Mexico has been requiring certified plumbing products since 20XX and is a program that keeps growing as new NOMs are set to be published soon. The NOM process is lengthy as there are working groups between CONAGUA, manufacturers, test laboratories, and Certification groups. Once the NOM is written, it then goes out for public comment. After the public comments are received, the working group meets to resolve those comments. The NOM is then sent to the government legal offices to confirm that the standard is in full compliance with the Law. It then moves through the Secretariat of Economy until it is released in the Official Journal of the Republic (Diaro Oficial de la Republica). Once the NOM is published, the recognized test laboratories and certification groups need to add the standard as part of their recognized scope and the manufacturers must now comply with the new or revised standard. Several well-respected industry stakeholders including, IAPMO R & T have participated in the development and revision of the NOMs.
Since the Mexican Government stated goal is to use the NOMs that mandate water conservation and provide Mexican citizens with reliable products, the need for fully accredited certification providers will continue to expand. In conjunction with the Mexican government, the certification provided is good for the industry as all manufacturers and distributors must meet the same NOMs and requirements. These levels the field as the performance targets are set. Certification is also beneficial to the customers and end users as the products that they purchase and install in their homes have met the applicable requirements. Those products will be reliable and will provide the water conservation goals that are needed in Mexico in the effort to regulate water use.
Certification bodies from other countries engineers soon learned that the certification process is very different and much more complicated in Mexico as its mandated by the Mexican government based on Mexican Law called the Law of Metrology and Normalization. To be able to certify products for Mexico, they needed the proper accreditation and recognition. The initial accreditation for certification bodies and test laboratories are done via was done by the Entidad Mexicana de Accreditacion (ema). Once the accreditation was completed, the certification body must then be further recognized by the government entity in charge of plumbing certification which is the National Commission of Water (Commission Nacional de Agua – CONAGUA). With these two proper accreditation and recognition in place, the certification body is now able to provide Mexico Certification using Mexican standards. The standards, called Official Mexican Standard (Norma Offical Mexicana – NOM), are regulations that must be followed to grant certification. This was major difference between certification in the U.S. and Canada as the NOMs also include the requirements for inspections, renewals, sample selection, and certification types that range from one year to indefinite time. As mandated by the Law, there are certain products that must have the NOM certification for the products to be imported into Mexico. The plumbing products that fall into this category are water closets, flushometers, fill valves, flush valves, and showerheads. Once the products are listed at with a fully accredited certification body, the models must be uploaded to the Mexican Customs portal for the products to be allowed to enter Mexico.
One of the major non-Mexican certification bodies, IAPMO, was asked to participate in the development of the NOM standards. This further advanced their presence and recognition in Mexico. At the request of some of their most important and loyal clients, IAPMO R & T and IAPMO R&T Lab were asked to offer the same expertise, level of service, and prompt certification process to certifying products in Mexico. The clients detailed the delays, the frustration, and their overall dissatisfaction with the other certification groups that offered Mexico certification. Using the talents and expertise of IAPMO R & T engineers and with the support of management, they became accredited and recognized in Mexico. The clients that had asked for Mexico certification now have a reliable and trusted certification body that handles their certification needs for Mexico, the United States, and Canada all in one place.
He holds a BS in civil engineering from California State Polytechnical University, Pomona. Before joining IAPMO, Robles worked for a pair of plumbing product manufacturers and a mechanical test lab at which he became familiar with product testing and certification. In his current position, Robles reviews standards and code compliance for certification of irrigation, mechanical, and plumbing products for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He also participates in IAPMO Standards Review Committee and Product Certification Committee meetings.
Last modified: July 14, 2023