Environmental permitting in Mexico at the federal level is an integrated regime
Although companies that are preparing to manufacture sometimes apply for separate permits, environmental permitting in Mexico can be accomplished through the utilization of its integrated regime.
Firms whose factories will be the source of emissions that are subject to regulation at the Mexican federal government level are required to obtain and complete what is known as the “Licencia Ambiental Única,” (LAU) or, in English, the Integrated Environmental License. This single document exists for the purpose of providing Mexican federal environmental regulatory authorities information on project environmental risk and impact, atmospheric emissions and hazardous waste, as well as details regarding wastewater effluent.
In additon to the integrated nature of environmental permitting in Mexico, there is also an system in place that enables companies to produce one report to fulfill their requirements as regards reporting the nature and amount of contaminants that are released into the air and water on a yearly basis. This document is called the “Cédula de Operación Anual,” or the “Annual Operation Document.” This document must be presented to Semarnat, which is Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources. Semarnat records this information in its Emissions and Transfer of Contaminants Register (RETC). The RETC is produced, kept and made available publicly, in order to fulfill the Mexican governments committment to transparency in the area of environmental regulation.
One acquired through the environmental permitting in Mexico system the LAU is normally issued for an indefinite period of time. However, environmental permits that are obtained separately, such as those related water, air, wastewater, hazardous waste and others that may be required at the state and local levels, may have a be good for a duration of one to thirty years. Definitive information can be obtained through inquiries made to officials at the appropriate level of government.
Although there is always some degree of complexity when dealing with rules, regulations and bureaucracies in a foreign nation, many of these challenges are made easier for newcomers that use a shelter company in Mexico, and the environmental compliance services that it provides to its clientele.