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New front-of-package warning seals and other labelling changes for foods and non-alcoholic beverages for retail sale in Mexico

Amendments to the Mexican Official Standard (Norma Official Mexicana) NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010

Overview of Mexico's front-of-package labelling changes

Mexico has recently amended NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, with changes coming in the form of new front-of-package warning seals and labels. The labelling changes are mandatory for both domestic and imported products, and the first stage includes major changes and will begin on October 1, 2020.

These changes aim to encourage Mexicans to adopt a healthier diet. The new requirements will be implemented in three stages with the first stage beginning on October 1, 2020, the second stage on October 1, 2023, and the third stage on October 1, 2025.

To avoid having your food products and non-alcoholic beverages removed from Mexican shelves or not allowed to be sold in Mexico as of October 1, 2020:

Summary of some of the new labelling requirements

Below is a summary of some of the new labelling requirements. Canadian exporters are strongly encouraged to review all requirements in the Full Text of the amended NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, PDF, in Spanish only.

Note: In the event of discrepancies between this summary and the amendment to NOM-051 as published in Spanish, the Spanish shall prevail.

Octagonal black warning seals

As of October 1, 2020, black, octagonal-shaped warning seals will be required to appear in the front-of-package of foods and non-alcoholic beverages that exceed pre-established thresholds of calories, sodium, trans fats, sugars, and saturated fats.

Below is an example of the octagonal black seals to caution consumers that products contain an "excess" of these components, and the location where these seals are expected to appear. Please note that the size and location of the seals could change depending on the package.

Description of above image

A series of five, separate, black octagonal seals in Spanish, with text noting "Excess calories", "Excess sodium", "Excess trans fats", "Excess sugars", and "Excess saturated fats". Underneath each octagon is the text "Secretaría de Salud", which is the Mexican Secretary of Health.

Description of above image

A grey box, representing a food package, with a three of the above octagonal warning seals placed on the front of the package in the top-right. The seals are not readable from the image and are included for illustration purposes.

New thresholds for certain nutrients

The following table outlines the thresholds to be applied during the first stage of enforcement, which is effective from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023. In some cases such as energy and sodium, the thresholds become stricter from one stage to the next. Canadian exporters are therefore encouraged to consult the tables of thresholds to be applied at each stage.

Thresholds that determine when black seals must be included on labels during Stage 1
Period of enforcement - October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023 (3 years)
Energy Sugars Saturated Fats Trans Fats Sodium
Solids in 100 g of product ≥275 total kcal ≥10 % of the total energy coming from free sugars.
Beverages with <10 kcal of free sugars are exempted from the seal
≥10 % of the total energy coming from saturated fats ≥1 % of the total energy coming from trans fats ≥350 mg
Calorie-free beverages: ≥45 mg
Liquids in 100 ml of product ≥70 total kcal
or
≥10 kcal of free sugars
Legend to use EXCESO CALORÍAS (Excess of Calories) EXCESO AZÚCARES (Excess of Sugars) EXCESO GRASAS SATURADAS (Excess of Saturated Fats) EXCESO GRASAS TRANS (Excess of Trans Fats) EXCESO SODIO (Excess of Sodium)

The amendment to NOM-051 requires the label to include as many black octagonal warning seals as applicable. Details about the order of priority, size, presentation and specific cases related to the octagonal seals (e.g., when a collective package includes more than one type of product or when the front of the package is smaller than 40 cm, etc.) are included in the full text of NOM-051. Some single-ingredient products such as vegetable oils, animal fats, sugar, honey, salt and cereal flour are exempted from the warning seals.

Cautionary warnings/legends to discourage that children consume products with sweeteners or caffeine

As of October 1, 2020, rectangular-shaped warnings must be used when applicable with the following text and in the following format/legend.

Description of above image

Translation: Contains sweeteners, not recommended for children

Description of above image

Translation: Contains caffeine - avoid in children

Products without octagonal warning seals or cautionary legends will be allowed to include a legend saying: "Este producto no contiene sellos ni leyendas" (Translation: This product does not contain warning seals or legends).

Other new requirements

More information

For more details regarding the new labelling requirements, including when and how the information should be presented, we invite you to consult the Full Text of the amended NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, PDF, (in Spanish only)

For any questions, contact Canadian Trade Commissioner in Mexico: Alejandro Ruiz, alejandro.ruiz@international.gc.ca.

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