Brazil: Chemicals Law Taking Shape

At a recent meeting, representatives of the National Commission on Chemical Safety (CONASQ), evaluated the responses to a public consultation. The Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente: MMA) published the draft of a chemicals law as early as last summer.

The law is to regulate the admission, evaluation, and monitoring of substances, define the framework for the setup of a national database for chemicals, and create expert committees that deal with chemicals management.

The members of the commission are sorting the comments they have received by topic. The most crucial concerns include:

  • Consider nanomaterials, medicines, and veterinary products in the new regulation
  • Create the legal foundation for the setup of a sole representative
  • Protect confidential business information in an appropriate scope
  • Define formal annual notification periods
  • Require information on substances at 100 kg per year instead of at 1 ton per year
  • Set up an appeals board
  • Forbid animal testing

In the next step, CONASQ will prepare a final text of the law. But before it can be sent to the National Congress (Congresso Nacional), the ministries of the environment, health, labor, and industry must approve and sign it.

In its consultation paper, the committee reemphasized the great significance of such a law. It notes that regulations already exist for individual groups of substances, like pesticides, disinfectants, food additives, medications, and cosmetics. However, no option has existed up to this point to monitor and control the 10,000–15,000 substances available on the Brazilian market.

You can download the Announcement of the Consultation by CONASQ and a summary of the Responses to the Consultation (both available only in Portuguese).

According to the Web site of the Brazilian Embassy (German only), Germany was the fifth-largest business partner of Brazil in 2016, after China, the United States, Argentina, and The Netherlands. Brazil supplies Germany with iron ore, soy and soy products, green coffee beans, automobile parts, civil aircraft, machines, mean, copper, and raw oil. Brazil imports primarily products from the German pharmaceutical and chemical industries, which make up 34.3% of overall Brazilian imports from German. Machines and mechanical instruments make up 32.4%; vehicles, automobile, and automobile parts make up 9.2%. These statistics (German only) detail the trade balance in detail.

KFT has served companies in Brazil for many years and is thoroughly familiar with the laws related to chemical compliance. Please contact us at

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