Issue #
November 2007

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Proposed Official Mexican Norm Regulating Labeling, Containers and Packing of Hazardous Materials

November 24, 2007

A draft NOM was recently published in the DOF which would cancel NOM-003-SCT/2000. The purpose of such NOM is to establish thecharacteristics, dimensions, symbols and colors of labels that must appear on all containers and packing which identify the class of riskrepresented during the transport and handling of hazardous substances, materials and waste. This proposal is mandatory on those shippers,carriers and recipients of hazardous materials and waste that travel by road, sea, and air. The proposal seeks to allow the easy identification,through visual awareness, of the risks associated with the contents of each container or package. The purpose is to allow authorities to be ableto: (i) recognize their general nature by the color, form and symbol appearing on the container and packaging which contains hazardousmaterials and waste; (ii) identify the nature of the potential risk posed by the hazardous materials or waste using symbols; and (iii) preventdangerous situations relating to the handling and storage of hazardous substances, materials or waste. The proposed NOM is consistent withvarious recommendations and rules approved at the international level.

Amendments to Penalties contained in Mexico’s Fiscal Code of the Federation

November 24, 2007

The fiscal reform package published on October 1, 2007 includes an amendment to Article 89 of the Fiscal Code of the Federation (CódigoFiscal de la Federación or CFF), that establishes penalties for advising, counseling or providing services to completely or partially avoid thepayment of any tax or contribution in contravention of applicable Mexican tax laws and regulations. The CFF provides that an infractionoccurs in the following specific instances: when a person advises, counsels or provides services to another relating to the total or partialomission of payment of taxes or contributions; and when such person does so in violation of Mexican tax provisions. Notwithstanding theamendment, it is important to keep in mind that tax authorities will seek at all times to collect revenue they consider due and owing and, as thecase may be, to prosecute probable violations of tax laws or tax crimes. Based on this development, it is useful to keep in mind that the samearticle provides that advisors will not be considered to have committed an infraction when their opinion states that it could vary from positionsof the tax authorities, or that it could be interpreted in another way by such tax authorities.

New Regulations Governing Lending with Interest Secured by Pledge Guaranties

November 24, 2007

On November 1 a new Official Mexican Norm (Norma Oficial Mexicana or NOM), NOM-179-SCFI-2007, was published in the DOF. SuchNOM will regulate those individuals or entities not regulated by Mexican financial laws (banks, single purpose lenders/SOFOLES, etc.) whichregularly or professionally carry out lending transactions secured by pledge guaranties (in which personal property is provided through a pledgeguaranty), with the purpose of providing increased certainty and security to consumers or clients of such lenders. The new NOM, which willapply to so called “Casas de Empeño” or “Montes Píos,” establishes the general terms of what information must be contained in advertising,which must be posted in a visible place in lenders’ establishments, and include information related to the percentage of the amount of sums lentcompared to the value of assets being pledged, the type of assets accepted in a pledge guaranty, annual interest rates, total annual financingcosts and warehousing expenses. In addition, the new NOM regulates the contents and types of contracts that said institutions or individuals offer, which include the following requirements: contracts must be filed with the Mexican Federal Consumer Protection Prosecutor(Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor or PROFECO, which is the agency in charge of enforcing the NOM); contain clear terms and conditionsand be in Spanish, written legibly; the form of execution and terms of the pledge or loan, costs and expenses for warehousing the assets pledgedand, in general, the previously mentioned advertising requirements must all be met. It is important to note that such NOM will enter into effect60 calendar days following its publication, which is December 31, 2007.