephone number. You will need to know through which port the animals will enter Mexico. Ask the Mexican buyer for this information. Establish how you will give notice when the livestock are ready to be delivered. You may inform the buyer or deal with a broker at the border. Make sure you have telephone numbers for the person or firm that will receive the animals. This information should be obtained before the Mexican buyer leaves your ranch.
- Call your local veterinarian. Explain that you have sold livestock to Mexico and need to have them tested for export. Your veterinarian will know the procedures and necessary tests. If your vet has any questions, they can contact the USDA at (512) 916-5555. Your veterinarian will prepare an export health certificate for the animals. This document along with any necessary blood samples will be sent to Austin. The export health certificate will be officially endorsed by the USDA. Remember, this added expense is your responsibility. Your will need to price your cattle accordingly. When the export health certificate is endorsed, it will be returned to you. *Note: Testing and securing the export health certificate usually takes about two weeks.
- Your animals will need some type of identification number. This can be a brand, tattoo or ear tag. Your veterinarian will need these numbers to identify the animals on the health certificates. Numbered ear tags that can be read at a distance are usually best.
- You will need to provide an invoice to the Mexican buyer. The invoice should include seller (your name and address), Mexican buyer (name and address), number and sex of animals purchased and the price. This invoice and the export health certificate will accompany the livestock to the border.
- It is a standard practice to receive full payment for your livestock before the animals leave the United States.
- When you have secured the export health certificates and prepared your invoice, the animals are ready for delivery. Call the person or firm that will receive the animals and set a delivery date. Contact the appropriate TDA export facility and confirm date of delivery. Normal working hours for TDA export facilities are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.