Inmetro / Technical Barries to Trade / Technical Cooperation

Technical Cooperation

The Technical Barriers Treaty (TBT) of the World Trade Organization stands behind the establishment of technical cooperation among its members in order to overcome the technological hurdles caused by the different stages of development.

Inmetro, throughout its history, has established Technical Cooperation Agreements with several bodies of relevant importance so far as the development of Basic Industrial Technology is concerned, turning Brazil capable of overcoming eventual technical barriers to exports. Following is a summary of the major agreements effective up to the present day:

Inmetro X NIST (United States of America)

Aiming at establishing a structure for the interchange of scientific and technical knowledge, and of services, as well as targeting the increase of scientific and technical jurisdiction among the institutions, in April, 2002 the NIST and Inmetro signed an Agreement Memorandum involving measurement sciences on chemical, physics and engineering.

The specific types of cooperation involve areas of mutual interest, such as: research probation for Inmetro´s scientists and technicians in the NIST; projects of cooperative research conducted partially by each institution, including the cooperation for production of data on Reference Standards; joint development and interchange of the Standard Reference Materials; Comparisons of Primary and National Standards; Calibration of Instruments and of special standards, in cases when only one of the institutions claims exclusive capacitation; participation at seminars, workshops and training courses in labs that belong to the institutions that signed the agreement; participation in measurements linked to standards and conformity assessment; interchange of publications; technical assistance by NIST experts to Inmetro or to the Brazilian government, aiming at improving the current national systems of scientific, industrial and legal metrology, plus developing further metrological activities; temporary loan of equipments, whenever available, for the implementation of specific activities.

Inmetro versus PTB (Germany)

During the year 2002, the Institutes signed a new Cooperation Agreement, on an institutional level, restoring the partnership these metrological institutions developed between 1969 and 1989, regarding Technical Cooperation. Inmetro and PTB joined each other to seek a horizontal cooperation in the scientific and technological fields.

The activities currently being developed based on this new agreement are essentially turned to Scientific, Industrial and Legal Metrology, and to accreditation, with both parts attributing their priorities to the field of Chemical Metrology and to other advanced areas of Metrology.

Relevant issues also provided by the parts include joint researching, aiming the development and implementation of new methods and procedures for the Approval of Models Legally Regulated, especially those concerning the areas of health, safety and the environment.

The joint activities already under way by the metrological institutes of Brazil and Germany, according to the agreement, involve the following aspects: bilateral comparisons of measurement standards to secure its uncertainties and traceabilities, as well as on how to establish an equivalence to those measurements; participation in international forums; joint investigation of new principles and methods, aimed at improving primary standards.

Inmetro versus BAM (Germany)

In September 2002, Inmetro also started to develop technical cooperation with Germany´s BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung). Among the areas contemplated by the agreement on technical and scientific cooperation, we distinguish those of engineering materials, chemical metrology and that of reference materials, with Inmetro being committed to develop, certify and trade reference materials in partnership with BAM. Besides these activities, activities regarding the mutual capacity of the transmission bodies were due to take place.

The partnership with BAM will allow Inmetro to endow with specific laboratory techniques for the analysis of organic and inorganic contaminants, offering the autarchy means to become a reference in Chemical Metrology in Brazil for several measurements. Such partnership is strategic, at a moment that chemical metrology stands as reference to all the questions regarding Technical Barriers, be it concerning labels as well as testing in the fields of health, agriculture and the environment.

Strategic Association

Within the scope of strategic association in the institutes of industrial technology of Mercosul - consisted of Inmetro, INTI (Argentina), INTN (Paraguay) and LATU (Uruguay) and temporarily directed by Inmetro -, the Technology, Metrology and Certification Committees were created in 2002. Worth mentioning are the comparisons between Inmetro and INTI on the field of Scientific and Industrial Metrology.

The JICA Project (Japan)

The government of Japan approved a project called "Quality in Transportation of Goods in the Mercosul", of interest to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The project, even though assembled by the Strategic Association, was considered a must by Mercosul, which approved it in both its Technical Cooperation Commission as well as by its higher-level body, the Common Market Group.

The support by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to the aforementioned project aims to seek a solution to problems involving the packing up conception, through the use of new materials, including shock absorbers, aimed at cutting costs of these inputs, consequently minimizing the loss of industrial products wrapped and transported along the various routes within Mercosul. All of that was based on researches, measurement and analysis, including those on vibrations and impacts, humidity and temperature, which occur not only during the stage of distribution of packed goods, but also while in the handling and storage of these products within the scope of Mercosul.

Following the approval of the project by the Japanese government, Inmetro coordinated - on the Brazilian side - all activities related to hosting a ten-member delegation of Japanese experts of JICA, having worked on a schedule as well as accompanying the mission for a call on the following Brazilian institutions: Inmetro, INT, ABRE, ITAL/CETEA, MRE, MDIC and MCT. This project got under way in March, 2004, as a group of members of the aforementioned institutions were sent to Japan.

Inmetro x Technological Lab of Uruguay (LATU)

Bilateral scientific, technical and technological cooperation within the areas of technical rules, scientific and legal metrology, plus technological information, is an agreement Inmetro hopes to turn into a "case" of success, so far as mutual recognition is concerned, developing on the scope of Mercosul.

As of the year 2002, the Bilateral Agreement included the following areas in Legal Metrology: control of large size scales; water, gas and electric power meters; speed meters; plus the accommodation of Metrological Technical Rules over pre-measured products.