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What are the regulations governing Tequila?

Official Mexican Standard for Tequila
NOM-006-SCFI-2005
Alcoholic Beverages – Tequila – Specifications

This NOM applies to all processes and activities related to the supply of agave, production, bottling, marketing, information and business practices linked to the distilled alcoholic beverage known as Tequila, pursuant to the specifications of this NOM. Said beverage is subject to the process detailed below, using Agave of the species tequilana weber blue variety, grown in the federal states and municipalities indicated in the Declaration.

Furthermore, this NOM establishes the technical specifications and legal requirements for the protection of the Appellation of Origin of "Tequila" , in accordance with the current General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” the Law, the Industrial Property Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Law and other related legal provisions.

 

 

0 INTRODUCTION

This Official Mexican Standard relates to the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” held by the Mexican government pursuant to the Industrial Property Law. The issuance of this NOM is necessary, pursuant to point 2 of the General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 13, 1977 (hereinafter, the “Declaration”) and Article 40 Section XV of the Federal Law on Metrology and Standardization.

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1. PURPOSE

This NOM establishes the characteristics and specifications to be met by those involved in the production chain, industry and trade of Tequila, in accordance with the process defined below.

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2. SCOPE OF APPLICATION

This NOM applies to all processes and activities related to the supply of agave, production, bottling, marketing, information and business practices linked to the distilled alcoholic beverage known as Tequila, pursuant to the specifications of this NOM. Said beverage is subject to the process detailed below, using Agave of the species tequilana weber blue variety, grown in the federal states and municipalities indicated in the Declaration.
Furthermore, this NOM establishes the technical specifications and legal requirements for the protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” in accordance with the current General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” the Law, the Industrial Property Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Law and other related legal provisions.

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3. REFERENCES

In order to verify the specifications set forth in this NOM, the Official Mexican Standards, Mexican Standards, specifications, procedures and test methods currently in force, or those replacing them, shall apply. Those are listed as follows:

3.1 Official Mexican Standards

NOM-030-SCFI-1993

Commercial information of quantity statement on label- Specifications, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 29,1993.

NOM-106-SCFI-2000

Design characteristics and conditions for use of the official countersign, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on February 2, 2001.

NOM-117-SSA1-1994

Goods and services - test methods for the identification of cadmium, arsenic, lead, tin, copper, iron, zinc and mercury in food and drinking water by spectometry of anatomic absorption, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on August 16, 1995.

NOM-120-SSA1

Goods and services - hygiene and health practices for the processing of foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on August 28, 1995.

NOM-142-SSA1

Goods and services - alcoholic beverages - health specifications. Health and commercial labeling, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on July 9, 1997.

NOM-127-SSA1-1994

Environmental Health, Water for use and human consumption. Allowed limits for quality and treatments to which water must be subjected to make it drinkable, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on January 18, 1996.

3.2 Mexican Standards

NMX-V-004-NORMEX-2005

Alcoholic Beverages - Determination of furfural. Test methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on June 23, 2005.

NMX-V-005-NORMEX-2005

Alcoholic Beverages- Determination of esters, aldehydes, methanol and higher alcohols (fuel oils) – Test methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on June 23, 2005.

NMX-V-006-NORMEX-2005

Alcoholic beverages – determination of direct reducing sugars and total sugars - Test methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on June 23, 2005.

NMX-V-013-NORMEX-2005

Alcoholic beverages - Determination of alcohol content (percentage of alcohol by volume at 293 k(20°c)(% alc. vol.) - Test methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on June 23, 2005.

NMX-V-017-NORMEX-1995

Alcoholic beverages - Determination of dry extract and ash - Test methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on June 23, 2005.

NMX-V-049-NORMEX-2004

Alcoholic beverages - Alcoholic beverages containing tequila- Naming, labeling and specifications, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on May 21, 2004.

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4. DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this NOM, the following definitions, in alphabetical order (in Spanish) shall apply:

4.1 Mellowing
Procedure to soften the flavor of the Tequila, through the addition of one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Caramel coloring
  • Natural oak or Encino oak extract (holm or holm oak extract).
  • Glycerin
  • Sugar-based syrup

4.2 Agave
For purposes of this NOM, the plant from the Agavaceas family, with long, fibrous, lanceolate leaves of a bluish color whose useable part in the manufacture of Tequila is the heart or head.

The only species allowed for purposes of this NOM, is the tequilana weber blue variety, grown and harvested within the territory specified in the Declaration.

4.3 Good Manufacturing Practices
The set of guidelines and interrelated standards and procedures intended to ensure that Tequila is consistently manufactured according to its specifications.

4.4 Declaration
The General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of “Tequila,” published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 13, 1977 and its subsequent amendments and additions.

4.5 Agency
Any agency, pursuant to Article 26 of the Federal Public Administration Law.

4.6 Distillation
It’s the separation of the components of a liquid mix by partial steaming and recuperating of the steam and its residues; in other words, it is the separation of a mix of substances, where the volatile ones are separated or fractured from the non volatile substances. The alcoholic distillation is based in that the ethylic alcohol, being lighter than water, steams at a lower temperature than the boiling point of water. The steam that rises can be condensed and converted into liquid with a high alcohol content.

4.7 DGN
General Bureau of Standards of the Ministry of the Economy.

4.8 DOT
Appellation of Origin of Tequila.

4.9 Label
Any tag, insignia, inscription, image or other description or graphical representation, whether printed, stamped, engraved, embossed, placed by photogravure, stenciled or adhered to the product container or packaging.

4.10 Bottling
It is the action of pouring or introducing any material or product in the recipients that will contain it with the purpose of conserving it, protecting its physical and chemical stability and marketing.

4.11 Container
Any new container or recipient destined to keep Tequila and to enter in contact with it, conserving its physical, chemical, sensorial and sanitary integrity.

4.12 Extraction
The mechanical, physical, chemical, biological procedure or combination thereof that allows for the separation of the sugars or carbohydrates of the agave.

4.13 Fermentation
The transformation of the sugars of vegetable origin into ethylic alcohol and carbon dioxide, with the creation of other compounds that will contribute to the final sensorial characteristics of Tequila.

4.14 Filtration
The process of separating the solid particles present in Tequila, through a filtration agent.

4.15 Formulation
The stage previous to the fermentation, where the musts are prepared to obtain adequate fermentation conditions and, depending on the case, to comply with the 51% in mass of direct reducing sugars obtained from the agave.

4.16 Hydrolysis
The chemical, thermal, enzymatic procedure or combination thereof, that has the purpose of breaking the complex carbohydrates contained in the agave, mainly the inuline, to obtain simple sugars suitable for fermentation.

4.17 IMPI
The Mexican Industrial Property Institute.

4.18 Jima
Action that consists in removing the agave leaves from its heart.

4.19 Law
The Federal Law on Metrology and Standardization

4.20 Minimum and Maximum Limits
The quantity set in this NOM for which no tolerance is allowed.

4.21 Lot or Batch
The quantity of a product bottled during a single period of time to ensure its identification.

4.22 Tequila Aging
The slow transformation that allows the product to acquire additional sensorial characteristics, obtained through physical-chemical processes that take place naturally while the product is resting in oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) containers.

4.23 Maquila (Sub contracting)
Any activity concerning the manufacturing process of an authorized producer that is sent to another authorized producer to be completed by him or her.

4.24 Cold Mixing
They consist of adding or mixing any alcoholic beverage different to Tequila during the manufacturing stages of Tequila, including the finished product.

4.25 Musts
Sugary liquid, obtained from the extraction of the hydrolyzed agave and added with other sugars, according to this NOM, ready to be fermented.

4.26 NMX
Mexican Standard.

4.27 NOM
Official Mexican Standard.

4.28 Manufacturing Stages
The stages in the Tequila-making process during which the raw materials undergo chemical, biochemical and physical changes until a specific product is obtained in each stage. Said process includes the following basic stages, among others: harvest or jima, hydrolysis, extraction, formulation, fermentation, distillation, aging, as applicable, filtration and bottling.

4.29 Conformity Assessment Body
The Regulatory Council or individual accredited and approved pursuant to the Law to verify compliance with this NOM.

4.30 Authorized Producer
The individual or legal entity authorized by the DGN and the IMPI, in accordance with their respective authority, to engage in the manufacture of Tequila in facilities that must be located within the territory specified in the Declaration. Such authorization is subject to compliance with the provisions of this NOM and other applicable regulations.

4.31 PROFECO
The Federal Consumer Protection Agency.

4.32 SE
The Ministry of the Economy.

4.33 Primary Display Panel
Area where the appellation of origin and product’s brand appear according to NOM-030-SCFI (see chapter 3, References).

4.34 Tequila
The regional alcoholic beverage obtained by distilling musts, prepared directly and originally from extracted material, in the manufacturing facilities of an Authorized Producer, which must be located in the territory specified in the Declaration, derived from the hearts of tequilana weber blue variety Agave, previously or subsequently hydrolyzed or cooked, and subjected to alcoholic fermentation with cultivated or uncultivated yeasts, wherein said musts may be enhanced and blended together before fermentation with other sugars up to a proportion no greater than 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass, pursuant to this Official Mexican Standard, and with the understanding that cold mixing is not permitted. Tequila is a liquid that, according to its type, is colorless or colored when aged in oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) wood containers, or when mellowed without aging.

Tequila may be enhanced by the addition of sweeteners, coloring, aromatizers and/or flavorings permitted by the Ministry of Health in order to provide or intensify its color, aroma and/or flavor.

Reference to the term “Tequila” in this NOM is understood to apply to the two categories indicated in Chapter 5, except for express references to “100% agave” Tequila.

4.34.1 Silver Tequila (Blanco)
A product whose commercial alcohol content must be adjusted by dilution with water.

4.34.2 Gold Tequila (Joven or Oro)
A product that may be enhanced by mellowing and whose commercial alcohol content must be adjusted by dilution with water.
The result of blending silver Tequila with aged and/or extra-aged Tequila is considered gold Tequila.

4.34.3 Aged Tequila (Reposado)
A product which may be enhanced by mellowing, subject to an aging process of at least two months in direct contact with the wood of oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) containers. Its commercial alcohol content must be adjusted by dilution with water, as applicable.
The result of blending aged Tequila with extra-aged Tequila is considered aged Tequila.

4.34.4 Extra-aged Tequila (Añejo)
A product that may be enhanced by mellowing, subject to an aging process of at least one year in direct contact with the wood of oak (holm or holm oak) or Encino oak containers with a maximum capacity of 600 liters. Its commercial alcohol content must be adjusted by dilution with water.
The result of blending extra-aged Tequila with ultra-aged Tequila is considered extra-aged Tequila.

4.34.5 Ultra-aged Tequila (Extra Añejo)
A product that may be enhanced by mellowing, subject to an aging process of at least three years, without specifying the aging time in its label, in direct contact with the wood of oak (holm or holm oak) or Encino oak containers with a maximum capacity of 600 liters. Its commercial alcohol content must be adjusted by dilution water.

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5. CLASSIFICATION

5.1 Categories
Tequila is classified in one of the following two categories, based on the percentage of natural Agave sugars used it is production:

5.1.1 “100% agave”
Pursuant to Section 4.34 of this NOM, a product whose fermentation may not be enhanced with sugars other than those obtained from the tequilana weber blue variety Agave grown in the territory specified in the Declaration. For the product to be considered “100% agave” Tequila, it must be bottled in the bottling plant controlled by the Authorized Producer, which must be located within the territory specified in the Declaration.

This product must be labeled using one of the following statements: “100% de agave,” “100% puro de agave,” “100% agave,” or “100% puro agave,” to which the word “azul” [“blue”] may be added.

5.1.2 “Tequila”
The product defined in paragraph one of Section 4.34 of this NOM whose musts may be enhanced and blended together prior to fermentation with other sugars in a proportion not to exceed 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass. This maximum enhancement of up to 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass may not be done with sugars from any species of Agave. The 51% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass may only be enhanced with tequilana weber blue variety Agave grown in the territory specified in the Declaration.

This product may be bottled in plants not belonging to an authorized producer under strict compliance by the bottler of the conditions set forth in Section 6.5.4.2 and other applicable provisions of this NOM.

5.2 Classes

5.2.1 Based on the characteristics acquired in processes subsequent to distillation, Tequila is classified as:

  • Blanco or Plata
  • Joven or Oro
  • Reposado
  • Añejo
  • Extra Añejo

5.2.2 For the international market, the classifications referenced in the foregoing paragraphs may be replaced by their translations into the applicable language, or by the following:

  • “Silver” for Blanco or Plata
  • “Gold” for Joven or Oro
  • “Aged” for Reposado
  • “Extra-aged” for Añejo
  • “Ultra-aged” for Extra Añejo

6. SPECIFICATIONS

6.1 Product Specifications

6.1.1 The product covered under this NOM shall comply with the specifications set forth below:

TABLE 1- PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR TEQUILA

Parameters

Silver Tequila

Gold Tequila

Aged Tequila

Extra Aged Tequila

Ultra Aged Tequila

Test method based on: (1)

Min Max
Min
Max
Min
Max
Min
Max
Min
Max

Alcohol Content at 293 K (20°C) (% Alc. Vol.)

35 55
35
55
35
55
35
55
35
55

NMX-V-013-NORMEX

Dry Extract
(g/l)

0 0,30
0
5
0
5
0
5
0
5

NMX-V-017-NORMEX

Values expressed in mg/100 ml of Absolute (Anhydrous) Alcohol

Higher Alcohols (alcohols with molecular weight higher than ethyl alcohol or fusel oil) (E.g. Amyl Alcohol)

20 500
20
500
20
500
20
500
20
500

NMX-V-005-NORMEX

Methanol (2)

30
300
30
300
30
300
30
300
30
300

NMX-V-005-NORMEX

Aldehydes (such as acetaldehyde)

0
40
0
40
0
40
0
40
0
40

NMX-V-005-NORMEX

Esters (such as ethyl acetate)

2
200
2
200
2
250
2
250
2
250

NMX-V-005-NORMEX

Furfural

0
4
0
4
0
4
0
4
0
4

NMX-V-004-NORMEX

(1) For details see Chapter 3.
(2) The minimum parameter may be reduced if the Tequila producer demonstrates to the Conformity Assessment Body that the reduction of methanol content by another process

6.1.1.1 When the tequilas defined in sections 4.34.1, 4.34.2, 4.34.3, 4.34.4, 4.34.5 are added with sweeteners, coloring, aromatizers and/or flavorings permitted by the Ministry of Health in order to provide or intensify their color, aroma and/or flavor, the total reducing sugars shall have a maximum limit of 75 g/L, according to the NMX-V-006-NORMEX and their dry extract shall have a maximum limit of 85 g/L, according to the NMX-V-017-NORMEX (see chapter 3, References). For purposes of this paragraph, compliance with Sub-section 11.1.c) is required.

6.1.2 If necessary to obtain the required commercial alcohol content, potable, distilled or demineralized water shall be used for dilution, according to NOM-127-SSA1 (see chapter 3, References).

6.1.3 For purposes of this NOM, the health specifications related to heavy metals and metalloids contained in Official Mexican Standard NOM-142-SSA1 (see Chapter 3 References) shall apply. Official Mexican Standard NOM-117-SSA1 (see Chapter 3 References) shall be considered for such purposes. Said specifications may be verified by the competent authorities and, therefore, its certification, in terms of this NOM is not required.

6.2 Agave Specifications
The Agave used as the raw material for Tequila production shall be of the species tequilana weber blue variety, grown and harvested in the territory specified in the Declaration and registered with the registry indicated in point 6.5.1.1 of this NOM.

6.3 Other Sugars
The product covered under this NOM may be enhanced with other sugars in the fermentation process up to a proportion not to exceed 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass for the Tequila referenced in Section 5.1.2; however, cold mixing is not permitted. This maximum enhancement of up to 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass may not be done with sugars from any species of Agave. The 51% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass may only be enhanced with tequilana weber blue variety Agave grown in the territory specified in the Declaration.

6.4 Aging
In the case of aged Tequila (reposado), the product shall be aged in direct contact with the wood of oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) containers for at least two months.

For extra-aged Tequila (añejo), the aging process shall last at least one year in direct contact with the wood of oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) containers with a maximum capacity of 600 liters.

For ultra-aged Tequila (extra añejo), the aging process shall last at least three years in direct contact with the wood of oak or Encino oak (holm or holm oak) containers with a maximum capacity of 600 liters.

The aging of the Tequila shall be performed by the Authorized Producer within the territory specified in the Declaration.

6.5 Tequila Authenticity Specifications

6.5.1 Agave
The Agave used as the raw material for Tequila production shall meet the requirements set forth below:

6.5.1.1 It shall be duly registered with the Plantation Property Registry established for such purposes by the Conformity Assessment Body. Registration shall be done within the first year of planting at the latest.

This obligation shall be the responsibility of the producers or title holders of tequilana weber blue variety Agave grown in the territory specified in the Declaration who sell or plan to sell said agave to Authorized producers.

The Authorized Producers shall be responsible for obtaining written confirmation of registration from the individuals or legal entities from whom they purchase or plan to purchase the tequilana weber blue variety Agave grown in the territory specified in the Declaration.

The Plantation Property Registry shall also include the identification of all Agave that has been committed by any legal means for use in the production of Tequila. Registration of this identification with said registry shall be the responsibility of the owner or title holder of the Agave.

6.5.1.2 It shall be supervised by the Compliance Assessment Body to confirm compliance with the requirements set forth in Sections 6.2, 6.5 and Sub-section 6.5.1.1.

6.5.2 Use of Sugars

6.5.2.1 The Tequila producer shall demonstrate, at all times, that the product has not been adulterated in the manufacturing stages of its production. To this end, the Authorized Tequila Producer shall maintain updated records of at least the following documents:

a) Invoices or documents confirming the purchase of the raw materials (Agave and other sugars).
b) Documents confirming raw material input and output.
c) Documents confirming the movement of the finished product.
d) Inventories of raw materials and finished product, including, specifically, the finished product allocated to aging or bottling.


6.5.2.2 At no time may any product that does not contain Tequila be distilled or produced in the Authorized Producer’s Tequila facility.

6.5.2.3 The verification of the provisions of this NOM shall be undertaken by continuous inspections by the Conformity Assessment Body, independent of any further confirmation by any competent Governmental Agency.

6.5.3 Subcontracting in the Manufacturing Stages

Subcontracting of the manufacturing stages in facilities other than those of the Authorized Producer, shall comply with the provisions of Section 10.1 of this NOM, and said provisions shall be included in the applicable subcontracting agreement.

Compliance with the provisions of this NOM is the joint responsibility of the parties executing the subcontracting agreement. It is also their responsibility to notify the Conformity Assessment Body about the beginning of their operations at least three days before they start.

Subcontractors shall cover, as a minimum, the manufacturing stages of hydrolysis, extraction, formulation, fermentation and distillation. Therefore, the execution of those manufacturing stages in separate ways is excluded.

6.5.4 Bottling
The Tequila bottler shall demonstrate, at all times, that the product has not been adulterated between its bulk delivery and final bottling. For such purposes, bottling activities shall be subject to the following guidelines:

6.5.4.1 When dealing with the product belonging to the category referred to in section 5.1 of this NOM, the product shall be aged and bottled within the territory specified in the Declaration in the bottling plant of the Authorized Producer. In the event that the bottling plant is not located at the producer’s facilities, the bulk transport of the product shall be supervised by the Conformity Assessment Body, pursuant to the current procedures approved by the DGN. The bottling plant is considered to be property of the Authorized Producer when said Authorized Producer maintains complete control over the bottling process.

6.5.4.2 The Tequila defined in Section 5.1.2 of this NOM may be bottled in bottling plants that are not a property of an authorized producer under the following conditions:

a) The bottler shall obtain a Certificate of Approval from the Ministry, pursuant to the compliance assessment procedures issued by the Ministry, which shall not replace the other certificates issued pursuant to this Official Mexican Standard and its certification procedures.
The Certificate of Approval shall be granted provided that the Ministry has evidence that the Compliance Assessment Body is provided with full access to perform onsite inspections of the existence, working activities and operation of the bottling plants.

b) The bottler who has obtained the Certificate of Approval from the Ministry shall file quarterly reports with the Conformity Assessment Body of all incoming and outgoing movements of Tequila at its facilities, as well as its initial and final inventories for the period, and any inventory shrinkage for the period reported. These reports shall be broken down by specific brands for products bottled as Tequila and generally for all brands handled by the bottler for bottled products containing Tequila. The information shall be filed with the Conformity Assessment Body electronically within the first fifteen (15) calendar days of the following quarterly periods: First Quarter - January through March, Second Quarter - April through June, Third Quarter - July through September, Fourth Quarter - October through December, in the form to be determined by the Conformity Assessment Body.

c) Authorized Producers are responsible for:

(i) applying for the Certificate of Approval for the bottler with the Ministry of the Economy.
(ii) contributing to the submission of the quarterly reports indicated in Sub-section b) above in due time and form.
(iii) in the event of elements warranting an onsite inspection in the opinion of the Conformity Assessment Body, taking the measures necessary to ensure that the Compliance Assessment Body has the access necessary to perform such inspections.

In the event that the Conformity Assessment Body or the competent Agency determines a breach of the obligations set forth in Section 6.5.4.2, it shall not issue the Domestic Transport Certificate or Tequila Export Certificate, as applicable, and the Ministry shall cancel the respective bottler’s Certificate of Approval.

6.5.4.3 All bulk transport of Tequila shall be supervised by the Conformity Assessment Body pursuant to the current procedures of the Conformity Assessment Body approved by the DGN. The bottling process is subject to inspection by lot by the Conformity Assessment Body.

The bulk transport of Tequila is not permitted outside the territory specified in the Declaration for purposes other than those set forth in Sections 6.5.4.2 and 12 of this Official Mexican Standard.

The bottler who is not an Authorized Producer may not use more than one Tequila supplier per brand and per class of Tequila.

6.5.4.4 The bottler who is not an Authorized Producer may only filter or dilute the Tequila with potable, distilled or demineralized water to obtain the commercial alcohol content of the Tequila within the parameters permitted under this NOM. Therefore, it may not age or mellow the Tequila.

6.5.4.5 The bottler who is not an Authorized Producer may only bottle the product that has been produced under the supervision of the Conformity Assessment Body.

To this end, it shall confirm that each lot it receives has a certificate of compliance with this NOM.

6.5.4.6 The bottler shall not simultaneously bottle a product other than Tequila in its facilities, unless it has clearly differentiated bottling lines in the opinion of the Conformity Assessment Body and obtains authorization from said Conformity Assessment Body, with the due advanced notice prior to the startup date of the simultaneous bottling of any product other than Tequila.

6.5.4.7 The bottler shall keep updated records of at least the following documents:

a) Sales statements and invoices for Tequila and bottling materials, including labels;

b) Comparative analytical tables of pre-sale physical-chemical specifications, within the parameters specified in Section 6.1 of this NOM;

c) Copies of Domestic Transport Certificate and Export Certificates, as applicable, and

d) Original Certificate of Approval issued by the Ministry of the Economy, if applicable.

6.5.4.8 To demonstrate that the Tequila has not been adulterated during the bottling process, the comparisons of chromatographic areas and peaks made at the bottling plant shall coincide with those obtained at the Authorized Producer’s facility.

6.5.4.9 The Tequila shall be bottled in new sanitary containers, according to the provisions of section 4.11.

The Tequila may be bottled in glass or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and other containers pursuant to health provisions.

The capacity of each container may not exceed 5 liters and in no case may bottles be used that bear a brand name that is not property of the Authorized Producer or approved bottler pursuant to this NOM.

6.5.4.10 Compliance with the provisions of Section 6.5.4 and in general, with any aspect related to this NOM as applied to bottling, shall be confirmed by batch inspections to be conducted for such purposes by the Conformity Assessment Body independent of further confirmation by any competent Governmental Agency.

6.6 Presumption of Non-compliance.
Should any competent Governmental Agency or the Conformity Assessment Body detect noncompliance with any provision of this NOM by any party involved in the Tequila production chain, industry or trade, the commission of an infraction shall be presumed.

The foregoing is without prejudice to the inspection authority of the competent Governmental Agencies pursuant to other legal provisions.

6.7 Procedures with Authorities
Any individual or legal entity wishing to participate in the production of Tequila shall apply to the DGN for authorization to produce Tequila, and to the IMPI for authorization to use the DOT (appellation of origin). These documents shall be required for the processing of the Certificate of Product Compliance, pursuant to said agency’s current procedures approved by the Ministry of the Economy.

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7. SAMPLING

7.1 General Requirements
The application of the sampling plan described in this NOM, requires Authorized Producers and bottlers to maintain continuous quality control through their own infrastructure or though contracting the services of conformity assessment agencies accredited and approved pursuant to the Law, such as certification agencies, testing laboratories and/or verification units.

7.2 Bulk Product
For bulk product contained in tank cars, tanker trucks or tanks, a sample is taken of either homogenized Tequila or Tequila consisting of approximately equal portions extracted from the lower, middle and upper levels of the tank, with the understanding that the minimum volume extracted shall be 3 liters. For product contained in barrels, the sample taken shall consist of approximately equal portions extracted from the number of barrels specified in Appendix A of this NOM, ensuring that the total volume obtained is at least 3 liters.

After homogenization, each sample extracted shall be divided into 3 portions of approximately one liter each, bottled in containers duly identified with labels signed by the interested parties, and sealed to prevent their adulteration. These portions shall be distributed as follows: two to the Compliance Assessment Body or, in the absence thereof, to the DGN and one to the company visited. Of the two samples held by the Conformity Assessment Body, one is analyzed and the other is held for use in the event of third party intervention.

7.3 Smaller Containers

7.3.1 For product in smaller containers, each sample shall consist of approximately equal portions taken from the number of containers specified in Appendix B of this Official Mexican Standard, ensuring that the total volume obtained is at least 3 liters.
When the number of sampled containers is insufficient to obtain the minimum 3-liter requirement, as many containers as necessary to complete said volume shall be sampled. The samples shall be processed pursuant to the last paragraph of Section 7.2.

7.3.2 The selection of barrels or smaller containers for sampling must be random.

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8. TEST METHODS AND VERIFICATION

Verification of compliance with the specifications set forth in this NOM, shall take place as follows:

8.1 Product
The test methods contained in the NMX referred to in Chapter 3 of this NOM shall be applied.

8.2 Aging
The Authorized Producer shall provide the Conformity Assessment Body with evidence of the existence of containers and shall maintain controls and continuous, numbered records of product placed in and removed from such containers.

The containers in which aging takes place shall be sealed throughout the entire process. The seals shall be placed and removed by the Compliance Assessment Agency.

8.3 Dilution Water
The Compliance Assessment Body shall confirm the existence of purification, distillation or demineralization equipment in operating condition and the equipment usage log, as well as the use of the potable, distilled or demineralized water. If applicable, it shall verify the existence of purchase or supply invoices or bills for the volumes of potable, distilled or demineralized water used.

8.4 Authenticity of the Tequila

8.4.1 Agave
The test methods determined by the Conformity Assessment Body and approved by the Ministry to identify the species tequilana weber blue variety shall be applied using general certification criteria issued pursuant to the Law.

8.5 Continuous Verification
To assess compliance with Tequila authenticity requirements and all processes and activities necessary for such purposes pursuant to this NOM, Authorized Producers and approved bottlers of Tequila shall be subject to a continuous verification procedure in the plant facilities where the product is manufactured or bottled, respectively.

The Conformity Assessment Body shall develop a procedure that provides, as a minimum, for continuous onsite verification of production or bottling activities, during the entire time such activities take place.

The Ministry of the Economy and the various competent authorities shall periodically verify compliance with this NOM by all parties involved in the Tequila production chain, industry and trade.

Pursuant to the Law, the expenses incurred for the verification referred to in this Section shall be borne by the individuals or legal entities subject to such verification.

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9. QUALITY CONTROL

Pursuant to the Law, Authorized Producers and bottlers of Tequila shall maintain quality control systems compatible with applicable standards and good manufacturing processes according to the NOM-120-SSA1 (see chapter 3, references). Furthermore, they shall systematically verify compliance with the specifications contained in this NOM, using sufficient and adequate laboratory equipment, as well as appropriate test methods, maintaining statistical control of production and bottling so as to objectively demonstrate compliance with said specifications.

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10. MARKETING

10.1 No individual or legal entity may produce, bottle or market any Tequila whatsoever that is not certified by the Conformity Assessment Body.

10.2 The bulk transfer of Tequila, may only be undertaken by those individuals or legal entities who are Authorized Producers pursuant to this NOM.

The country and buyer indicated on the Export Certificate issued for such purposes by the Conformity Assessment Body shall match the destination of the exported Tequila.

The Export Certificate shall be issued in the number of copies necessary for filing with the competent Agencies and the authorities of other countries where the Tequila is sent, and shall always accompany the corresponding shipment.

10.3 The bulk transfer and receipt of Tequila shall be supervised by the Conformity Assessment Body, which shall keep specific records of such transactions.

10.4 All Tequila shall be identified with the Official countersign pursuant to the current NOM-106-SCFI (see Chapter 3 References) and the registration of its respective Authorized Producer, which is assigned by the DGN or the Conformity Assessment Body.

10.5 The Authorized Producer and approved bottler of Tequila shall keep records of the number of liters produced and/or bottled daily, specifying the brands under which the product is being marketed, and shall make such records available to the Conformity Assessment Body.

10.5.1 In addition to the obligation of obtaining the certificate set forth in Sub-section 6.5.4.2. a) of this NOM, approved bottlers shall be registered with the “Bottler Registry” which shall identify Tequila bottlers based on the legal registration granted by the country where the bottling plant is located.

Said Registry shall be administered, controlled and supervised by the Conformity Assessment Body and said Registry’s bottler registration number shall be included on each Domestic Transport Certificate or Export Certificate issued by the Conformity Assessment Body, as applicable, for each lot to be certified.

In the case of the United Mexican States, the identification number shall be the number of the Certificate of Approval issued by the Ministry of the Economy. For other countries to which Tequila is exported, the identification number shall be the number recognized by the Ministry of the Economy.

10.5.2 Authorized Producers are jointly responsible with approved bottlers of Tequila whose facilities are located outside the territory specified in the Declaration, for providing the Conformity Assessment Body with the information required under Section 6.5.4.2.

In the event that the Authorized Producer fails to contribute to providing the information referred to in the foregoing paragraph, the Conformity Assessment Body shall not issue Domestic Transport Certificate or Export Certificates, as applicable, for those lots to be sent to the approved bottler who fails to provide such information, and shall issue a ruling of noncompliance for the corresponding legal action.

10.5.3 Production facilities may not be used by more than one Authorized Producer, nor may they be used simultaneously, alternatively or in lieu of the Authorized Producer currently registered with the Conformity Assessment Body.

10.6 The Conformity Assessment Body shall draft a bimonthly report confirming those products that have been certified as meeting the specifications of this Draft Official Mexican Standard, identifying them by brand and Authorized Producer.

Furthermore, the Conformity Assessment Body shall report those products for which, based on the inspections performed, it has detected breaches of this NOM.

Said reports shall be sent to the DGN so that it may apply the applicable sanctions pursuant to the Law.

Individuals or legal entities authorized to produce Tequila and use the Appellation of Origin of Tequila shall comply with the provisions of this NOM, the Law, the Industrial Property Law, the Federal Consumer Protection Law and other applicable provisions.

10.7 In the event of attempted use of a brand other than the brand of the Authorized Producer or when the Tequila is bottled by someone other than the Authorized Producer, the joint responsibility agreement, including the representations and clauses published by the IMPI for such purposes in the Official Gazette of Mexico pursuant to this Official Mexican Standard and Article 175 of the Industrial Property Law, shall be filed with the IMPI for registration. The proposed labels to be affixed to the bottles in which the Tequila in question will be marketed in Mexico or abroad shall be attached to said agreement.

10.8 The approved bottler shall comply with the labeling requirements set forth in Chapter 11 of this NOM without prejudice to compliance with the requirements imposed by the laws of the country to which the product is exported, if applicable.

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11. COMMERCIAL INFORMATION

11.1 Labeling
Each container shall bear a legible label containing the following information in the Spanish language, which shall be truth and shall not mislead the consumer with respect to the nature and characteristics of the Tequila:

a) The word “Tequila”;
b) Category and class of the product, pursuant to Chapter 5 of this NOM;
c) If applicable, the name of any added flavor or aroma;
d) Net content expressed in liters or milliliters, pursuant to NOM-030-SCFI (see Chapter 3 References);
e) Alcohol content expressed as percentage of alcohol by volume at 20ºC, abbreviated as “% Alc. Vol.”;
f) Name or corporate name of the Authorized Producer or facility where the Tequila is produced and, if applicable, the approved bottler;
g) Domicile of the Authorized Producer or facility where the Tequila is produced and, if applicable, the approved bottler;
h) Name of the registered Trademark followed by the symbols ® or “MR” (TM);
i) The statement HECHO EN MÉXICO (MADE IN MEXICO), PRODUCTO DE MÉXICO (PRODUCT OF MEXICO), ELABORADO EN MÉXICO (PRODUCED IN MEXICO), or other similar statements;
j) Official countersign, pursuant to Official Mexican Standard NOM-106-SCFI (see Chapter 3 References);
k) Lot or Batch: each container shall engraved or stamped with the coded identification of the lot to which it belongs. The lot identification provided by the Authorized Producer or approved bottler may not be altered or hidden in any manner whatsoever;
l) The warning statements set forth in health legislation; and
m) Any information required by other legal provisions applicable to alcoholic beverages.

11.2 Presentation of the Information

11.2.1 Domestic Market Requirements
As a minimum, the information specified in items a), b), c), d), e) and h) of Section 11.1 shall appear on the primary display panel. The rest of the information referred to in said Section shall appear and may be included on any other part of the label or container.

11.2.2 For Export Products or Products Bottled Abroad
As a minimum, the information specified in items a), b), c) and h) of Section 11.1 shall appear on the primary display panel. The information specified in items i), j) and k) of Section 11.1 shall appear and may be included on any other part of the label or container. The information specified in items b) (solely in reference to the class), c) and i) of Section 11.1 may be translated into another language.

11.2.3 The commercial information shall be free of text, images or other descriptions that mislead or confuse consumers due to their inaccuracy, such as “100% natural,” “100% Mexican,” “100% natural product,” “100% aged” or other similar statements.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, pursuant to the Law, when the data or information contained on the labels, containers or packaging of the products is inaccurate, the DGN may order corrective modifications to such data or information, granting the Authorized Producer or approved bottler the term strictly necessary to do so, with the understanding that during said term, those products that the Authorized Producer maintains in inventory or has in the distribution chain or point of sale, may continue to be sold.

In terms of the previous paragraph, it shall be understood that the data or information contained in the labels, containers or packages of the products are inaccurate whenever they include the commercial information required by this NOM in an imprecise or erroneous manner, without expressing data or information that may mislead consumers with respect to the properties of the products they buy.

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12. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES CONTAINING TEQUILA SPECIFICATIONS

12.1 The production, bottling and marketing of alcoholic beverages containing Tequila as an ingredient shall comply with NMX-V-49-2004 NORMEX, Alcoholic Beverages. Alcoholic Beverages Containing Tequila. Naming, Labeling and Specifications (see Chapter 3 References).

12.2 The application of methods of test for heavy metals or metalloids contained in NOM-142-SSa1 are susceptible of being verified by the competent authorities in terms of said NOM-142-SSA1 and they are not included in the certification for the products listed in this section 12.

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13. CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT

The assessment of compliance with this NOM at the request of an interested party shall be undertaken exclusively by individuals accredited, and if applicable, approved by the Ministry of the Economy, to perform such assessment (Certification Bodies, Inspection Units and Testing or Calibration Laboratories, as the case may be), in compliance with the provisions of the policies and Procedures for the Conformity Assessment – Certification and Verification Procedures of products subjected to the compliance with the Official Mexican Standards competence of the Ministry of Economy, (PECS) published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 24, 1997.

Compliance or conformity assessment at the request of an interested party may be obtained from the DGN, only in the absence of individuals accredited, and if applicable, approved by the Ministry of the Economy.

Pursuant to the Law, the expenses of verifications arising from the assessment of compliance with this NOM, whether ordinary or extraordinary, continuous or additional, shall be borne by the individuals or legal entities subject thereto.

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14. ENFORCEMENT

The surveillance and enforcement of this NOM is competence of the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Consumer Protection Agency, according to its respective attributions.

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15. NORMATIVE APPENDIXES

NORMATIVE APPENDIX A

BARREL SAMPLING

Number of barrels with Tequila of the same category and class

Number of barrels due for sampling

Up to 50

2

Between 51 and 500

3

Between 501 and 35,000

5

NORMATIVE APPENDIX B

SMALL CONTAINERS SAMPLING
Number of barrels with Tequila of the same category and class Number of barrels due for sampling

For exports, if the volume of the batch is 60 liters or less and does not exceed a maximum of 5 boxes, no samples are required as long as this transaction does not happen twice in a period of 3 months and to the same client.

Up to 150

3

Between 151 and 1,200

5

Between 1,201 and 25,000

8

More than 25,000

13

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16. BIBLIOGRAPHY

16.1 NOM-006-SCFI-1994, Alcoholic Beverages-Tequila-Specifications.

16.2 The General Declaration of Protection of the Appellation of Origin of Tequila published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 13, 1977 and amended and published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on November 3, 1999 and June 26, 2000.
16.3 Industrial Property Law, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on August 2, 1994 and amended and published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on December 26, 1997 and May 17, 1999.
16.4 Federal Weights and Measures and Standardization Law published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on July 1, 1992 and amended and published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on December 24, 1996 and May 20, 1997.
16.5 NOM-002-SCFI-1993, Pre-packed products - Net content, tolerances and verification methods, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on October 13, 1993.
16.6 NOM-008-SCFI-2002, General System of Units of Measure, published in the Official Gazette of Mexico on November 27, 2002.

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17. CONCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

This standard has no concordance with international standards, there being no applicable international references at the time of its drafting.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

ONE. This NOM, once it is published in the Official Gazette of Mexico as a Definitive Standard, shall enter into effect 60 calendar days after its publication with exception of the provision relating to the labeling of those beverages referred to in section 12 of this NOM, which will enter into effect 180 calendar days after its publication.

TWO. The requirement set forth in the last paragraph of Section 5.1.2 of this NOM shall not apply to Tequila bottled prior to the effective date of this NOM.

THREE. For purposes of Section 6.5.2.2 of this NOM, those Authorized Producers who, prior to the effective date of this standard, have facilities devoted to producing any alcoholic beverage other than Tequila, shall apply to the DGN for authorization to continue such production, which shall be subject to additional and continuous verification by the Conformity Assessment Body at the expense of the Authorized Producer. This expense shall be in addition to the regular fees for product certification. The conditions mentioned in this article are those who prevail at the time of publication of this NOM, same which will be verified by the Conformity Assessment Body.

FOUR. For purposes of Section 10.5.3 of this NOM, Authorized Producers who, prior to the effective date hereof, have been using their facilities alternatively for the production of Tequila for different Authorized Producers, shall apply to the DGN for the respective authorization to continue such use, with the understanding that such activity shall be subject to continuous verification by the Conformity Assessment Body, through the mechanisms determined for such purposes by the Ministry.

FIVE. The authorizations referred to in transitional provisions Three and Four shall be requested in writing within the term of 60 calendar days as of the effective date of enactment of this NOM.

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