June 10, 2020
The deadline to file comments before the National Advisory Committee on Official Standards Regulation and Sanitary Promotion in relation to the “Draft Modification to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051” for pre-packaged food and non-alcoholic beverages, expired on December 10, 2019.
As previously reported, OLIVARES timely filed comments against the Draft and the most controversial amendment contained in section 4.5.1, asserting that such modification restricts the use of characters, drawings and images of celebrities on the labels of pre-packaged food and non-alcoholic beverages that contain a seal because they exceed the amount of calories, free sugars, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.
The National Advisory Committee on Official Standards Regulation and Sanitary Promotion has now concluded its analysis and has approved the amendments to the Draft and the so called “front labelling system”.
Up until today, the final text is still not available. However, OLIVARES has been able to confirm that the “front labelling system” and the abovementioned controversial modification have been approved with some minor changes.
As mentioned in previous newsletters, (New labelling regulations that will impact the food and beverage industry in Mexico https://bit.ly/38N7b6k and Possible Implications Of The Draft Modification To Food And Drinks Labeling Standart In Mexico https://bit.ly/3aPjoJP ) the amendments to NOM-051 violates various Federal Laws and International Treaties, contravening 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.
Within the following days, the modifications to the Draft will be disclosed and thereafter, published in the Official Diary.
OLIVARES has already developed a strong legal strategy to respond to the approval of this modification. Once the NOM 051 enters into force or when it is applied prejudicially, it may be suitable to file an Amparo law suit on a case by case basis to contest its constitutionality.