The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology, or Inmetro, requires both locally produced and imported household and similar appliances to be certified in order to be sold in Brazil. We will outline here what are the types of certification options by Inmetro and how to the manufacturer or importer can obtain the certification for their appliances.
Inmetro is an autarchy under the Ministry of the Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, responsible for ensuring that the products and services commercialized in Brazil follow national and international policies regarding metrology and quality. Inmetro makes uses of a combination of international standards and local standard set by ABNT, the Brazilian National Standards Organization, to evaluate products. Products that are certified by Inmetro receive a seal as an indication of compliance with local regulations and are registered in Inmetro’s database.
Since January 2013, Inmetro demands all household and similar appliances to be tested in order to receive a mandatory certification. The intent of the certification is to protect users from electrical, mechanical, thermal, fire and radiation risks under normal usage, as well as preventing accidents. The regulation we will outline here affects electrical appliances operating at less than 250V for monophasic systems or 480V for other devices. Some examples of appliances that are included in this category are:
- Vacuum cleaners
- Coffee makers
- Electric kettles
- Electric skillets
- Electric Iron
- Grills and Toasters
- Bread machines
- Deep fat fryers, frying pans and similar appliances
- Appliances for heating liquids
- Kitchen machines
- Food waste disposers
- Sewing machine
- Shaving machines and similar
- Electric blankets and other heating appliances
- Skincare and haircare appliances such as blow dryers, curling irons, hair straighteners, etc
- Ice cream makers
- Massage appliances
- Electric clothes dryers and towel rails
- Oral hygiene appliances
- Sauna heating appliances
- Surface-cleaning appliances for household use employing liquids or steam
- Electrical appliances for use with aquariums and garden ponds
- Some microwave ovens
- Some dishwasher machines
- Some washing machines
- Commercial dispensing appliances and vending machines
- Electric fence energizers
- Lawn trimmers and lawnmowers
- Outdoor barbecues
- Foot warmers and heating mats
- Amusement machines and personal services machines
- Heated gullies for roof drainage
- Fabric steamers
- Electric fishing machines
- Electrical animal-stunning equipment
- Vertically moving garage doors for residential use
- Hand-held garden blowers, vacuums and blower vacuums
- Gas, oil and solid-fuel burning appliances having electrical connections
- Drives for gates, doors and windows
- Multifunctional shower cabinets
- Heated carpets
- Commercial refrigerators and freezers
Process of conformity evaluation of household appliances and similar
The certification process of a product by Inmetro requires the assistance of an OCP, which stands for Organismo de Certificação de Produtos. The OCP is an independent entity which works on behalf of Inmetro to evaluate the appliances, conducting the entirely process of certification, from establishing the testing plan to issuing a statement of conformity. Master Certificações is an OCP accredited by Inmetro capable of handling certification processes for household and kitchen and similar and LED lamps.
After selecting an OCP, the applicant must determine what is the certification option they will use to certify the model or the family of appliances.There are two options for obtaining the certification for your product and consequently the seal to indicate the product conformity:
- Certification based on tests and evaluation of the manufacturing quality management system.
- Certification based on product batch
Certification based on tests and evaluation of the manufacturing quality management system
Certifications issued under this option are on a permanent basis and requires an auditing process of the manufacturing facilities carried out by the OCP in order to verify if the quality standards and requirements set by Inmetro are all met. If the OCP identify any non-conformity during this auditing process, the manufacturer must proceed with corrective measures to adequate the appliance/process to meet the minimum conditions demanded.
In addition to the assessment of quality assurance of the manufacturing plant, Inmetro also demands a testing plan for the appliances to be established by the OCP. The tests must be conducted in a third party laboratory accredited by Inmetro, but in a few particular cases, test reports issued by laboratories abroad which are signatory of mutual agreement with Inmetro, are also accepted.
The testing plan must consider variations between models of the same family as sometimes products carry small changes that will require additional tests to be performed. The OCP is also responsible for collecting the samples from the production line to perform tests for each of the product family.
At this stage, some technical documents from products are necessary, and it is responsibility of the manufacturer/importer to provide them to the OCP.
Once the products pass all tests and the facility is approved on the auditing process, a statement of conformity is issued, along with the authorization for the use of the conformity seal. The maintenance of the certificate is conditioned to renewal in periods of 12 months, and this process is also performed by the OCP.
Certification based on product batch
For this option, the certification and authorization for use of the conformity seal is issued based on the manufactured or imported batch of the product, to which the OCP will define the specific type testing and complementary tests plans. The OCP is allowed to collect samples for the standard tests from the batch only once, since Inmetro does not let additional samples to be collected in case of non-conformity.
If one model out of a set of models belonging to the same batch presents any non-conformity during the testings, the entire batch will be disapproved. The same will happen if the OCP consider that the standards were not met in a satisfactory manner.
On the other hand, in case the results meet the requirements established by the initial standard testing plan, the technical documents are right, the batch receives the authorization to use the conformity seal. In addition to the type testing Inmetro requires a second run of tests to be performed in a smaller set of samples of the batch. This is called batch inspection, or complementary testing, and is also carried out by the OCP, it will depend on the differences between the models on the family.
Appliances with specific regulations
The certification procedures outline above applies to a large amount of electrical household appliances. However, there are a few others ones which have specific conformity evaluation programs, which procedures and requirements are set by other regulations. Appliances which are NOT following the procedures described above are :
- Water Fountains
- Gas stoves for domestic use
- Electric Showers
- Refrigerators and freezers for domestic use
- Window and Split air conditioner
- Washing machine
- Ceiling fan
- Table fan
- Electric stove and oven
- Some microwave oven
- Tumble Dryer and Centrifuge
- Some dishwasher machine
- Electric Cellar
- Commercial freezer
- Hybrid accumulator heaters
- Heating pumps
- Pumps for jacuzzi
In addition to these appliances, the following appliances also have different regulations and therefore do not follow the same procedures as outlined in this article:
- Appliances exclusive for industrial use
- Appliances for use under special conditions such as explosive atmospheres ( dust, vapour, gas)
- Audio and video and similar electronic devices
- Medical use devices
- Engine operated electrical portable tools
- PCs and similar equipment
- Semi-stationary electrical tools operating with engines
Certifying your household appliance in Brazil
As you have noticed, OCPs play a key role in the certification of household and similar appliances, and finding a reliable OCP, with know-how in the process will ensure that the certification process is conducted in a fast and professional manner.
Master Certificaçoes is an OCP accredited by Inmetro qualified to perform the conformity procedures for household and similar appliances, having conducted this process for several local and foreign manufacturers. Master Certificações will provide you with all the guidance you need prior to the certification, which will allow your company to save time and money on your certification process with Inmetro.