The deadline to file comments to the "Draft Modification to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051" for pre-packaged food and non-alcoholic beverages, expired on December 10, 2019. Olivares has already filed comments. The most controversial modification refers to section 4.5.1 of NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 which states:
“The label on the packaging of food and non-alcoholic beverages (including a pre-packaged seal) should not display characters, drawings, celebrities, gifts, offers, toys or contests, offers related to the price or content, attractive forms of packaging, visual-spatial games or social networking product ads, which encourage the consumption of the food or beverage.”
If approved, this provision would violate various Federal Laws and International Treaties.
Although the proposal has not entered into force yet, it is important to highlight that its wording can be changed so that it is in line with the philosophy of the new North American Free Trade Agreement, which has a specific regulatory coherence chapter.
Furthermore, the proposed "front labelling system" would contravene the provisions of the Technical Barriers Treaty (TBT) as well as the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to which Mexico is a party.
The Technical Barriers Treaty (TBT) and Free Trade Agreements recognize that each country can establish technical regulations (in this case Official Mexican Standards) but in doing so, must ensure that they do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.
Lastly, on December 13, 2019 the comments submitted to this proposal, were turned to the National Advisory Committee on Official Standards Regulation and Sanitary Promotion, organism which will study these comments within a period of 45 days and is entitled to modify the original proposal.
Olivares will continue to monitor this proposal and shall provide updates if/when it is approved and if any are amendments made to the current proposal.
This newsletter is intended only as a general discussion of the addressed issues and should not be regarded as legal advice.
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.