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Rules for exporting plumbing products to Mexico

November 1, 2021
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies in the construction or plumbing industry need to follow certification requirements for their products to be accepted for use in Mexican developments.

Mexico is vast and largely open to development. From beachside resorts to densely populated apartment blocks, there is strong demand for high-quality plumbing products. The Mexican government over the last several years has put in place enforceable product standards to ensure Mexico is not a product dumping ground. A stamp reading “Made in the USA” no longer means a free pass through Mexico’s customs and border security for plumbing products.

In most respects, the existing restrictions on plumbing products exported to Mexico remain in effect under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enacted in 2020, although with fewer tariffs and other impediments to fair trade across the borders. In Mexico, all organizations involved in the process of standardization, including product certification bodies, must abide by the Federal Law of Metrology and Standardization. Compliance is reviewed annually by Mexico’s privately managed accreditation authority, EMA (Entidad Mexicana de la Acreditación). The law mandates that all products and services regulated by a Mexican national standard must have a certificate of compliance from an accredited and approved agency.

When there is no official Mexican standard, the governing agencies may require that the products or services to be imported show the international specifications with which they comply, as well as those of the country of origin or, in their absence, those of the manufacturer.

For plumbing products, the government agency appointed to regulate compliance with the Mexican national standards is CONAGUA, the National Water Commission. This means that in order to legally certify products under the Mexican national standards, they must be approved by Mexico’s accreditation authority and also by CONAGUA.

It is best to enter this vibrant market with a partner that knows all the specifics and nuances of the full set of Mexican standards, regulations and laws, as well as how the certification process works. It is important to know that if a certification body promotes that it has achieved EMA accreditation, that it has only gone partway down the track of getting products accepted for installation in Mexico. Also, all certification bodies that are in compliance with the law must have access to the Mexican customs portal so they can upload their listing certificates. Wisconsin manufacturers interested in participating in Mexican development projects should study the requirements in advance.



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