Brazil to impose quality control on Asian imports

Brazil plans to impose strict quality control on imports from China and other Asian nations to prevent the influx of cheap goods, the daily O Globo reported on Saturday.

It said the border controls would ensure that imports from Asia, particularly from China, meet the standards set by the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro) and that they comply with safety norms applied to domestic retail goods.

Products that fail the tests would not be allowed into the country.

The measures, seen as a sort of non-tariff barrier protecting Brazil’s domestic industry and consumers, will apply to 240 000 models of goods in the following sectors: textiles, steel products, car parts and children’s items, particularly toys, the Rio-based newspaper said.

The controls are to begin in the second quarter and will be coordinated by the finance ministry’s Federal Revenue Service in partnership with Inmetro.

Ballooning trade ties
Brazilian manufacturers have long complained about the influx of cheap Chinese imports.

Earlier this month, Brazil and China aired differences over their ballooning multi-billion-dollar trade ties during a high-level meeting attended by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Brazil.

Brazil urged China to open its doors wider to Brazilian manufactured goods and limit its massive exports of shoes, textiles and other products such as automobiles that have been flooding into the country.

A senior Brazilian official said at the time that the sharp increase in cheap Chinese imports and access to the Chinese market for Brazilian manufactured goods was “an urgent problem [that] needs to be tackled”.

He added: “the Chinese government [has] signalled that it plans to act”.

Largest investor
In 2009, China dislodged the United States as Brazil’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $77-billion last year and Brazil enjoying a trade surplus of some $11.5-billion.

Beijing is also the largest investor in the South American nation.

Iron ore and soybeans represent more than 80% of Brazil’s exports to China, which in turn sells mostly manufactured goods to the country.

Brazil, the world’s sixth largest economy, and China, which ranks second behind the United States, are members of the Brics group of emerging powers, which also includes Russia, India and South Africa. –AFP

Staff Reporter
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Richard Hayward
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