Case Study: Toy safety in Brazil

Toy safety in Brazil

In Brazil the authority for technical regulations is represented at federal level by several agencies, depending of the area of competence. The regulations can be developed ex officio or upon request of a third party. These regulations are generally based on International Standards, among which ISO standards. Even if the regulation is identical to the international regulation, potential impact of regulations needs to be notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) is responsible for this. INMETRO is also responsible for conformity assessment bodies’ accreditation. More information can be found in the Guide to Brazil´s Toy Compliance Requirements.

The choice of conformity assessment activity is based on specific characteristics of the product and can range from certification, inspection to declaration of conformity by the supplier. It is usually voluntary-based, but if the object of conformity affects consumers’ health, safety or environment, conformity assessment should be performed by an accredited third party. A good example of this process is the certification of toys’ safety. All toys placed on the Brazilian market must be certified by an accredited certification body.

The toy safety certification process can use different certification systems that comprise specific technical regulations:

  • MERCOSUR Standard on Toy Safety NM 300:2002, Parts 1-6;
  • NM 300 – 1:2002,  Safety of Toys,  Part 1: General, mechanical and physical properties, which are based on ISO 8124-1:2000;
  • NM 300 – 2:2002, Safety of toys, Part 2: Flammability, with normative references to ISO 2431:1993;
  • NM 300-4:2002, Safety of toys Part 4: Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities, with normative references to ISO 8317:1989- Child – resistant packaging;
  • Additional requirements or methodologies such as the one to approve the Procedure for Certification of Toys and toxicological testing.

More information can be found on the ABNT website: www.abnt.org.br

The toy safety certification also requests accredited certification bodies and laboratories, where the common elements of the systems request the compliance based at least on:

  • ISO/IEC 17025:2005, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.
  • As an IAF/ILAC MLA signatory, INMETRO also shall request confident testing, where a mandatory rule for laboratories is the proficiency testing participation based on ISO 17043:2010, Conformity assessment – General requirements for proficiency testing. The standard specifies general requirements for the competence of providers of proficiency testing schemes and for the development and operation of proficiency testing schemes.
  • Guide ISO/IEC 65:1996, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems. This Guide has been replaced by: ISO/IEC 17065Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. This new version has been fully revised with more and better terms and definitions, resources, and guidance. Christian Priller, Convenor of the ISO/CASCO working group that developed ISO/IEC 17065 standard says:

 “…..Product certification is perhaps the most visible type of certification because it is usually accompanied by a mark that is recognized and appreciated by regulators, consumers and other stakeholders. It is therefore crucial that we ensure the reliability of these claims. I am confident that the new ISO/IEC 17065 will increase trust and comparability of product certification around world.” (ISO News, 3 October 2012).

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