How to comply with Official Mexican Standards (NOMs)

NOMs are a series of rules used for keeping control of and regulate all products, services or processes that can be marketed in Mexico.

These Mexican standards are assessed by many government offices and aim to help consumers make more conscious decisions on what they buy and shed light on how certain processes, activities, installations or productions are conducted by companies.

We know it can be a complex issue and that’s why we want to share some related information with you about the best way to comply with these official Mexican standards.

What to know about NOMs?

Irrespective of the industry and the ample variety of products, these standards have a special outline to identify them from others, and comprise four essential parts. Let’s take NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 as an example. Its components can be identified as follows:

  1. NOM: is the short name for Official Mexican Standard
  2. 051: after the abbreviation, this numerical code serves as an identification number to locate the standard
  3. SCFI/SSA1: these are the short forms of the government offices issuing the standard. In this example, SCFI stands for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Promotion (SCFI, in Spanish), and SSA refers to the Ministry of Health through its National Standardization Advisory Committee on Sanitary Regulation and Promotion
  4. 2010: is the year the standard was published

Note that the NOM abbreviation is included in all Mexican standards, so what actually changes are the 3 other components as seen in the example above.

Foreign trade standards at customs offices

The regulations demanding a specific labeling of the products to be marketed entered into force on October 1, 2020. While this requirement must be observed at the production factories, it is important for logistics and transportation companies to make sure the products they are about to distribute comply with the specifications provided in the standard.

Of these Mexican standards, NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 seeks to regulate imports of pre-packaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages at customs. At first, the standard required the inclusion of a nutritional frontal label, but it now requires to include visible warning seals and safety information (in black octagons), and bans images of animated and children’s characters, animations or celebrities on the package.

For other goods being subject to Mexican standards with regards to commercial and sanitary information, it is indispensable to consider that logistics companies can no longer make imports using non-marketing/under oath letters.

Additionally, it is mandatory that goods being transported to specified border areas comply with all the relevant NOMs at customs.

What must the label contain to enforce commercial information NOMs?

  • Label of origin: it is necessary to place a label displaying the country of origin of the goods and the relevant commercial and nutritional information. The supplier can do this before shipping the goods or the carrier himself.
  • Label of origin + proof of conformity issued by an Accredited Verification Unit (UVA, in Spanish): the label shall come with a conformity assessment issued by a UVA, which is a company in charge of assessing that the goods to be verified are compliant with the standards in adherence to article 72 of the Federal Metrology and Standardization Law.
  • Labeling in national territory at the General Warehouse of Deposit (AGD, in Spanish): used when goods are headed to the fiscal depot to clear them at a General Warehouse that is approved to work as a UVA. In order to do so, the service is hired with an AGD attaching a copy of the contract to the customs declaration after which the labeling is verified prior to customs clearance.
  • Labeling at a private domicile: a UVA can be hired to verify the labeling. Some requirements are: being registered for 2 or more years on the importers’ register and maintaining an active status, having imported goods for 100,000 USD and showing a copy of the contract.

Logistics and transportation companies must also verify that the label remains adhered, glued, sown or hung on the item until it reaches the end consumer.

Given the need of continuing marketing and importing to Mexico, it is if the utmost importance to hire a Logistics Agent or Freight Forwarder like Akzent whose well-experienced customs professionals in international logistics will provide you with their expertise and everything necessary to comply with the mandatory requirements set out by NOMs.

Nueva llamada a la acción