Important update for Canadian exporters to Mexico

As per the new labelling requirements outlined in NOM-051, the following requirements are now in effect:

  • Octagonal Warning Signs: All warning signs must appear separately and not on top of existing labels. Mexico has confirmed that stickers placed on top of existing labels can be used indefinitely.
  • The use of characters, cartoons, celebrities, athletes and other characters appealing to children is not allowed on products with one or more octagonal warning sign.
  • In the case of imitation products as defined by the Amendment to NOM-051, these products are required to include the word IMITACIÓN (IMITATION) in capital letters, in bold, and double the size of the rest of the product's name, and are required to appear in the upper left corner of the main exhibition surface of the product.
  • Added sugars to be declared as: azúcares añadidos (added sugars) in the list of ingredients.
  • Additional products are included in the list of allergens that must be declared, such as molluscs.
  • In the case of imported products, the following legend is allowed: "fabricado o envasado por o para" (produced or bottled for), followed by the name and address of the importer.
  • The provision of declaring the trans-fats as part of the nutritional declaration in the labels is maintained.
  • The use of the terms: "Orgánico" (organic), "Ecológico" (ecologic) and "Biológico" (biologic), would be subject to the provisions of the Organic Products Label.
  • Products without octagonal black seals or cautionary legends are allowed to indicate this fact in the labels using the phrase "Este producto no contiene sellos ni leyendas" (This product does not contain seals or warnings/legends), following a certain format indicated in the Amendment to NOM-051
  • The name of the product must appear in bold in the main exhibition surface of the product, with a specific format, as indicated in the Amendment to NOM-051
  • Health and nutritional claims can be allowed on products that have octagonal black seals, but must follow special conditions.

Please note that the above are only some examples of the new provisions, so please review the full text of the Amendment to NOM-051 (in Spanish only), which contains all the new changes.

Recommended actions for Canadian exporters

We strongly recommend you get in touch with your Mexican importer and/or client to clarify what changes you may need to make to your product packaging in order to comply with these requirements.

You can also work with private verification units authorized by the Mexican government to certify that labels comply with the new NOM-051.

List of authorized verification units (in Spanish only)

Canadian exporters can reach out to the following Canadian Trade Commissioners if they or their Mexican partners are experiencing any issues importing their products due to this or any other development:

Francis Lindsay - Agricultural Trade Commissioner

Alejandro Ruiz - Trade Commissioner (Agri-food)