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Mexico Issues New Phytosanitary Regulations

The Mexican government has issued new regulations to implement the phytosanitary provisions of the Federal Plant Protection Act and establish a more modern and uniform system to minimise contamination hazards in the production of primary vegetables. The regulations contain provisions regarding subsidiary bodies and the National Phytosanitary Advisory Board; phytosanitary research and technology transfer; phytosanitary epidemiological surveillance; pest risk analysis; domestic movement of regulated goods; traceability; phytosanitary requirements for the importation of regulated goods; inspection and certification of imported goods; verification at the source; exportation of regulated goods; return, destruction or preparation of goods; phytosanitary protection and facility oversight; oversight of phytosanitary inputs and systems to mitigate contamination risk in the primary production of vegetables; biological controls agents; national phytosanitary emergency mechanism; authorisations and approvals; authorisation of certification bodies, test laboratories, third-party specialists and phytosanitary professionals; inspection and surveillance; and penalties.

The regulations provide that the adoption and modification of phytosanitary requirements will be based upon scientific principles or international recommendations as well as pest risk analyses. The National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA) is tasked with administering a phytosanitary regulatory framework based on evidence, scientific principles, geographical and biological conditions, phytosanitary risk analyses of the regulated good, pest risk analyses and other relevant factors. Imported goods must comply with any applicable phytosanitary requirements at the point of entry into Mexico prior to the request of a phytosanitary import certificate. SENASICA will make available on its website in an easy-to-understand format all phytosanitary requirements that regulated goods must comply with in order to be imported into Mexico.

In general, regulated goods must be imported in new boxes, bags and packages, be free of parasites and show no signs of disease. Goods must be imported in pallets if they come in bags, boxes and small containers and the information on their labels must coincide with the associated documentary information. Containers must be free of organic waste both internally and externally. Physical and chemical pest risk mitigation treatments may involve specified periods of time, temperatures and types of products as well as the use of chemicals in accordance with specific dosages and timeframes in order to mitigate or reduce the risk of introduction of a noxious pest. Goods must also comply with various other requirements and procedures, as outlined in the regulations.

SENASICA will implement a system to verify regulated goods at the source as a phytosanitary measure aimed at mitigating risk or as part of a risk evaluation analysis in order to assess the production systems, facilities, certification and packaging of regulated goods intended for export to Mexico. Verification at the source must be carried out in instances where a regulated good is subject to that requirement, if a working plan with a trade partner provides for that measure, or at the request of a stakeholder.

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