Stacey Bowers, MILS, is a Global Regulatory Specialist at Compliance & Risks, Ltd., which provides regulatory monitoring and management services and solutions to retailers, brands, and their supply chain partners. Stacey supports companies in developing and implementing global "compliance philosophies," with a specialty in assessing the business potential of new geographic markets and new product categories.
With Brazil recently surpassing the United Kingdom (UK) to become the sixth-largest economy in the world, as well as the country's plans to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, the country has become one of the most attractive geographic markets to foreign retailers and brands.
In particular, Brazil is attractive to toy retailers and brands, given that the country’s toy market doubled in sales between 2005-2010. In fact, to capitalize on this opportunity, the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, recently bought a majority stake in Ri Happy, Brazil's largest toy retailer http://www.globaltoynews.com/2012/03/brazil-and-toys.html).
However, before importing or selling toys in Brazil, it is important to understand the country's unique approach to toy compliance. This is more important than ever, as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Brazil's National Institute of Metrology, Standardization, and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) recently renewed their memorandum of understanding (MOU) on product safety.
One of Brazil's labeling requirements, the Consumer Protection Code, is intended to ensure protection of the consumer's life, health, safety, and risks arising from products. Products must bear information on their quantity, characteristics, composition, quality, and price, as well as any risks involved.
With regard to restricted substances, Brazil has enacted unique regulations restricting phthalates in vinyl toys. The regulations restrict BBP, DBP, and DEHP in all vinyl toys and BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP, and DNOP in vinyl toys intended for children under the age of 3.
Toy safety requirements have been established per the Brazilian adoption of the toy safety regulation published by Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR). This regulation establishes requirements for physical and mechanical hazards, restricted substances, and flammability of toys. The regulation is comprised of selected requirements from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), including the international toy safety standards series, ISO 8124 and EN 71, respectively.
Lastly, INMETRO requires toys entering Brazil to comply with the above toy safety regulations and receive certification - by an accredited body - prior to entry. Upon receipt of this certification, the INMETRO mark can be placed on toys destined for Brazil.
For more about toys in Brazil – or anywhere else in the world! – email: firstname.lastname@example.org.