The regulatory process generally produces 2 distinct types of regulation in Mexico: Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) – Official Mexican Standard, which establishes mandatory technical specifications, attributes, guidelines, or requirements for a product, process, facility, system, service or production or operating method, often meeting international standards; and Norma Mexicana (NMX) – Mexican Standards, which are not obligatory and generally provide guidelines and recommendations for a product, process, facility, system, service or production or operating method.
Standards concerning emissions and fuel economy are established as Normas (NOMs), the process for which is as follows:
- A standard or regulation is registered as part of the national standardization program.
- An elaborated draft of the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) is developed, which is accompanied by a Manifestación de Impacto Regulatorio (regulatory impact assessment).
- The Ley Federal de Meteorología y Normalización (LFMN), or National Measures and Standards law, is the formal doctrine that empowers the appropriate administrative body or agency to put forth and oversee regulations. This law require agencies to form a national advisory committee made of various stakeholders, including researchers, academics, and industry trade or professional associations to jointly develop draft regulations. (For any environmental standards, the appropriate agency would be SEMARNAT; when such a body or agency is not readily identified, the Secretaría de Economía (Ministry of Economy) serves as default.)
- Once the working group agrees to the NOM, it is voted upon in the regulatory committee. For environmental regulations, that committee is the Comité Consultivo Nacional de Normalización de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (COMARNAT).
- If the committee approves the proposal, it is published along with the MIR by the Comisión Federal de Mejora Regulatoria (COFEMER), where the public comments will also be posted as received. The Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF), the national registry or journal of laws, also publishes all proposals, and the 60 day public comment period begins upon publication in the DOF.
- Emergency standards, which are in force for no more than 6 months and can be extended for up to 1 year total, have a significantly shorter public comment period, as do administrative changes. Agreements to extend standards and agency decrees can also be published without public comment.
- The consulting technical committee responds to comments received and answers questions from the public; responses are published in the DOF.
- The consulting committee orders the publication of the final NOM, indicating an effective date. Publication in the DOF brings the standard into force.
The following are national agencies with some level of oversight concerning vehicle emissions and fuel standards:
- Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) – The Ministry of the Environment and Natual Resources is the regulatory body charged with setting vehicle emissions standards.
- Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climatico (INECC) – the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change is the research arm of SEMARNAT and provides technical analysis on environmental policy issues.
- Procuraduría Federal de Protección Al Ambiente (PROFEPA) – Compliance and enforcement agency for federal environmental standards.
- Secretaría de Energía (SENER) – The Ministry of Energy oversees energy policy and has the authority to regulate fuel quality, in conjunction with SEMARNAT.
- Comisión Nacional para el Uso Eficiente de la Energía (CONUEE) – National Commission on Energy Efficiency sets standards to improve energy efficiency, including fuel economy standards for new light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, and used vehicles.
- Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE) – Energy Regulatory Commission sets fuel quality specifications.
- Secretaría de Economía (SE) – The Ministry of the Economy is responsible for formulating and handling the country’s industry, foreign trade, interior, supply and price policies.
- Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) – The Ministry of Communications and Transportation ensures safe, efficient, and competitive transportation and communications services.
The following are municipal-level agencies with some level of oversight concerning vehicle emissions:
- Comisión Ambiental de la Megalópolis (CAMe) is an effort to collaborate towards improved air quality in the Mexico City Megapolis Region, working jointly with the states of México, Hidalgo, Puebla, Morelos, and Tlaxcala, the federal government and the government of Mexico City.
- Secretaría del Medio Ambiente (SEDEMA) is in charge of environmental regulations for Mexico City.
Relevant Legislation, Programs and Plans
In June 2012, the President passed a landmark climate bill committing Mexico to address climate change. The most recent update sets an aspirational goal of 30% reduction of GHG emissions by 2020 and 50% by 2050 compared to the year 2000.
SEMARNAT makes regular updates to the Special Program on Climate Change, the most recent one covered 2014-2018.
Mexico’s submission to the United Nations Framework Commission on Climate Change makes an unconditional commitment to a 25% reduction in GHG and short-lived climate pollutants from business as usual by 2030 and a conditional commitment to a 40% reduction.
The National Program for Sustainable Energy identifies opportunities to achieve optimum energy efficiency and generate substantial savings for Mexico in the medium and long term. The most recent update is for 2014-2018.
The National Development Plan aims to establish national objectives, strategies and priorities for the administration to advance the transformation of Mexico on a solid, realistic, and responsible foundation. The most recent plan for SEMARNAT was for 2013-2018.
Programa Anual de Trabajo
Most agencies publish annual workplans (plan o programa) for the regulatory work under development over the calendar year. In some cases this is also updated mid-year.
Air quality standards: Normas Mexicanas de Calidad del Aire. Air quality standards for ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) were updated in 2014. Standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were last updated in 1994.