Understanding the NOM Mark and How to Obtain It for Your Organization

Market Access in Mexico

In many countries, manufacturers, distributors, and importers of electronic or electrical equipment are required to demonstrate that their products meet the minimum safety requirements for both the end user and the environment they will be used within. Each country’s market will require these products to meet their local standards and demonstrate compliance with these requirements before they can be sold in that market.

One such market that observes this practice is the Mexican market, which requires the more than 2,000 classified products that are imported into the country to meet Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) standards. These products span across a variety of industries, but some sectors such as the electrical equipment and electronics include additional mandatory requirements for energy efficiency.

With more than 100 million people in the Mexican market, it’s crucial that manufacturers and importers work to receive their NOM certification in order to sell their products to market.

What is a NOM Certification?

Official Mexican Standards, or the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) certification is a set of standards and legal enforcement documents that regulate the products, processes, and services that could pose a safety or health risk for people, animals, plants, or the environment. Most products imported, stored, transported, commercialized, sold, or used within Mexico must comply with these official Mexican standards, regardless of if they have previously been certified to U.S., Canadian, or other international standards.

Testing can be conducted by a laboratory outside of Mexico, only if it holds a mutual recognition agreement, which has been approved by the Mexican General Directorate of Standards (DGN).

Scope & Compliance

NOM outlines the minimum safety requirements that an organization and its product, including the method of production, must meet. There are also requirements related to the packaging and materials such as commercial information and labeling that must also be observed. For electronics or electrical products, relevant energy efficiency standards may also be required.

NOM requirements for electrical and electronic products include:

  • Safety requirements (certification)
  • Energy efficiency or Sustainable Energy Use Law (LASE) declaration
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
  • Commercial information requirements (packaging)
  • Homologation

All applicable products entering the Mexican market must be compliant with these regulations and receive a NOM mark, including exports that were once allowed into the country prior to these standards.

Steps for NOM Certification

The first step to the NOM certification process is for the manufacturer to complete an application, during which time the accredited laboratory will send a notification outlining any non-compliancy issues that are uncovered. All issues of non-compliance or deficiencies must be addressed before the certification process can begin.

It’s important to work with an accredited Certified Body (CB) in order to fully understand the options for initial certification, follow-up inspections and testing, and future certification renewals.

Testing

Testing is an important element in the NOM certification process. Since there are requirements around the testing process that must be followed without any deviation or risk being denied Certification, it’s crucial to use an approved and accredited Certification Body like Nemko to issue Certification.

Certification though a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) is possible and requires a validation and review process in addition to the other pieces of technical documentation.

Technical Documentation

These requirements vary by standard and may be specific to the third-party certification company that completes testing. However, it typically consists of the following:

  • Spanish translated manual of operation or service
  • Technical specification sheet
  • Product photographs and electrical diagrams
  • Information regarding rated frequencies (Hz), supply voltage (V), power consumption (W) or rated current (A)
  • Specification of type of power (AC or DC)
  • Component listing as needed
  • Mexican tariff fraction (8-digit code)
  • Other documentation may be required, depending on the given situation.

Certification & Inspections

The correct form for obtaining a NOM certification must be used, as this is only granted by Certification Bodies that have been accredited by a Mexican Accreditation Entity, such as EMA and approved by the Mexican General Directorate of Standards (DGN).

Nemko NOM certificates are valid for one year and are subject to audits during that period of time.

Products must be tested again during the mandatory follow-up inspections to ensure compliance throughout the certification cycle. The number and frequency of the audits are dependent on the standard but are typically conducted seven to nine months after initial certification. Follow-up visits are mandatory.

Although a NOM certification cannot be transferred, a certified holder can forward the usage rights to distributors within Mexico. Nemko refers to this as a “NOM Extension.” These parties can then receive a NOM certification of their own without additional testing required.

How Nemko Can Help

Nemko understands what it takes to comply with these Mexican standards and can help your company to identify which NOM is applicable to your situation. Since the Mexican certification standards currently cover more than 2,000 products, it’s important to find out which NOM applies to your products specifically.

Nemko is accredited by the Mexican entity EMA and approved by the Mexican General Directorate of Standards to operate as a Certification Body, which means Nemko is able to certify products that are intended for the Mexican market.

Written by Luis Gonzalez
Certification Manager and Product Safety Engineer with over 20 years of experience working at Certification Body Testing Laboratory (CBTL) and Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). Certifier of Medical Equipment, Household Equipment, Audio and Video Equipment and Information Technology Equipment.

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