Front of Package(FOP) Labelling Changes for Food Products Exported to Mexico

The implementation of the new Mexican Regulation for Front-of-Package Nutrition Label for pre-packaged foods and beverages (NOM-051) will come into effect on April 1, 2021. This applies to exports of food products to Mexico and the information is for Canadian exporters on the new labelling requirements.

Below is detailed information on the labelling requirements for pre-packaged food products and beverages under this Regulation.

As outlined below, the following labelling requirements will come into effect as of April 1, 2021:

  • Octagonal Warning Signs: All warning signs must appear separately and not on top of existing labels. (It is our understanding that currently, the black octagonal warning stickers can be placed on top of existing labels until March 31, 2021.)
  • The use of characters, cartoons, celebrities, athletes and other characters appealing to children will not allowed on products with one or more octagonal warning sign.
  • The provision of “Substitute products” will be maintained, but instead of using a rectangular shape in blue and red colors to show this legend as proposed in the draft version of NOM-051, these products will just be required to include the word IMITACIÓN (IMITATION) in capital letters and bold before the name of the product.
  • Added sugars must be declared but as: azúcares añadidos (added sugars) in the list of ingredients.
  • Additional products will be included in the list of allergens that must be declared, such as molluscs.
  • In the case of imported products, the following legend would be allowed: “fabricado o envasado por o para” (produced or bottled for), followed by the name and address of the importer.
  • The provision of declaring the trans-fats in the labels will be maintained.
  • The use of the terms: “Orgánico” (organic), “Ecológico” (ecologic) and “Biológico” (biologic), would be subject to the provisions of the Organic Products Label
  • Products without octagonal black seals or cautionary legends will be allowed to indicate this fact in the labels using the phrase “Este producto no contiene sellos ni leyendas” (This product does not contain seals or warnings/legends).
  • The name of the product must appear in bold in the main exhibition surface of the product.
  • Health and nutritional claims will be allowed on products that have octagonal black seals, but must follow special conditions.

Please review the full text of the Amendment to NOM-051, which contains all the new changes coming into effect on April 1, 2021. (only available in Spanish).

It is strongly recommended that you get in touch with your Mexican importer and/or client to clarify what changes you may need to make to your product packaging in order to comply with these requirements.

Industry can also work with private verification units authorized by the Mexican government to certify that labels comply with the new NOM-051. The list of authorized verification units (in Spanish only) is available.

Here is the new front-of-package warning seals and other labelling changes for foods and non-alcoholic beverages for retail sale in Mexico

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the new requirements, please do not hesitate to contact:

Francis Lindsay – Agricultural Trade Commissioner

Alejandro Ruiz – Trade Commissioner (Agri-food)