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Brazil Standards: Certification and Conformity Assessment

Come here to discuss the Brazil's standards of various industry, products registration and import regulations as well as tariff information.

Brazil Standards: Certification and Conformity Assessment

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:43 pm

The national system of metrology, standardization and industrial quality was established in December 1973 by Brazilian federal law 5966. The main objective of the system, known as Sinmetro is to provide a technology infrastructure for quality and productivity. It offers a structure of public and private organizations to carry out activities related to metrology, standardization and conformity assessment.

During the early 90's, changes in Brazilian society and economy led to a restructuring of Sinmetro and the creation of the Brazilian Program for Quality and Productivity (PBQP).

Conmetro, the operating council of Sinmetro, is chaired by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MICT). Participants include:
- the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MICT)
- the Ministry of Environment, water resources and the legal Amazon (MMA)
- the Ministry of Labor (MT)
- the Ministry of Health (MS)
- the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT)
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE)

And, since 1996,
- the Ministry of Justice (MJ)
- the Ministry of Agriculture and Supply (MA)

Non-governmental participation is ensured through
- the National Confederation of Industry (CNI),
- the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT)
- the Institute for Consumer Defense (IDEC)

Inmetro - National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality - is the executive arm of the system. In that capacity, it serves as the executive secretary to Conmetro and to all its technical committees.


Conmetro develops, coordinates and supervises national policy on standards, conformity assessment, metrology and industrial quality. As indicated above, 8 ministries and three non-governmental organizations serve on the council.

Stakeholders of the system include:

- OCC - accredited certification bodies for quality systems,
Environmental management systems, products and personnel
- OIC - accredited inspection bodies
- OTC - accredited training bodies
- LNM - national metrology laboratories
- RBLE/RBC - accredited laboratories for testing and calibration
- ABNT - Brazilian association of technical standards
- IPEM - state institutes of weights and measures

Conmetro's work is carried out through six national committees, with open participation:

- CNN - national standardization committee
- CBC - Brazilian certification committee
- CONARCE - national accreditation committee
- CBM - Brazilian metrology committee
- CODEX - Brazilian codex committee
- TBT/WTO - Brazilian notification committee

These committees advise Conmetro in the establishment of national policies and give input on their specific areas. For example, the CNN promotes standardization, is the forum where government and society interests are debated and provides for administrative appeal procedures. The CBC and CONACRE perform similar functions and also consolidate international principles of conformity assessment for implementation in brazil. The CBM is very new and is developing its goals.


As central executive body of Conmetro, the breadth and scope of Inmetro activities are extensive, and its influence is far reaching. in addition to being the operating body of Sinmetro, Sinmetro is the nation's only accreditation body and the supervisor of verification bodies. Significantly, however, since 1992 Inmetro has divested itself of all certification activity and is emphasizing its role as accreditor and coordinator of all Sinmetro institutions.

As accreditor, Inmetro recognizes entities that certify products and/or systems, inspection bodies and training providers. Laboratories are accredited directly by Inmetro Both CONACRE and CBC and its independent committees advise Inmetro on its accreditation role so that its internal rules and procedures reflect both national policies and international criteria.

To date, Inmetro has accredited a total of 29 certification entities. Of those 29, 19 offer quality system certification (or registration as is more commonly referred to in the United States) and 5 of the 19 also work in environmental system registration. Of the 19 system registrars, 15 are also accredited for product certification. Of the 29 entities accredited by Inmetro, 8 certify only products and two (2) certify personnel.

One interesting role Inmetro plays is supervising the verification of the quality of products and services offered to the consumer, sampling products from the marketplace. Tests are performed by the IPEM network of state agencies (see below) to verify conformance to mandatory certification, where federal technical regulations are involved. The experience acquired is then fed back to the system, allowing for corrective measures and improvements.

Scientific, industrial and legal metrology

Sinmetro, through Inmetro, is the national guardian of basic metrological standards. Inmetro operates 20 laboratories in Xerem (State of Rio de Janeiro) for basic metrological standards and recognizes others such as the national observatory (Valongo) as the maintainer of time and frequency standards and the institute of radiation and dosimetry for ionizing radiation standards. Other institutions will join in this system as they develop recognized standards in specific areas. One example is the institute of technological research (IPT) that is developing the basic metrological standards for flow, in conjunction with Inmetro

In legal metrology, Inmetro acts as a coordinator and recognizes the states institutes of weights and measures (IPEM) located in 19 of the 26 Brazilian states, but providing full coverage for the country.

Policy on standards and technical regulations

Brazil adheres to the international concept that standards are voluntary, non-governmental documents while technical regulations are mandatory and enforced by the government. However, when the federal government decides to regulate a product or service, and it needs a standard to support the technical regulation, Sinmetro's stated policy is that it will give priority to ABNT standards rather than develop its own set of technical requirements.


Under Sinmetro, standardization is the responsibility of the Brazilian association of technical standards, ABNT. ABNT is a non-governmental organization, that develops all standards in Brazil and represents the country in international and regional forum. It is funded by members fees, sales of publications and federal funds. Brazilian standards can be developed either through ABNT's own technical committees or through sectoral standardization bodies (ONS) which it may accredit. No other Brazilian organization develops standards.

Technical regulations

Conmetro has sought to update the process for developing technical regulations and to make it more inclusive by approving two resolutions:

Resolution no.1 (May 19, 1995) on the "Modernization of the Technical Regulation: Contribution to the state reform"

Resolution no. 5 (September 4, 1995) on "guidelines for the elaboration, review and revoking of technical federal regulations"

Before 1995, regulatory bodies developed and published their own regulations, following their own criteria and often overlapping. Now, technical commissions develop the documents and the regulatory bodies publish the regulation, under a common, approved system. The system tends to avoid duplication.

To date, eight technical commissions have been created:
- textiles and clothing
- automobile
- construction
- aerospace
- consumer health and safety
- health and safety in the workplace
- electro-electronic goods
- communication

Participation in these commissions includes the regulatory body itself, sectoral entities such as associations, labor unions, etc. laboratories, industries, universities and accredited bodies.

To date, four regulatory agencies are participating in the program:

- ANATEL for telecommunications
- ANP, for petroleum
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Army

In addition, an electronic database is being developed to identify all Brazilian technical regulations. About half of the regulations have already been entered in the system at: .

Mandatory product certification

Anatel is responsible for reviewing and recognizing the certification of communications equipment. On April 1, 2005 Anatel proposed modifying "Regulations for Certification and Homologation of Telecommunication Equipment covering "Aspects of Electro-magnetic Compatibility" by extending this certification requirement to computers, including notebooks and laptops, used to connect with the Brazilian telecommunications system. The goal is to establish standards against which this regulation would apply to computers and thus require certificates of conformity with concomitant procedures to obtain such. It is expected that this proposal will go to public comment starting April 11, 2005.

Currently, Brazilian regulations mandate certification on many product categories in order to show compliance with technical regulations. These requirements should be discussed with the importer in order to ensure that the export conforms with Brazilian rules. Only bodies that are accredited by Inmetro may perform mandatory certifications.

Following is a sample list of product categories requiring certification:

electric wires and cables up to 750 volts, electric equipment for atmospheric explosions, rubber hoses, pressure regulators and steel bottles for Liquid Petroleum Gasoline, motorcycle and automobile helmets, fire extinguishers, male condoms, toys, autobodies of city buses, container vehicles, vehicle motors, safety matches, safety glass and tires for vehicles, electromedical equipment (incubators and machines for measuring arterial pressure), silent household appliances (such as silent blenders), and machines of legal measurements (taxometers, speedometer, and tape measures).

Some products requiring safety standards certification:

modeling paste for children, adhesives at the base of erasers, picture books or coloring books for children, tempered safety glass for use in automobile manufacturing, microphones for audio appliances, pocket tape recorders, walkie-talkies, handle-talkies, radios with tape recorder and tape recorders for children, clock alarm radio for children, liquid measuring devices, tape measures, meter sticks, and metric bands.

Other related items that are apparently included in safety related categories:

electrocardiographs, electric scalpel, incubators for babies, defibrillator, microwave therapy apparatus, diagnostic apparatus for mammograms, apparatus for panoramic dental x-rays, building blocks for children, electronic keyboards for children, electric guitars, heated cribs, playing cards and fluorescent markers.
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