USMCA: differences between Mexico and the U.S. over new standards

Mexico and the United States have had differences regarding the publication of Mexican standards and their compliance with the Mexico-United States-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

In a side letter to the USMCA, Mexico stated that its national motor vehicle safety standards, NOM194-SCFI-2015, incorporate the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

In addition, Mexico committed to continue to recognize and accept the U.S. FMVSS as meeting the relevant specifications for essential safety devices set forth in NOM-194-SCFI-2015 or any amendment or successor instrument to that standard.

In September 2021, Mexico notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its draft Mexican Official Standard PROY-NOM-194-SE2021, which would establish new safety standards for new light vehicles and cancel NOM-194-SCFI-2015.

The U.S. government and industry provided comments on the draft standard to Mexico in November 2021, which included raising concerns with certain voluntary standards introduced in the measure, and expressed support for Mexico’s continued acceptance of self-certification with U.S. FMVSS.

USMCA

The United States also raised questions about the measure in several bilateral meetings with Mexico in 2021.

In accordance with the transparency provisions of the USMCA’s Technical Barriers to Trade chapter, U.S. government representatives participated in a Mexican working group that reviewed the draft vehicle safety regulations.

In this regard, the White House Trade Representation (USTR) indicated that the working group concluded its work at the end of 2021, and the United States will continue to monitor the issue, as Mexico is expected to publish final regulations in 2022.

The U.S. government has also initiated discussions with Mexico on the implementation of its PROY-NOM-014-SCT2-2019 standard, which regulates rear underride guards for conventional buses and truck-type vehicles over 4536 kg.

The Mexican standard differs from that applied in the United States and Canada, and could pose an obstacle to U.S. truck exports.

According to USTR, the United States continues to cooperate with Mexico on the implementation of this standard.

 

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