How to obtain product approval by Anatel

[:p b]Anatel1 Telecommunications products must be approved by Anatel before being used and marketed in Brazil. In this article we will explain how the homologation process works and what are the main steps necessary for its realization.

Approval by international bodies and definition of products

Foreign companies that export telecommunications products to Brazil should be aware that certification by international agencies does not authorize equipment to be marketed and used in the country. Approval by agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission or even conformité Européenne certification does not guarantee compliance with Brazilian law, and only Anatel is the authority responsible for granting authorization for telecommunications equipment in Brazil. The definition of telecommunications products can be broad, and, according to Anatel, it is limited to equipment, apparatus, device or element that composes means necessary or sufficient to perform telecommunications. In this case, telecommunications refers to an electromagnetic process by wire, wireless or by any other means in which there is the transmission, sending and reception of symbols, signals or other information. By this definition, products such as mobile phones, modems, wi-fi routers and even toys by remote control and walkie-talkies require approval from Anatel to be marketed in Brazil. Telecommunications products also require that their components and accessories, such as chargers and batteries, be tested and approved separately.

Product Categories

Telecommunications products are divided into three categories by Anatel, each of which has different requirements for homologation.

Category I

Category I mostly refers to equipment used by end users. To obtain this approval, products must be tested by a laboratory accredited by Inmetro. If the manufacturer does not present the ISO 9001 certification, Anatel presents procedures to evaluate the manufacturing process, which includes visits to the assembly lines. In addition, products of this category must be re-evaluated annually to maintain the type-approval. The reassessment process consists of simplified laboratory tests that ensure that the product maintains the same characteristics for which it was previously tested, as defined by the agency. Category I products include:

  • Mobile Phones
  • Satellite Phones
  • Voip phones
  • Cell Phone Batteries
  • Cell Phone Chargers
  • Telephone Signal Cables
  • Modems

Category II

Category II products are those that do not fit the Category I definitions and whose use refers to radio-electric signal emissions for transmissions. Similarly to category I, these products require laboratory testing and reassessments every 2 years to ensure approval before Anatel. The reassessment process for Category II products refers to checking the equipment documentation to ensure that its specifications remain the same as it was previously tested, and laboratory testing is not required. Category II products include:

  • ANTENNAS AND TV and Radio Transmitters
  • Wi-Fi Network Equipment
  • Radio Frequency Automation Equipment

Category III

Telecommunications products that do not belong to the previous categories are classified as Category III. Its homologation guarantees the reliability and electromagnetic compatibility necessary in accordance with national legislation. Anatel's current normals do not provide for the reassessment of these products, even if laboratory tests are necessary for their homologation. Category III products include:

  • Fiber optic cables
  • Cable connectors
  • Mobile signal transmitters

How to Obtain Homologation by Anatel

The first step to obtaining approval by Anatel is to choose a Designated Certification Body, or OCD. These bodies are independent institutions listed by Anatel that evaluate products and issue certifications based on tests carried out by laboratories accredited by Inmetro. The OCD will recommend to the applicant for the approval a laboratory for carrying out the tests based on the product specifications. The approval process can be started after registration on the Anatel website and contact with an OCD. The following data needs to be submitted to the OCD for the certification application:

  • Information on the applicant for certification
  • Manufacturer and factory information
  • User manual
  • Product manual
  • Technical Specifications
  • Photos of internal and external parts of the product
  • Test reports
  • Electrical diagram (required for specific products)
  • ISO 9001 certificate

As soon as the product certification process is authorized by the OCD, a laboratory that serves the characteristics of the product is chosen and the testing process is started. The number of samples required for the various types of tests depends on the type of product category. The OCD certificate for products such as phones and tablets can be granted by testing a single sample, but you can send a larger number to speed up the process. Manufacturers of these products usually send four to six samples for the process to be carried out quickly. Some products and components require that a larger number of samples be sent for testing. Lithium batteries, for example, require testing of 54 units for certification. Most laboratory tests are limited to checking the resistance to electrical and electromagnetic disturbances, ensuring product performance after long periods of use and the safety of its users. After receiving approval by the laboratory, the OCD is responsible for issuing the certificate necessary for approval by Anatel. There are different types of certificates issued by the OCDs, which are related to the categories and uses of the products:

  • Declaration of Conformity: Applicable to hand-made and non-marketable products
  • Test Report Declaration of Conformity: Applicable to products that cannot be certified by OCDs within 3 months and will therefore require evaluation by Anatel itself
  • Type Test-Based Certificate of Conformity: Certification document for Category I products
  • Certificate of Conformity Based on Type Test and Periodic Product Evaluations: Certification document for Category II products
  • Certificate of Conformity with quality system assessment: Certification document for Category III products

The documentation required for the issuance of certificates of conformity, a document necessary for the approval of marketed products, by the CDS sits includes:

  • Company identification and CNPJ
  • EAN bar code for each product
  • Product images indicating where the Anatel seal will be fixed and additional details

The EAN bar code can be generated by the GS1 Brazil association after sending the following documentation:

  • Company CNPJ
  • Social contract
  • IRPJ Statement

Once certified, the product needs to be added to the SGCH, or the Certification and Homologation Management Service, a database that gathers all registered and certified products in the country. This process is explained in detail on the Anatel portal and requires payment of a fee. After registration in the SGCH, the OCD progresses the approval process from the presentation of the following data and documents:

  • Information of the Applicant for Approval
  • Registration letter with GS1 Brazil (in the case of the first approval)
  • Social Contract (in the case of the first type-approval)
  • CNPJ
  • Product warranty information

In the event that the applicant for the type-approval is not the manufacturer of the product, it is also necessary to provide a power of attorney or similar document attesting to the legal representation in the country of the manufacturer of the product. Finally, Anatel may issue the Certificate of Approval from the presentation of the following documents:

  • Completed Approval Application Form
  • Certificate issued by the OCD
  • Product manual translated into the Portuguese (in the case of end-consumer products)
  • Copy of registration letter with GS1
  • Photo of the provisional Anatel seal

The aforementioned Homologation Application Form requires the following information:

  • EAN bar code for each product
  • Information of the certificate issued by the OCD
  • Information about the manufacturer or importer
  • OCD Information
  • General data on the product category and its applications
  • Product technical data
  • Laboratory information
  • Product warranty data

After the approval is sent the seal of Anatel that must be affixed to the product for its approval to be authorized. Some details of the approval process include the practice of secrecy by the OCDs during the registration and testing process and the permission by Anatel to perform software update for devices already homologated without the need for additional testing.

Who can apply for product approval?

The applicant for the type-approval procedure must be one of the following parties:

  • Product manufacturer
  • Supplier or importer of the product to Brazil
  • Individuals or companies for own-use equipment (without marketing)

In the case of foreign companies, the application for approval must be made by the distributor or the legal representative of the company in Brazil. This representative must be registered in the country and be responsible for the legal aspects of the sale of the product. Some organizations in Brazil offer services to facilitate the homologation process, and act as legal representatives of foreign companies in the country.

How long is the process?

The time required to obtain the approval depends on the type of product that will be tested, and is related to the type of laboratory tests required. Some types of products do not take more than a few days to test, while mobile phones and wi-fi equipment take about a month to complete the test. Laboratory tests for lithium battery typically take four months, although Anatel allows the product to be marketed one month after preliminary safety tests. In case the batteries are successfully tested, a certificate is issued, and in case of testing problems Anatel issues a recall of all appliances in which the batteries are used. The average overall time for certification by the OCDs is about one month, while Anatel takes about a week to finalize the approval.

Regulations for electrical equipment specific to Brazil

The Brazilian regulations on voltage spikes and electrostatic discharges are stricter than that of other countries. This rigor is necessary to ensure that telecommunications products maintain full operation during the frequent voltage fluctuations of Brazilian electricity networks and lightning discharges that reach the country. For this reason, telecommunications products that are marketed in Brazil need to undergo tests that include:

  • Resist 4000V voltage spikes in a grounded circuit and 2000V on an ungrounded circuit
  • Remain usable after 6000V electrostatic discharges per contact and 8000V per air

Anatel Seal

All products approved by Anatel receive a seal containing a barcode and the approval number of the product that must be affixed to it. This seal guarantees the buyer that the product is in accordance with the telecommunications regulations in Brazil. In the case of some products, such as mobile phones, it is allowed that the seal be affixed to the user manual and that only the approval number is printed on the product. The Internal Revenue Service, responsible for supervising the entry of goods into the country, is authorized to retain telecommunications equipment that arrives in Brazil without the Anatel seal. Source: Article published by TechinBrazil in partnership with Master Certifications[:]