Mexico: Government Announces Increases In Governmental Duties On Water Extraction, Beach Concessions And Environmental Permitting Matters

On December 31st, 2014 the Tax Miscellaneous Resolution for 2015 was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. This resolution includes amendments to Appendix 19, setting forth rises in the amounts to be paid as federal governmental duties pursuant to the Federal Duties Law. The increases are effective as of January 1st 2015. Although the amounts may be updated during the course of the 2015 fiscal year, in principle the new amounts will be in force until December 31st, 2015.

In connection therewith, we bring to your attention the following relevant aspects of the new amounts applicable to environmental permitting filings and uses of certain national property under the jurisdiction of the federal environmental authorities.

Governmental duties applicable to environmental permitting

Under this concept, the public services related to the study, evaluation and authorization of the following environmental permits are included:

  • Concessions for the exploitation, use and/or benefit of national water.
  • Waste water discharges into federal bodies of water or assets.
  • Environmental impact authorizations.
  • Forestry use of land change authorizations.

Governmental fees related to these services were increased in approximately 7.8% in relation to the fees applicable during the 2014 fiscal year.

Governmental duties applicable to the use, occupation and/or benefit of national assets

National water. Individuals and entities who use, exploit or benefit from national waters, whether through means of a concession, authorization or permit or de facto, are obligated to pay governmental duties, pursuant to the water availability zone (zona de disponibilidad de agua) in which the extraction takes place.

A generalized 4% increase in relation to the 2014 fees was applied to governmental duties for ground and surface waters in all four water availability zones. By way of example, contributors who exploit, use or benefit from groundwater in availability zone 11 must pay MX$19.3914 per cubic meter instead of the $18.6169 that they used to pay in 2014.

Maritime beaches, federal maritime terrestrial zone and reclaimed lands to the sea. Individuals or entities using, occupying or benefiting from maritime beaches, federal maritime terrestrial zones and/or reclaimed lands to the sea must pay a governmental duty based on the zone where the real estate (maritime beach, federal maritime terrestrial zone and/or reclaimed lands to the sea) is located.

In connection therewith, governmental fees applicable to general use2 in most zones were increased in about 7.8%, except for those applicable to Zone I which tariff was raised in 8.2% and those applicable to Zone X Subzone B which increased in 2.9%. Governmental fees applicable to protection and ornament uses3 have been increased in about 7.9%.

Waste water discharges. As a general rule, those who discharge wastewater into federal receptor bodies or assets such as rivers, streams, basins, water deposits and marine water, as well as those who discharge residual waters into the soil or which infiltrate into lands considered as national property or which may pollute the subsoil or aquifers are obligated to pay governmental duties. The governmental duty for discharging wastewater is determined based on the discharged volume in a given quarter and on a fixed rate established in the Federal Duties Law that depends on the receiving body's classification as "A", "B" or "C".

Governmental fees applicable to each of those three types of bodies (A, B or C) were increased in approximately 4.0% for those contributors falling under sections II and III of article 227-B of the Federal Duties Law.

As mentioned in our March 2014 client alert –which can be consulted in our webpage-, there are certain exceptions and benefits to this governmental duty.


1. Availability zones are those set forth in the Agreement published on March 27th, 2014 in the Official Gazette of the Federation.

2. Pursuant to the Federal Duties Law general use means that which is given to occupied surfaces in which works or constructions with foundations have been made or which are linked to a commercial or lucrative activity.

3. Pursuant to the Federal Duties Law, use for protection purposes means that which is given to occupied surfaces aiming at preserving their natural state. No constructions are allowed nor commercial or lucrative activities. Ornament use means that which is given to an occupied surface in which certain constructions may have been made without the need for any foundations, and which are destined to embellish the place or for recreational purposes of the permit holder. No commercial or lucrative activities are allowed.

Originally published January 2015

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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