Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Importation of Solar Panels

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Like other countries in the world, Brazil's government has been betting on individual incentives to produce energy. This article outlines the importation process of solar panels to Brazil.

The Brazilians have increasingly considered using water power, solar energy and other green measures to make things more environmentally sustainable. In the case of solar energy, the solar heating panels (photovoltaic) have increasingly been used by Brazilians, mainly to heat water when showering.

Brazilian Labeling Program (PBE)

With the increase in the consumption and commercialization of solar panels, the Brazilian government has found it necessary to monitor and control them, which is why the Programa Brasileiro de Etiquetagem (or the Brazilian Labeling Program, most known as PBE) was created.

PBE is coordinated by Inmetro and mainly focuses on energy efficiency. Nowadays the program is composed by different levels of Conformity Evaluation Programs, that comprise of labeling electrical appliances and the labeling of products related to renewable energy, such as solar-thermal and photovoltaic equipment.

Program Mechanism Character
Equipment to solar heating of water – solar-thermal Supplier Declaration Voluntary Application for Registry
Equipment and Systems to photovoltaic energy Supplier Declaration Mandatory Application for Registry.

National Stamp of Energy Conservation (ENCE)

Both solar-thermal and photovoltaic equipment must have the National Stamp of Energy Conservation (ENCE), which is a conformity stamp that classifies equipment in colored brands from “A," more efficient, to “E," less efficient, and provides other relevant information. In order to be classified in these categories, the products must be tested by Inmetro before being imported to Brazil.

Steps for Solar Panels Importation

All products comprised in the Conformity Evaluation Program in the scope of PBE, has its importation authorized through the issuance of Import License (LI) by Siscomex. The LI must be issued before the product embarks in its country of origin. Which means, that the importation of solar-thermal and photovoltaic equipment don't have automatic licensing, the importer must register the LI before embarking.

1) LI to Equipment Samples

All importers must register a LI in Siscomex to the equipment samples that will be subjected to testing. To get the LI it is necessary to pay an Approval Tax, through the Union Collection Guide. The tax it's charged with a BRL 45.00 value.The LI will be analyzed by Inmetro in a maximum of 60 days.

2) Tests in Laboratories – Conformity Evaluation

The tests developed in order to label equipment, are realized by laboratories accredited by General Coordination of Inmetro – the Cgcre/Inmetro – according to the rules and requirements established by the Conformity Evaluation Requirements (RAC), that can be seen here.

The equipment must be tested in the following laboratories:

  • Research Center of Electric Energy (CEPEL)
  • Research and Development (CPpD/ASE)
  • Institute of Electrotechnical and Energy of the University of São Paulo (IEE/USP)
  • Solar Energy Laboratory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (GREEN/PUC-MG)
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ)
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (LABELO/PUC-RS).

3) Inmetro Registry of the Equipment Tested

Here is the difference between the importation of solar-thermal and photovoltaic equipment. The first ones, as was observed in table above, are exempted to Inmetro registration.

This means that, after the Conformity Evaluation, the solar-thermal equipment can have it's LI dully registered in Siscomex followed by the approval to be imported and commercialized in Brazil. While the photovoltaic equipment still need to be registered by Inmetro and to follow the procedures listed below.

To get this registry, it's necessary to perform a log in in the registry system of Inmetro available here. Together with the application, it is necessary to attach the following documentation:

  • Registry application.
  • Copy of the Articles of Association of the importer.
  • Commitment Term of the Conformity Evaluation signed by the legal representative.
  • Notarized copy of the legal representative's identity card.
  • Test Reports developed in the laboratory accredited to Inmetro.
  • Models of the labels that will be put on the products for commercialization.
  • Other documents that could be required by Inmetro.

It's necessary to perform the payment through the Union Collection Guide, of the Conformity Evaluation Tax, charged with a BRL 45.00 value.

4) LI to Labeled and Registered Products

The importer must finally register the LI of the authorized equipment in Siscomex here. To get the LI, it is necessary to pay an Approval Tax through the Union Collection Guide. The tax it's charged with a BRL 45.00 value.

5) Maintenance of the Inmetro Registry

The importer responsible for the registry, must update it each year, otherwise the registration is canceled. To the conclusion of the maintenance of the registry, the person responsible must access the system and attach the new laboratory reports according to the rules established by the Conformity Evaluation Requirements presented in the attachments of the Portaria n. 4/2011.

Important Considerations:

  • To import and register their equipment, foreign companies must have a legal representative in Brazil.
  • The LI is analyzed in order of entrance, with the objective of promoting equal treatment to all suppliers.
  • Nowadays, Inmetro doesn't recognize analysis of foreign laboratories.
  • Nowadays, there isn't any bilateral or multilateral mutual recognition agreements to certification of products. Even in the case of equipment certified by foreign laboratory units. It's required to have the labeling and the registry in Inmetro.