What are NOMs?
Mexico’s system of quality standards known as Normas Oficiales Mexicanas (NOMs).
Commercial standards are NOMs that concern the provision of product information to the consumer, including labeling. These regulations are enforced at the store shelf as well as at the border. Although there are a few labeling requirements embedded in technical standards, for the most part, commercial standards are imposed through specific NOMs designed only for that purpose. Responsibility for enforcement of commercial standards rests with Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Profeco), Consumer Protection Office, which is an independent branch of Secofi.
The NOMs are the most important sources of standard regulations for importers, distributors, manufacturers and sellers of goods and services. To certify compliance with various NOMs that are applicable to different economic sectors, verification is a key component for many businesses that may need one or more NOM compliance certifications. These are provided by privately held and licensed laboratories or Verification Units.
Strictly speaking, compliance with mandatory NOMs, and official standards, is the responsibility of the importer. But Constancias de Conformidad, certificates of compliance, with these regulations must accompany goods when they cross the border. This means that compliance is for practical purposes the responsibility of the exporter. Even so, each importer must separately apply for a certificate for a particular product. Amendments allow the manufacturer to obtain a certificate of compliance that could then be assigned to separate importers.
Compliance with the NOM regulations became an issue for exporters following the implementation of the NAFTA on 1 January 1994.