Inmetro / Consumer Information /

Following are some examples of how Inmetro acts to protect ordinary consumers: the previously measured products and the Measurement Instruments are regulated by Inmetro, in order to guarantee the accuracy of the measures used in trade deals. When the use of a product may compromise the safety or the consumer´s health, Inmetro may rule as compulsory the Conformity Assessment of the product. That increases the trust that the product is in line with the standards and with the applied Technical Regulations.

With the regulation of the Textile Goods, the consumer is informed about the textile composition, thus avoiding him to purchase the wrong product. He also gets knowledge on how to wash, dry, press and preserve a product.

Also developed by Inmetro, the Product Analysis Program warns consumers whether the products are in accordance to the standards. Through this program, Inmetro identifies if it is necessary to suggest actions leading to the improvement of the level of quality of the sector.

One of the major challenges facing Inmetro is to involve the consumer in the process of improving the quality of goods and services offered in Brazil, contributing for the creation of a consumer who cares for his citizenship, demanding compliance of his rights, and carrying out his duties towards the goods supplier.

To accomplish it, Inmetro has been developed projects, such as the Portal of the Consumer, released in March 2002, which includes several of information related to consuming.

Inspection of Goods: almost a decade of success

In the ´90s, as Brazil was finally joining the era of industrial quality, a parallel movement became stable: that of consumers who were fighting for their rights. On that occasion, Inmetro recognized that consumers were a part of the process for enhancing of quality. So, in 1995, Inmetro signed an agreement with the Justice Ministry´s Protection and Defense Consumers´ Department, becoming a new member of the National System for Consumer Protection. Internally, it increased its work load, creating an area turned to education of quality, which is responsible for the development of the Products Analysis Program. For almost a decade, Inmetro has issued information that contributes to the identification and implementation of activities aimed at improving the quality of the products, allowing the ordinary consumer to make proper decisions when shopping or contracting services. Due to such decision, Inmetro raised its level of knowledge and credibility towards the general public.

Producing with quality draws value

Inmetro has established a technical regulation concerning the conformity assessment of the Integrated Fruit Production, aiming at setting an assessment criteria and thus guaranteeing the investigation of the production process, offering to facilitate the trading and exporting of goods, plus a fair competition.

The system is considered a priority strategy and one of its objectives is to produce high quality fruits so as to meet the international standards and to foster the country´s fruit exports, drawing values. The Southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina were pioneers in setting a model of conformity assessment on the apple harvest. Apple was the first fruit to be monitored since the selection of the soil for planting, treatment conditions, stock, storage, transportation and to be offered at the distribution sites. Apple was the first fruit to be certified with Inmetro's mark of conformity.

Currently, mango, grape and papaya are equally produced by such process, and are identified by a mark of conformity assessment issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Inmetro. Volunteers may join the program. One of the biggest challenges for implementation of the model of conformity assessment of the fruit program is to establish criteria for the fruit production process that can overcome the barriers imposed by the biggest consumers´ markets, especially the United States and the European Union.

Nevertheless, due to this program, apples bearing the Inmetro mark of conformity are starting to reach the European market. It is believed that the program may eventually turn Brazil into the world´s biggest supplier of tropical fruits.