On February 25th, 2022, the new Regulatory Model for the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology – Inmetro – was approved. The new Model adopted measures for the debureaucratization of the agency and the adoption of less interventionist processes, providing greater freedom for companies and entrepreneurs.
The modernization of Inmetro’s regulatory activity has become essential in recent years, considering the mismatch between the agency’s actions and its goals. The Working Group for the Modernization of Inmetro’s Regulatory Model (GTMRI) identified several problems faced by the regulatory activity that compromised the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency’s performance in this sense, such as excessively bureaucratic processes, costly and time-consuming analysis procedures, and very prescriptive and detailed regulations. Thus, the need for increasingly dynamic and transparent procedures resulted in the proposition of a new model that could meet = new market demands, promote greater economic freedom as a development strategy, and enhance the competitiveness and digitalization of various sectors.
In general, the new Regulatory Model brought three significant changes:
· Creation of a regulatory environment based on more general regulations and essential quality and safety requirements, substituting very specific regulations, concerning the production process with the intention of ensuring greater flexibility to the model and better comprehensiveness and responsiveness to innovations.
· Increased focus on solving regulatory problems. In this regard, the new model considers mechanisms of surveillance actions by the market itself to assist in the identification of legal improvements for specific problems that have been verified with the provision for amending regulatory instruments, if necessary.
· Enforcement based on risk management and the accountability of suppliers. Hereby, the new model assigns the suppliers with the responsibility of (i) offering products to the market in compliance with applicable laws and regulations; (ii) monitoring, identifying, and addressing the risks of their products or services, subject to regulation; and (iii) taking the necessary measures when a product or service does not meet requirements or may cause harm to the consumer, informing the necessary authorities of implemented actions. If on one hand a new model seems to bring greater attention to the inspection and potential punishment to the suppliers, on the other hand, this also establishes the need for the agency to work on education and the prevention of bad practices.
A period of five years has been established for the implementation of Inmetro’s New Regulatory Model, from the date of the publication of the Ordinance. During this period, the institute’s Operational Units must promote actions for the transition, and new normative acts must already meet the guidelines of the new brand.