The Tax Administration Service recently published the Third Resolution of Modifications to the Foreign Trade General Rules 2020. This article sets out the key changes in this respect, which concern suspension from the importer registries, requests to rectify a pedimento form, commercial information numbers and fines.
The Federal Law of Protection for Industrial Property recently came into force and introduced provisions explicitly concerning double patenting for the first time in Mexico. Issuing double patenting objections is a common practice for the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, when examiners consider that the invention to be protected in a divisional application is already covered or protected by the parent case. This article examines the double patenting objection under the new law.
By signing an arbitration clause, the parties to the arbitration agreement freely and voluntarily grant an arbitrator or arbitration tribunal full and sufficient competence to resolve conflicts that might arise between said parties due to the execution of a commercial contract. The parties' choice of arbitrator is crucial because the validity and soundness of the final arbitration resolution will depend on their experience.
The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) recently released a market study on the food and beverage sector (specifically, focusing on the 'modern channel' – that is, self-service stores). Through the study, COFECE noted that few self-service chains have a national presence, warned of regulatory barriers that harm competitive conditions and favour market concentration and issued recommendations to address these identified problems.
The Ministry of Health has published an accord which aims to provide a larger number of Mexicans with access to more and better medicines and other health supplies. Among other things, the accord establishes that the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks must make a decision on applications for marketing authorisations of foreign medicines and health supplies within five working days of the applicant's filing of the corresponding documentation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the need for an efficient and safe system for the electronic prosecution of patent applications and has forced the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property to make such a system available for applications originally filed in paper format. However, as this article shows, the path to this outcome has not been straightforward.
Green Net Tax Profit Accounts (CUFINs) were established in 2016 as a double tax incentive. The effect of a Green CUFIN is deferral of income tax payment at the corporate level while the shareholders anticipate the benefits of their participation in the entity. This is a valuable incentive for power generation companies and its requirements can be easily complied with through an adequate corporate structure.
The Ministry of Health recently published two projects on the National Regulatory Improvement Commission's online system for consultation. Each project proposes to introduce new goals and standards for air quality in Mexico through a five-year implementation plan that would see a gradual reduction of the concentration of particles and ozone in the environment.
Many renewable energy investors have challenged the National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) act before the constitutional courts through various amparo actions. Moreover, the Federal Economic Competition Commission has held that the CENACE act affects competition in the electricity industry by indirectly denying solar and wind power plants the possibility of beginning operations and favouring the dispatch of energy from conventional power plants.
Mexico has recently issued a wide range of regulations to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and protect public health. Notably, the Federal Health Ministry and the Mexican Social Security Institute have issued special restrictions and recommendations with regard to the return to work of individuals classified as part of vulnerable groups, who, due to pre-existing conditions or illnesses, are at a greater risk of complications or even death if they contract COVID-19.
The new federal government has taken many actions in an effort to prioritise the Federal Commission of Electricity, Mexico's state-owned power company, over other participants in the open electricity market implemented by the 2013 to 2014 energy reform. Now, despite multiple promises from the president that Mexico's energy legislation would not be reformed, his party has announced a legislative plan to embark on a new energy reform.
In 2016 Joshua Dean Nelson commenced arbitration against Mexico on behalf of Telefacil México, SA de CV and himself under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Nelson, the Federal Telecommunications Institute had prevented him from participating in the telecoms market by issuing measures that he alleged violated Chapter 11 of NAFTA. However, the tribunal recently rejected the claims and held that Telefacil owed Mexico $2.05 million in arbitration costs.
Mexico recently introduced a new digital services tax. Under the new rules, paid-for digital services provided via digital content or apps through the Internet or any other fundamentally automated network are subject to specific value added tax rules if the user of the service is located in Mexico. This article provides a general summary of the new tax rules.
The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) recently issued a press release informing that 11 companies and 14 individuals had established a non-aggression pact in order to distribute items from seven tenders previously called by the Mexican Institute of Social Security and the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers. The applicable fine was the highest that COFECE has imposed in the past 10 years for cases relating to public procurement in the health sector.
Mexico is suffering from a national obesity epidemic; however, it is debatable whether the solution is stricter product marking, labelling and taxation or an approach focused on developing healthier habits and education. The health authorities' latest strategy on food and beverage labelling will likely have a significant economic impact on the food and beverage industry and could be considered a violation of international treaties and agreements.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect every aspect of life, employers must ensure that they are up to date with their obligations towards employees. This article answers employers' FAQs, including with regard to the financial support available to employees, the measures introduced to facilitate remote working, the processes for implementing dismissals during the pandemic and employers' obligations in terms of health and safety during the return to work.
The Mexican health authorities argue that the use of vaping products constitutes a health risk and promotes tobacco product use by smokers and non-smokers alike. Based on this interpretation, the health authorities have made several attempts to prohibit the sale and marketing of vaping products. Most of these attempts have been challenged by individuals or legal entities engaged in the tobacco industry, with favourable outcomes in the federal courts and the Supreme Court of Justice.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources recently published the Environment and Natural Resources Sector Programme for 2020 to 2024, which is the nationwide policy on environment. The policy sets out five main objectives that will serve as a guide for all other federal and local environmental policies, strategies and decisions and includes various methods for determining the progress made on the implementation of its strategies and achieving the goals set for 2024.
Due to the excessive exploitation of finite resources such as coal and oil, alternative sources of renewable energy are required to satisfy the high demand for energy. However, the creation and use of alternative sources of renewable energy require significant investment, which has become a major obstacle. Against this background, crowdfunding platforms have become an excellent financing option to develop projects focused on generating alternative energy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, new technologies such as telemedicine and remote medical services have become even more relevant due to the risks associated with close physical contact in hospitals and other places where COVID-19 sufferers may be present. A new Official Mexican Standard, which was recently published in the Federal Official Gazette, sets out the minimum requirements applicable to infrastructure and equipment required for outpatient medical care facilities.