On June 23, 2006 a new official Mexican norm (NOM) NOM-052- SEMARNAT-2005, was issued, which will take effect on September 21, 2006. The NOM establishes characteristics and procedures for identifying, classifying and listing all hazardous waste, notwithstanding their emission, treatment or final destination. The NOM contains a new section of definitions applicable to all environmental matters, five classification listings for hazardous waste, two tables and an exhibit. The NOM classifies hazardous waste based on five listings, distinguishing such as follows: i) specific sources (Code E); ii) non-specific sources (Code NE); iii) waste resulting from disposal of chemical products outside of specifications or shelf life (Code H, Acutely Toxic); iv) hazardous waste resulting from disposal ofchemical products outside of specifications or shelf life (Code H, Chronic Toxic Substances); and v) waste subject to specialhandling conditions (Code RP). It is important to note that the NOM establishes a new procedure for obtaining a determinationof hazardousness, resulting from regulation in the management and destruction of some waste. The new NOM allows a wastegenerator to determine how dangerous a particular waste is using the CRIT method, or simply basing such on their knowledgeand experience. In addition, the new NOM permits one to maintain current practices relating to management of hazardouswaste in Mexico. Three gray areas remain, particularly as a result of a delay in the promulgation of new regulations to theGeneral Law for the Prevention and Treatment of Materials as part of the management of waste in general.
On August 2, 2006 the General Law for Equality between Women and Men was published in the Official Journal of the Federation. The new law has as its purpose the regulation and guarantee of equal treatment between men and women in all matters, whether such be federal, state or local. The new law states the necessity ofdeveloping, ensuring, promoting, furthering and contributing to equality between women and men; however, it does notestablish the specific means for accomplishing these objectives. The new law proposes the creation of a national program forequality between women and men, and the leadership of the National Institute of Women as the coordinating body at thenational level. As the law does not establish sanctions, this emphasizes the necessity of the participation of the NationalCommission of Human Rights as the competent body to receive complaints and formulate recommendations in this area.
On July 18 th a decree amending various provisions of Mexican law was published in the Official Journal of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) establishing a new regulation for financial leasing and factoring companies, as well as creating a new form of financial entity called a multiple purpose financialinstitution (SOFOME). The reforms amended the General Law of Credit Instruments and Operations, the General Law ofCredit Organizations and Auxiliary Activities, the Foreign Investment Law, the Income Tax law, the Value Added Tax Lawand the Tax Code, among others. The purpose of these reforms is to facilitate lending, financing and factoring transactions,permitting these activities to be carried out by SOFOMES, without the necessity of obtaining authorization from the Mexicanfederal government. SOFOMES may have as their principal activity the continuous and professional offering of loantransactions, leasing and/or financial factoring. Additionally, the decree eliminates restrictions on foreign investment inrelation to financial leasing and factoring companies, so that the corporate capital of the new SOFOMES may be comprised upto 100% by foreign investment. From a tax perspective, SOFOMES will enjoy, in general terms, the same tax treatment thatlimited purpose financial institutions (SOFOLES) enjoy, with the decree establishing that interest generated from financialleasing and factoring activities of SOFOMES will not cause the imposition of Mexican Value Added Tax (IVA).