Increased production by the Brazilian toy industry has lowered the number of imported toys in Brazil, but products from other countries still make up more than half of this market in the country. This article will explain what is necessary to import toys to Brazil.
According to data from Abrinq — Associação Brasileira dos Fabricantes de Brinquedo, or Brazilian Association of Toy Manufacturers — more than 50% of the toys sold in Brazil are imported. In 2010, this share was even bigger, around 70%. Abrinq estimates that the toy market in Brazil was worth BRL 4.34 billion in 2013.
China has the largest share of the imports, responsible for over 80%. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, are also important suppliers, even though they are responsible for less than 7% of all the imported toys.
Besides Federal Revenue, who regulates the export and import of goods involving Brazil, the main institution that supervises the importation of toys to Brazil is Inmetro, short for Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia, or National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality.
Inmetro is the entity responsible for the homologation of toys, granted through the Compulsory Certification of Imported Products (Certificação Compulsória de Produtos Certificados), which attests that toys will not cause any harm to children.
Toys with any radio frequency transmitters, like remote control cars, must also be approved by Anatel, the National Agency of Telecommunications. This approval must be granted before the Inmetro certification process.
Other entities also regulate the toy market, but are more directed to the sale and to consumer rights, checking, for example, if the toys have received the Inmetro seal. Some examples are Ipem — Instituto de Pesos e Medidas, or Institute of Weights and Measures — as well as Procon — Programa de Proteção e Defesa do Consumidor, or Consumer Protection Program.
Toys imported to Brazil can only be commercialized if they have received Inmetro’s homologation. This institution has several accredited entities that are capable of inspecting and certificating the products, known as OCPs, the Product Certification Organization.
The first thing the company must do prior to the importation is to look for an OCP. This entity will decide if the goods require a compulsory certification, which is likely. The complete lists of OCPs can be found in Inmetro’s website.
The certification is given for each lot of toys, after a series of tests made with samples. This means that this process is necessary whenever a new lot is imported. If the certification is needed, the importer must request it through a form made available by the OCP. This request must contain technical information about the lot, about the imported toys, and also the Import License (LI) attached.
Prior to the shipment of the samples that will be analyzed, the importer must sign a commitment term, where it is stated that he cover all expenses if the products need to be destroyed or re-exported if they fail the tests. After the goods arrive the country, the OCP collects the needed amount of samples and then forward them for different tests, like:
- Chemical testing
- Impact test
- Noise test
- Inflammability test
If everything is approved, the Certificação Compulsória de Produtos Certificados is granted. This certification does not have an expiration date, but it is valid only for this lot. Also, the approved toys receive an Inmetro seal that proves it has been certificated. This seal must be on every toy, and its implementation is a responsibility of the importing company. The products can only be sold in Brazil if they contain this seal.
Products Exempted From The Certification
Inmetro classifies as a toy any item that is destined to be used by children of 14 years old or less. Some products do not enter this classification, and therefore are exempt from all the procedures previously mentioned. The only necessary measure is to ask for a waiver.
Some of the products that are not classified as toys are:
- Christmas decorations
- Equipment of permanent installation, like slides and swings that will be fixed in playgrounds
- Regulated sports equipment, with official measures
- Puzzles with more than 500 pieces
- Video games
- Aero-models and similar items