Hazardous Waste in Mexico

Relevant Mexico Reg Alerts

November 29, 2017
Mexico City Waste Law Reforms Call for Special Management Wa...
November 29, 2017
Mexico Publishes Updated Catalog of Energy Consuming Equipme...
November 1, 2017
Energy Efficiency Standard for External Power Supplies Final...

Last Updated: December 28, 2016
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Mexico has adopted a federal omnibus waste law, along with implementing rules and standards, instituting sweeping changes to the way wastes, including many end-of-life electrical and electronic products, are required to be managed. The Law, entitled Ley General para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de los Residuos (General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Wastes; the "Waste Law") established one of the most progressive and comprehensive solid and hazardous waste laws in the Americas. The Waste Law went into effect on January 6, 2004. In particular, the Waste Law regulates a category of wastes deemed "special management wastes" and end-of-life products that become hazardous waste, both of which have the potential to include a number of electrical and electronic products. In regulating these two waste categories, the Waste Law appears to borrow from European models (such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) and imposes producer-responsibility and take-back policies. At its core, the Waste Law requires certain generators, producers, distributors, importers and exporters to develop management plans for managing special management wastes and hazardous end-of-life products. These management plans will require approval by the Secretariat of Environment ("SEMARNAT") or State environmental agencies.

The enactment of the Waste Law was followed by SEMARNAT's publication of an implementing standard or Norma Oficial Mexicana ("NOM") on June 23, 2006. As discussed below, NOM-052-SEMARNAT-2005 (Hazardous Waste Classification NOM), which became effective on September 20, 2006, primarily addresses hazardous waste classification procedures. The implementing Waste Regulation, originally due within six months of publication of the Waste Law, was not adopted until November 30, 2006. Although the long-awaited Waste Regulation is comprehensive in scope, it continues to leave important details, such as which management wastes are subject to management requirements to future NOMs. Development of these NOMs has been underway for some time-hazardous waste management standard, PROY-NOM-160-SEMARNAT-2011, was initially proposed in 2011, but has not yet been approved. (For full details, see Regulatory Alert, "Mexico Posts Draft Rule on Hazardous Waste Management Plans for Comment," published August 16, 2011)


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