Mexico removes exemptions on ICT imports

Mexico has removed several exemptions on imports of ICT (information and communications technology) products, which has angered US industry.

On October 6, 2020, Mexico notified the WTO of its proposal to revise a 1998 technical regulation, NOM-019-SCFI-1998 “Security of data processing equipment”, which establishes security requirements for certain ICT products. including but not limited to servers, data centers, and network devices.

According to the USTR, US stakeholders have expressed concern that Mexico no longer exempts many ICT imports from the United States from testing requirements and that Mexico would no longer recognize the results of conformity assessment procedures from the United States as meeting the requirements of the revised technical regulation, PROY-NOM-019 -SE-2020 “Information technology equipment and associated equipment, and equipment for security requirements for office use.”

ICT imports

As a result, the US industry estimates that this change will cost them $ 77 million and could negatively impact US jobs.

In another matter, on October 23, 2019, the Mexican Ministry of Economy published an amendment to Annex 2.4.1 of the “Resolution by which the Ministry of Economy issues General Standards and Criteria in Foreign Trade Matters”, which identifies the tariff codes of the goods subject to compliance with the Official Regulations. Mexican Standards (NOM) at the point of entry to Mexico.

Changes to Annex 2.4.1, which took effect on June 3, 2019, created new testing and certification requirements for certain products that were previously not subject to mandatory NOM compliance, creating new burdens for US exporters.

As a consequence, in 2019, the United States raised concerns about the changes to Annex 2.4.1 bilaterally and at the November 2019 meeting of the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT Committee).

Later, on October 1, 2020, the Ministry of Economy introduced additional changes to Annex 2.4.1, eliminating three exemptions for compliance with 14 labeling NOMs.


According to the USTR, the elimination of these exemptions affected exporters of wholesale and bulk products destined for the hotel industry and the manufacturing sector, among others.

Customs officials prevented these shipments from entering pending compliance, causing significant delays at the border.

After weeks of participation from the private sector and the United States government, the Ministry of Economy published additional guidance to clarify which items required labeling according to the NOMs, mitigating delays at the border.

Today, participation in these issues continues.


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