Standardization is the process which regulates activities performed in the private and public sectors concerning health, the environment, user security, trade information and trade, industrial and working practices through which the terminology, classification, guidelines, specifications, attributes, characteristics, testing methods and requirements applicable to a product or service are established.
The basic principles in the standardization process are: representativeness, consensus, public consultation, modification and review.
Standardization activity is understood as the consolidation of knowledge which is gathered through consultation with experts from a productive branch or activity. It is a document through which interested sectors (including manufacturers, users and government) agree on the desirable technical features of a product, process or service.
The process involves the development, issue and national dissemination of standards, which consist of three main types:
a. Official Mexican Standard (NOM), is a mandatory technical regulation issued by the competent standardization agencies through National Standardization Committees, in accordance with Article 40 of the Federal Metrology and Standardization Law (LFMN), which establishes the rules, specifications, attributes, guidelines, characteristics or requirements applicable to a product, process, service or production method or operation, as well as the rules regarding terminology, symbology, packaging and marking or labeling and their compliance or application.
b. Mexican Standard (NMX), prepared by a national standardization body, or failing that the Secretariat of Economy, pursuant to Article 54 of the LFMN which provides for common and repeated use, rules, specifications, attributes, testing methods, guidelines, characteristics or requirements applicable to a product, process, installation, system, activity, service or method of production or operation, and those related to terminology, symbology, packaging and marking or labeling.
c. Reference Standards (NRF) are produced by public administration entities in accordance with Article 67 of the LFMN and are applied to goods and services acquired, leased or hired when Mexican or international standards do not cover their requirements or their specifications become obsolete or inapplicable.
Within the standardization process, national standards are developed throught the consultation of international standards and guidelines and foreign standards, which are described below:
d. International Standard or Guidelines: regulatory document issued by an international standardization body or other relevant international body, recognized by the Mexican government under the terms of international rights.
e. Foreign Standard: is issued by a public or private standardization body or agency which is officially recognized by a country.