New Technical Regulation in Colombia Sets Updates on Labelling of Zinc-carbon and Alkaline Batteries

October 17, 2018


On April 16, 2018, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development published the Resolution № 0721. The Regulation will come into force on January 19, 2019 and will replace Resolution № 0172 of 2012.


This Regulation applies to all zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries which are manufactured domestically or imported into Colombia except the rechargeable batteries, button cell batteries, and batteries entered as non-commercial samples.


All the batteries will have to comply with certain specific provisions regarding physical defects, dimensions, rated voltage, minimum average life expectancy, and designation. In this regards, the batteries will need to undergo conformity evaluation and a certificate of conformity will be required.


An external label must be legible, accurate, and complete and should be placed on the packaging in a visible and easily accessible area. The information on the label must be written in Spanish. If the information cannot be translated into Spanish, it should be transcripted in Latin. 


 The following information must be specified on a battery label:

  • applicable battery designation

  • recommended expiry period or year, month, and week of manufacturing

  • country of origin

  • polarity of the positive terminal

  • rated voltage

  • name or trademark of a manufacturer or supplier

Batteries that do not comply with the established requirements will be deemed to be non-alkaline zinc-carbon batteries. For zinc batteries with a designation of 4LR44, it will not be required to disclose this information on the label due to their small size.

In addition, a label must be affixed to the product or its packaging with:

  • number of units contained in the package with the quantity

  • name of a domestic manufacturer or importer as recorded in a manufacturers and importers register

  • trademark

  • designation of an electrochemical system

The information on a packaging label and a battery label should be consistent.


The batteries which are supplied together with an imported end product will be considered as a subject to the Technical Regulation. Compliance with the TR for such batteries should be confirmed via a certificate of conformity separately from the end product.


Additionally, the batteries may not contain more than 0.0005 percent (5 ppm) by weight of mercury, 0.002 percent (20 ppm) by weight of cadmium, or 0.2 percent (2000 ppm) by weight of lead.


Prior to customs clearance, the batteries must show the compliance with requirements of this Technical Regulation, through a certificate of conformity issued by a certification body accredited by the National Accreditation Body of Colombia (ONAC). When there is no such accredited certification body in Colombia, the suppliers’ declaration of conformity signed in accordance with the provisions of this Technical Regulation is allowed for the use.


Certificates should be issued under the following systems, adapted from ISO/IEC 17067:  

System 1A —“Certificate of Sample”

System 3 —  test, which includes periodic testing of a product from a factory and periodic assessment of a production process

System 4 — test, which includes periodic testing of a product from the point of production and/or the market or both plus periodic assessment of a production process

System 5 — test, which includes a periodic assessment of a production process and/or audit of a management system plus periodic testing of a product from the point of production and/or the market.


Certificates of conformity issued prior to the entry into force of this regulation will be valid until its expiration date.


The regulatory body is Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC). Being a part of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, it is responsible for monitoring, controlling, and enforcing the requirements contained in this Technical Regulation.

SIC is also involved in registration in the Registry of Manufacturers and Importers of Products through a one-stop foreign trade window ("VUCE") for importers of the products considered in the scope of this resolution.


This Technical Regulation is to be reviewed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development every 5 years.


Conclusion: The Resolution № 0721 dated by April 16, 2018 sets requirements for the maximum permitted levels of heavy metals in zinc-carbon and alkaline cell batteries, including new minimum information requirements for labels of such products and will enter into force on January 19, 2019.



The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team.


GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side.


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