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Brazil Adopts New Labelling, Other Requirements for Mattresses

Brazil's National Institute of Technology, Normalisation and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) has issued a regulation (Directive 349/2015) that clarifies in various ways the current conformity assessment requirements for mattresses and mats made of flexible polyurethane foam established by Directive 79/2011 and sets new labelling and other requirements for these products. Among other things, INMETRO has clarified that the scope of Directive 79/2011 covers traditional mattresses made of flexible polyurethane foam (for use by the general population, children or in hospitals), mattress and box spring units, mixed mattresses, auxiliary mattresses and mats. The amendments also specify the types of mattresses excluded from the scope of Directive 79/2011 (e.g., electric mattresses, water mattresses, pneumatic or inflatable mattresses, camping and gymnastics mats, etc.), establish certain prohibitions and additional testing and labelling requirements and modify several other provisions of Directive 79/2011.

Directive 349/2015 prohibits when identifying a mattress type, brand, model or name the use of any terms or characteristics that differ from the real constitution of the mattress. Also prohibited is the use of any cardinal or ordinal numbers, whether or not accompanied by the letter "D," that differ from the nominal density of the foam layer(s) that make up the mattress or mat. The word "latex" may not be used to identify a mattress or mat unless the product contains a minimum of 70 percent latex. Imported and domestically-produced mattresses and mats must comply with these prohibitions by 1 October 2015. The directive allows the use of imitation leather, plastic and similar coverings (laminated or rubberised) for general purpose mattresses and mats, although non-woven fabric coupled to these coverings must have a minimum weight of 100 g/m2.

Mattresses and mats made of flexible polyurethane foam must carry a permanent label measuring at least 150 square centimetres and made of a durable and indelible material with the following information in Portuguese: (i) name and CNPJ identification number of the producer or importer; (ii) product brand and model; (iii) product dimensions (height by length by width, in that order); (iv) qualitative composition of the internal components of the mattress; (v) product classification (i.e., simple, mixed simple, composite or mixed composite); (vi) use (i.e., general or children); (vii) type of foam used, not including the covering; (viii) nominal density in kg/m3 of the foam layer(s) used and, in the case of composite and/or mixed mattresses, their respective thickness; (ix) in the case of mixed mattresses, thickness and identification of the wood, offset, hardboard or other material with a similar function; (x) composition of the covering, including the fabric (fibre content and weight), foam (density) and other materials; (xi) date of manufacture (day, month and year, in that order); (xii) country of manufacture; (xiii) minimum care required for the conservation of the product; (xiv) certain warning language in the case of mixed, box and auxiliary mattresses; (xv) certain language for mattresses containing one or more layers of latex, "rabatan" or ethyl vinyl acetate; and (xvi) certain language for mattresses and mats with an imitation leather, plastic or similar covering. Certain specific warning language is also required for infant mattresses intended for use in cribs.

The label must be placed on the covering of the mattress, in a location other than the underside of the product, in a way that allows the required information to be seen even when the mattress is packaged.

Directive 349/2015 includes various other specific requirements, such as a prohibition on the use in mattresses and mats of glue containing aromatic solvents or other toxic components (this provision is effective 1 July 2017), as well as minimum foam density and thickness (not including the covering) for various types of mattresses and minimum foam density and minimum and maximum foam thickness (including the covering) for mats.

Unless specified otherwise most of the requirements outlined above, including the labelling provisions, will enter into force on 1 January 2016.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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