The Chilean Standards System has a balanced approach. There are sectors where the Chilean government promotes the development of their own standards (building and construction, potable water and wastewater treatment, and energy) and there are other sectors where the market-preferred standard is applied (food quality and financial technologies).
Chile has a mix of voluntary and mandatory standards and in most sectors standards are not mandatory. However, companies may voluntarily comply with them, especially in industries where compliance constitutes a “seal of approval”. Certain imported products, such as those related to industrial safety, building and construction materials, and the gas and electrical industries, must comply with the specific requirements of the supervising entity. For example, there are specific regulations pertaining to the seismic resistance of new construction. Chile’s National Standards Institute (INN) also promotes ISO 14000 and ISO 9000 standards among local manufacturers. The chemical industry is an example of one industry that has incorporated ISO 9000 standards into its industrial processes. For agricultural products, the U.S.-Chile FTA includes an agreement on red meat grading standards, which now allows U.S. boneless red meat products to be sold in the Chilean market according to U.S. standards.
INN prepares an Annual Standard Work Plan. Non-manufacturing stakeholders, mainly services, can participate in the development of technical standards.
ISO or IEC standards are preferred while U.S., European or regional standards, and the U.N Sustainable Development Objectives (SDO) are also taken into consideration. The best standard to be applied will depend on the specific subject and industry.
Testing, Inspection and Certification
Most products can enter the Chilean market with minimal prior standards testing. However, for those products requiring testing prior to market entry, there is a data base of the most important national testing organizations in Chile. These organizations are grouped under the following categories:
- Testing laboratories
- System quality auditors
- Inspection organizations
- Product certification
- Calibration laboratories
- Quality Management Systems (QMS)
- Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
A complete list of accredited testing organizations under each category can be found under the Directorio de Acreditados on the INN website (available in Spanish only).
Publication of Technical Regulations
Chile’s government bulletin is the Diario Oficial. Once regulations are approved by the INN and the Ministries and are officially accepted by Chile’s central government, they are published in the Diario Oficial. Only approved regulations are published. Proposed regulations are not published in the Diario Oficial.
A schedule of upcoming standards development committee meetings, and a forum for public comment are available on the INN website at Consulta Publica and Comités Técnicos. Any institution, private or public, may request the services of the INN for the development of a standard in accordance with most procedures. Institutions and company representatives can be participants in the committee that is created when defining a certain standard. U.S. company representatives have participated in study discussions and the application can be requested online.
Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures
The ePing SPS&TBT platform (https://epingalert.org/), or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by WTO Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), distributed by the WTO from January 16, 1995 to present. ePing is available to all stakeholders free of charge and does not require registration unless the user wishes to receive customized e-mail alerts. Use it to browse notifications on past as well as new draft and updated product regulations, food safety and animal and plant health standards and regulations, find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, locate information on SPS/TBT Enquiry Points and notification authorities, and to follow and review current and past notifications concerning regulatory actions on products, packaging, labeling, food safety and animal and plant health measures in markets of interest.
Notify U.S., operated and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2003 to distribute and provide access to notifications (and associated draft texts) made under the WTO TBT Agreement for US stakeholders, has reached its end of life. Per obligation under the TBT Agreement, each WTO Member operates a national TBT (and an SPS) Enquiry Point. National TBT Enquiry Points are authorized to accept comments and official communications from other national TBT Enquiry Points, which are NOT part of the WTO or the WTO Secretariat. All comment submissions from U.S. stakeholders, including businesses, trade associations, U.S domiciled standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies, consumers, or U.S. government agencies on notifications to the WTO TBT Committee should be sent directly to the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point. Refer to the comment guidance at https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/guidance/guidance.cfm for further information.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Under Secretariat for International Economic Relations
Trade Regulations Division
Head of Standards Division
Instituto Nacional de Normalización (INN)
U.S. Embassy Chile