Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
In Chile, there are no standards associations like those found in the United States. The only organization charged with developing standards in Chile is the National Standards Institute, or INN (in Spanish, Instituto Nacional de NormalizaciónThe long-term plan of INN for the development of standards is aligned with Chile’s primary export sectors, which include copper, forestry, agricultural products, and wine. Other sectors are marked by a mix of voluntary and mandatory standards regimes; mining and industrial-related sectors are most likely to be subjected to more formal, mandatory standards.
In most sectors, standards are not mandatory in Chile, but companies can voluntarily comply with them, especially in industries where such compliance constitutes a kind of “seal of approval.” However, 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. The INN is also promoting 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.
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)
Several locally accredited organizations are listed below. A complete list of accredited testing organizations under each category can be found under the Directorio de Acreditados (available in Spanish only).
The name of Chile’s government bulletin is the “Diario Oficial”. Once regulations are approved by the INN, and officially accepted by Chile’s central government, they are published in the “Diario Oficial.” Only approved regulations are published; proposed regulations are never published in the “Diario Oficial.”
Regulations currently under discussion, a schedule of upcoming standards development committee meetings, and a forum for public comment are available on the INN website. Any institution, private or public, may request the services of the INN for the development of a standard in accordance with most procedures. Moreover, institutions and company representatives can be active participants in the committee that is created when defining a certain standard. U.S. company representatives have, in fact, participated in such study discussions. The application request is available on-line.
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade. Notify U.S. (www.nist.gov/notifyus) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country or countries and industry sector(s) of interest and can also request full texts of regulations. This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.