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Brazil Standards: Institutional Structure

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

Brazil Standards: Institutional Structure

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:44 pm

Brazilian Federal Law 5966 established the national system of metrology, standardization and industrial quality in December 1973. 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, industrial quality 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). Sinmetro is involved in many PBQP activities.

Conmetro, the policy arm of Sinmetro, is chaired by the Minister of Development, Industry and Commerce (MDIC).

Inmetro, the 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.


The main entities that make up the Sinmetro system are:

- Conmetro and its technical committees (see below)
- Inmetro
- OCC - accredited certification bodies (for quality systems, environmental management systems, products and personnel)
- OIC - accredited inspection bodies
- OTC - accredited training bodies
- INM - national metrology laboratory
- OPP - accredited proficiency testing providers
- RBLE/RBC - accredited laboratories for testing and calibration
- ABNT - Brazilian association of technical standards
- IPEM - state institutes of weights and measures


Participants in the Conmetro council include:

- Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (MDIC)
- Ministry of Environment (MMA)
- Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE)
- Ministry of Health (MS)
- Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT)
- Minstry of Foreign Affairs (MRE)
- Minstry of Justice (MJ)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Supply (MAA)

Non-governmental participation is ensured through:

- National Confederation of Industry (CNI),
- Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT)
- Institute for Consumer Defense (IDEC)


- develops, coordinates and supervises national policy on standards, conformity assessment, metrology and industrial quality;
- ensures the uniformity of all measurements used in the country;
- fosters voluntary standardization activities in Brazil;
- establishes technical regulations for industrial products and materials;
- establishes criteria and procedures for industrial product certification;
- establishes criteria for penalties for violations to the regulations under its purview;
- coordinates Brazilian participation in relevant international activities.

In practice, Conmetro's work is carried out through the following six committees that provide technical advice to Conmetro:

- CNN - National Standardization Committee
- CBC - Brazilian Certification Committee
- CONACRE - National Accreditation Committee
- CBM - Brazilian Metrology Committee
- CCAB - Brazilian Codex Alimentarius Committee
- CBTC - Technical Barriers to Trade Coordinating Committee


Within Sinmetro, Inmetro acts as:

- accrediting body
- excutive secretariat to Conmetro and to its technical advisory committees
- overseer of the entities responsible for enforcement and verification of certification

As central executive body of Conmetro, the breadth and scope of Inmetro activities are extensive, and its influence is far reaching. Inmetro emphasizes its role as Accreditor and coordinator of all Sinmetro institutions.

Inmetro's overriding objectives are related to its metrology and conformity assessment responsibilites and are aimed at improving these activities in order to increase Brazilian competitiveness and consumer protection through quality control.

In addition, Inmetro plays is supervising the verification of the quality of products and services offered to the consumer, sampling products from the marketplace. In situations where federal technical regulations are involved quality tests are performed by the IPEM network of State agencies to ensure conformance with mandatory certification requirements. The experience and information acquired is fed back to the system, allowing for corrective measures and improvements.

Inmetro is Brazil's only accreditation body and, since 1992, Inmetro has divested itself of all certification activity. As an accreditor, Inmetro recognizes entities that certify products, systems and/or personnel, inspection bodies and training providers. Laboratories are accredited directly by Inmentro.

To date, Inmetro has accredited:

18 Organizations that certify product
22 Organizations that register quality management systems
10 Organizations that register environmental management systems
3 Organizations that certify personnel
2 Organizations that are training providers 100 testing laboratories
118 Calibration laboratories

[Some entities may be accredited in several categories.]


Sinmetro, through Inmetro, is the national guardian of basic metrological standards. Inmetro operates 20 laboratories in their facilities in XEREM (State of Rio de Janiero) for basic metrological standards. Inmetro recognizes the national observatory (valongo) as the maintainer of time and frequency standards, the institute
of radiation and dosimetry (IRD) for ionizing radiation standards and the institute for technology research of the University of Sao Paulo (IPT/USP) for liquid and gas vacuum measurement standards. Other institutions may join in this system as they develop recognized measurement standards in specific areas.

In legal metrology, Inmetro acts as a coordinator of the national network 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. If 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 - as defined above -- is the responsibility of the Brazilian Association of Techncial Standards, ABNT. ABNT is a private, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that develops standards across all industries in Brazil. It also represents the country in relevant international and regional fora. ABNT is funded through member fees, publication sales and very limited federal funds. ABNT also acts
as a certification body.

Brazilian standards are developed either through ABNT's own technical committees or through sectorial standardization bodies (ONS) which it accredits. No other Brazilian organization develops standards.

Technical regulations

Conmetro seeks to update the process for developing technical regulations and to make it more inclusive. Two 1995 Conmetro decisions provide a basis for this work: Resolution no.1 (may 19, 1995) approved a program for the modernization of Federal technical regulations and Resolution no. 5 (September 4, 1995) defines the guidelines for the development, review and withdrawal of technical Federal regulations.

Prior to 1995, regulatory bodies tended to develop and publish their own regulations, following their own criteria and often overlapping.

The modernization program (Resolution 1) calls for the adoption of a single methodology by government regulators and for wider participation by interested parties in the development of technical regulations. Also, duplication is more likely to be avoided if the guidelines (Resolution 5) are followed. Not all regulatory bodies always use the system available to them. This new approach requires an ongoing technical and political modernization effort in Conmetro.

Mandatory product certification

Brazilian regulations mandate, to date, certification for an increasing number of product categories in order to establish a process of compliance with technical regulations. These mandatory certifications must be performed by one of the product certifiers accredited by Inmetro.

Note that this applies only to products that are under the national Sinmetro system and is therefore not necessarily exhaustive. Some Ministries and Regulatory Agencies that do not participate in Sinmetro may impose specific requirements for conformance to specifications for products under their supervision.
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