What Mexico's New Restricted Substances Policy Means for Businesses

by Source Intelligence

on May 21, 2020

Ever since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December 2018, the topic of chemical and waste management has been on the legislative agenda. Mexico seems determined to strengthen its laws on hazardous materials production and importation, as well as restricted substances imported or used in the country. As a top destination of chemical exports, enacting a restricted substance policy would pose to make a large impact globally.

mexico restricted substances chemicals chart


Overview of Mexico’s Restricted Substances Policy


In April 2019, a conference was held in Mexico City to discuss and review updates on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. While it mostly pertained to Ecology Law and pesticide management regulation, the event shows a shift toward more stringent legislation and possibly enforcement measures to better control harmful materials.

Under Mexico’s Environmental Law, companies cannot import of chemical substances that are banned in their country of origin. However, the multitude of agencies that govern chemicals makes it complicated to both navigate and understand, and potentially easy to find loopholes.


What is the New Policy?


Mexico’s health authority has taken initiatives to publish a national chemical policy placing the burden of proof on companies that use and/or import such chemicals to provide evidence of their safety. Inspired by the EU-REACH program, the government would also reserve the right to restrict or ban high-risk substances.


Comprehensive Management of Chemical Substances at a Glance


Based on an inventory of all chemicals used in the country, producers and/or importers will document the following in a registration dossier:

    • General data on the substance
    • Physical & toxicological properties
    • All possible uses of the substance
    • Chemical safety assessment: exposure to environmental and health risks 
    • Safe use guidelines
    • Disclosure and communication to all users
    • Classification, labeling, and safety data sheets under the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

Many of the chemicals imported in Mexico are regulated in their country of origin, yet the General Health Council (Consejo de Salubridad General, CSG) says that no or little information is shared with the authorities. To make matters worse, governments thus far had been mostly unwilling to enforce existing regulations or amend them to stricter standards. Conflicts of interest often arise between agencies and the chemical industry association (Asociación Nacional de la Industria Química, ANIQ) can prove a powerful lobby.

The CSG proposes a timeline of 2 years for companies to reach compliance, should the policy become law.

As of May 2020, the health council is busy managing the COVID-19 crisis. While not abandoned, discussions are paused for the time being.


What Does the New Policy Mean for Businesses?


Most companies that operate in the US and Europe are already familiar with the compliance process with regard to chemical substances. Where required documentation is missing or incomplete, setting up a process to collect, centralize, and communicate data will be necessary. 

Source Intelligence has made compliance its core business and has built award-winning restricted substance programs to help companies effortlessly navigate regulatory intricacies. Thanks to our expertise and existing framework for the EU SCIP, RoHS, and REACH regulation, we are able to quickly custom-build a compliance solution that addresses new regulations such as Mexico’s.

Request a demo of our restricted substances programs today!


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