STANDARDS AND CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT Excerpt From Country Commercial Guide
Brazilian Standards and Conformity Assessment
Standards in Brazil Brazil’s efforts to establish uniform measurements and standards began as early as 1862, when the French decimal
metric system became official. With industrial growth during the following century came the necessity to create more efficient measuring instruments for consumer protection. As a result, in 1961 the National Institute of Weights and Measures (INPM) was created.
In 1973, industrial production reached a level that new avenues were opened for manufactured good exports. With a focus on exports, Brazil needed to adopt qualitative and quantitative methods comparable to those in other industrialized countries. Thus, in 1973, the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) was born with the objective to improve the quality of life of all citizens and the competitiveness of all industry through the use of metrology and improved quality.
Organization of Standards Bodies in Brazil In 1973, Brazilian Federal law established a National System of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality,
SINMETRO, which is comprised of CONMETRO, INMETRO, ABNT, IPEM and accredited labs. INMETRO serves as the executive chair of SINMETRO.
Standards and Technical Regulations Under SINMETRO, the development of voluntary standards is the responsibility of the Brazilian Association of
Technical Standards (ABNT). ABNT is a private, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that develops standards across all industries in Brazil. ABNT represents the country in relevant international and regional forums and acts as a certification body. Brazilian standards are developed either through ABNT’s own technical committees or through Sectoral Standardization Bodies (ONS), which it accredits. ABNT annually publishes a National Standardization Plan, containing all of the titles it plans to develop throughout the year. It can only be accessed by a member of ABNT or by contacting the corresponding Brazilian Committee (ABNT/CB): www.abnt.org.br/normal comite.htm. Proposed voluntary standards that are open for public comments can be accessed through: www.abnt.org.br/normal consulpub.htm.
Voluntary standards can be adopted as mandatory technical regulations by any of the 9 Ministries. Alternatively, these Ministries may develop their own technical regulations. Brazil’s technical regulations are available through
INMETRO’s website. This website www.inmetro.gov.br/rtac/.
provides access to
Brazil is a signatory of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), affirming its obligations relative to standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures. Under the agreement, INMETRO was established as the national inquiry point for information on standards-related issues. Additional information about technical barriers to trade and a formal system for inquiries is available through INMETRO at www.inmetro.gov.br/barreirastecnicas/index.asp
Standards: First Analog, now Digital TV? Brazil is considered a standards developer, and its choices often influence its neighbors’ decisions. One can see
Brazil’s activity in standards in its current efforts in digital television (DTV) technical regulation. While a number of countries in the Western Hemisphere are adopting the US standard (ATSC), Brazil has spent millions of dollars
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