Mexico, along with the United States and Canada, is one of the three member countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement (T-MEC). As such, it is a strategic – and lucrative – gateway for producers wishing to market their products and goods in this vast trade zone.
All products sold in Mexico must comply with Official Mexican Standards, or Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOMs), which are Mexico’s primary, mandatory standards established in the National System of Quality Infrastructure. In this article, we delve into the world of NOMs, exploring their significance and the NOM certification process. You’ll learn how to secure your business activities in Mexico and how NOMs safeguard consumer interests in Mexico’s marketplace.
NOMs are standards that encompass a diverse range of industries, including electronics, automotive, food and beverages, and environmental protection. Compliance with NOMs is mandatory for manufacturers, importers, and distributors who wish to enter the Mexican market or operate within its borders.
NOMs are a key pillar of the country's regulatory framework. These standards are developed and approved by several agencies of the Mexican federal government, and they establish specific, mandatory requirements and procedures aimed at guaranteeing both the quality and safety products with regard to consumers and the environment.
NOMs may include requirements for a product’s design, method of production, or operation, as well as requirements related to symbology, packaging, or labeling.
There are over 2000 product categories that require NOM certification in Mexico. Products that require NOM certification include, but are not limited to:
Electrical appliances: Household devices, lighting equipment, and electronic components
Automotive products: Vehicles, tires, and automotive spare parts
Health and safety-related items: Pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Consumer goods: Textiles, toys, and furniture.
Food and beverages: Processed foods, beverages, and food additives
Telecommunications equipment: Devices and infrastructure related to communication technology
Environmental protection products: Equipment and technologies for environmental conservation and pollution control
Industrial equipment: Machinery and tools used in various industries
Companies must demonstrate the compliance of products and goods with a given Official Mexican Standard prior to their import to Mexico and sale in the Mexican market. This is where NOM certification comes in.
In order to comply and secure NOM certification, companies must ensure that they can produce official documents demonstrating that their goods and products meet the requirements and specifications described by the authorities.
It is recommended that applicants work with duly accredited and approved certification agencies to perform the conformity assessment process for NOM certification.
Obtaining NOM certification includes the following steps:
1. Identifying the applicable NOMs: The first step is to identify the applicable NOMs for your product. This can be done with the support of an external expert or by consulting the Official Mexican Standards database on the website of the Mexican Secretariat of Economy.
2. Gathering product documentation: It is essential to have an up-to-date file of product documentation, including technical specifications, test reports, and labeling information. This documentation will be used to assess your product's compliance with the applicable NOM requirements.
3. Testing your product: To gain market access, your product must be tested in a laboratory to ensure that it meets the requirements of the applicable NOM. These tests should be done by an accredited laboratory in Mexico or one located outside of Mexico that has a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) approved by the General Directorate of Standards (DGN) of the Mexican Secretariat of the Economy. NYCE, a QIMA company, is an accredited laboratory in Mexico with an MRA with certifying bodies outside Mexico.
4. Obtaining a NOM certificate: Once your product has passed testing you will receive a test report. With this test report, you can apply for a NOM certificate from a certification body like NYCE that has been approved and accredited by Mexican authorities. The certification body will review your product documentation and test results and issue a NOM certificate if your product meets the requirements of the applicable NOMs.
5. Marking your product with the NOM mark: Once you have obtained a NOM certificate, you can mark your product with the NOM mark. The NOM mark is a visual indicator that your product meets the requirements of the applicable NOMs. Bearing a NOM mark on your product means you will have access to the Mexican market without burden during importation, transportation, and/or commercialization.
The NOM certification process can be complex and time-consuming, but it is essential for ensuring that your products meet the requirements of the Mexican market. By following the steps outlined above and working with an approved certification body like NYCE, you can ensure that your products are properly certified and that you can enter the Mexican market without any problems.
The QIMA-NYCE Group is a third-party conformity assessment body for Mexico. NYCE is a widely recognized evaluation organization with a large scale, strong authority, and comprehensive business in Mexico and Latin America. Thanks to its alliance with NYCE, QIMA is exceptionally positioned to certify compliance of your products with the relevant NOMs.
Since its establishment in 1994, NYCE has evaluated over 300 million products and issued more than 670,000 certificates in a wide variety of industries. It has participated in the formulation of more than 600 Mexican National Standards (NMX), national voluntary standards that serve to support the economic development of companies.
With the acquisition of NYCE in 2021, QIMA’s clients can now reap the benefits NYCE’s vast knowledge of the compliance processes built up over years as the unrivaled leader in compliance processes in Mexico.
As a leader in the field of compliance assessment processes, QIMA-NYCE boasts a wide portfolio of services such as:
At QIMA-NYCE, we offer NOM and NMX certification for the electronics, telecommunications, information technology, chemical, and plastics industries, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our certification services.
The Complexities of Importing to Mexico and the Importance of a Proactive Focus - Learn how to get proactive about the customs process when importing your products to Mexico.
Regulatory Updates - Get the latest information on updates to NOM standards.