Mexico Bill of Lading


Beginning early in 2005, Union Pacific began making changes to the information required for shipments to Mexico. Those changes were due to impending Mexican Customs automation that would require through-waybills. At that time, we began asking customers to provide the destination city and state in Mexico. We also asked that the Mexican custom broker name and/or patente number (unique four-digit number assigned to each broker) be provided.

Today we continue to make changes to improve and enhance the movement of cars by standardizing the information required by Union Pacific and our partners Ferrocarril Mexicano and Kansas City Southern de Mexico. Because of that standardization, both Mexican carriers have agreed that the minimum necessary information required for the Mexican custom broker is:

  • Complete name
  • City
  • State
  • (If available, the address of the broker is desirable, but not required.)

The bill of lading information above pertains to UP-originating traffic only. Please see other carriers for their respective information.

Please note that the patente number is no longer required.

Mexican Custom Broker Name, City and State Needed

Customers must provide the Mexican custom broker name, city and state on the bill of lading for all rail shipments moving southbound from the U.S. and Canada into Mexico. The address is also preferred. For more information about the new bill of lading requirements, and to view sample bills of lading, please see below. If in doubt about billing on another railroad, you should contact that railroad's e-Commerce Help Desk.

Bills of lading submitted without this information will incur delays and cause congestion. In addition, document delay charges and other increased costs may occur as a result of these delays. As a reminder, any bill of lading not including the Mexican destination city and state will continue to be billed the diversion/reconsignment charge before the car is cleared to enter Mexico. If a bill of lading does not include the Mexican custom broker name, city and state, a diversion/reconsignment charge will be billed.

How This Information is Used

Shippers provide the bill of lading to the origin railroad with the Mexican custom broker name, city and state. The origin railroad forwards this information to all carriers in the route. Using the name of the Custom broker, the Mexican railroad posts the car(s) on their website for Mexican custom broker access. The Mexican custom broker uses the Mexican railroad website and the Mexican Customs website to complete their work to clear the car. After all approvals are received from Mexican Customs, Union Pacific is notified that the car is cleared to enter Mexico. The car crosses the border.

Who to Contact

For help and questions regarding how to correctly provide this information please contact Union Pacific's e-Commerce Team at 1-800-872-1045.

Customer Benefits

  • Improves communications among shippers, receivers and carriers, thereby reducing failure and administrative costs.
  • Streamlines rail operations, thereby decreasing congestion and expediting transit times.
  • Improves shipment visibility, thereby enabling customers to track the entire rail trip from origin to destination (using or
  • Improves customs clearance process with electronic transmission, thereby reducing paperwork and transit delays caused by waiting for clearance papers.
  • Supports Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) initiatives to improve border security and minimize border delays.
  • Fulfills the more stringent manifest reporting requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trade Act, the Canadian Security Initiative (CSI) and Mexico Customs.

Questions & Answers

Q: What happens if I don't provide the Mexican custom broker or the Freight Forwarder?

A: The rail car could be delayed in crossing the border and may incur charges for document delay.

Q: What happens if the shipper does not supply the destination city and state information?

A: The rail car may incur delay and the freight forwarder will have to pay the current diversion/reconsignment charge per UP 6004, Item 8540 .

Q: Some forwarders and/or Mexican railroads may ask for both the name and patente number for the Mexican custom broker, what is correct?

A: Union Pacific does not require the patente number. Only the Mexican custom broker name, city and state are required. The address is also recommended. If you are unsure, please contact your originating railroad's e-Commerce Help Desk.

Q: Is there a charge for not providing the Mexican custom broker information?

A: Yes, a diversion reconsignment charge (found in UP 6004, Item 6050) will be assessed.

Bill of Lading Examples

Customs and Security Export Requirements

Visit the Customs and Security page to learn about U.S. Department of Homeland Security requirements effective October 1, 2008.