Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Turtle operation at customs causes companies to lose contracts and may lack imported diesel


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The slow operation of tax auditors at customs has delayed the release of goods across the country, and the lack of imported items should weigh even more starting next week, when diesel may start to run out in some locations and the electronics industry returns. of recess.

The release of goods at customs has taken longer since Sindifisco Nacional, which represents the tax auditors of the Federal Revenue Service, approved on the 27th the so-called standard operation at customs posts, which took place at the end of last year. The category seeks salary readjustment, regulation of category bonuses and opening of public tender. This process consists of slower and more rigorous inspection.

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Since last week there has been an increasing number of complaints from importers in cities in all regions of the country. In recent days, a line of trucks awaiting release of goods has formed in Roraima (on the border with Venezuela), Mato Grosso do Sul (on the border with Bolivia and Paraguay) and in the port of Pecém, in Ceará, according to Sindifisco.

There are also reports of delays in Santos (SP) and Itajaí (SC), due to the delay in cargo conference.

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The executive president of Abicom (Brazilian Association of Fuel Importers), Sergio Araújo, recalls that 25% of the diesel used in Brazil today is imported and the fuel may start to run out in specific locations as of next week.

He reports that one of the associated companies, which usually took about two days to obtain a DI (Import Declaration) still had documents stopped at customs since December 23rd this week.

“The product is stored in the terminals’ tanks and this significantly increases the cost of importation, which ends up weighing later on the consumer’s pocket.”

Another concern is that, with the terminals’ tanks still full, the ships scheduled to arrive on the 15th will not have space to unload the fuel. “The ships may have to be stopped in the port and the cost is US$ 22 thousand [R$ 125 mil] per day.”

In the capital of São Paulo, the main affected sectors are home appliances and electronics, computer accessories and equipment and vehicle components, according to ACSP (São Paulo Commercial Association).

“We have received complaints about the delay in releasing cargo, especially with regard to the importation of products and inputs”, says Rita Campagnoli, vice president of ACSP and responsible for the São Paulo Chamber of Commerce, the foreign trade and international relations arm. of the institution.

According to Rita, complaints involving delays in the delivery of inputs such as network cards have been frequent. “There was a report of a truck stopped at the border of Chuí [RS], for a period much longer than expected. This type of situation not only generates an increase in operating costs, such as the maintenance of the truck and the driver’s daily rate, but also delays production and, eventually, causes breach of contract, because the company cannot meet deadlines”, she says.

Rita reports another case of one of ACSP’s associates in the electronics sector who had to pay a fine for not delivering products within the time agreed with the customer. Another episode involved a ceramic flooring manufacturer, which was stopped for an entire day because it did not receive imported inputs.

Entrepreneurs have no way out, he says. “They can even try to get a writ of mandamus to release the cargo, but that doesn’t solve it, because the issue is the time lost at the border”, he says.

According to the vice-president of the ACSP, in general, it is the consumer himself who will bear, in one way or another, the costs of the “turtle operation”, because companies will try to compensate for the losses.

“Entrepreneurs who import are doubly penalized at the moment: with the slowness of operations and unfavorable exchange rates”, he says.

In the case of exporters, there are bureaucratic and market difficulties to get the product abroad. “But the foreign buyer will not trust the Brazilian supplier if the delivery is delayed”, he says. “This damages Brazil’s image. It seems that the country is not serious”.


The next week should measure the impact of the delay in the release of imports across the country. In the electronics segment, the year-end recess may have helped to cushion the impacts of the longer delay in the release of imported goods.

Eletros (National Association of Electro-electronic Products Manufacturers) said it would speak on the matter only next week, with the end of the recess. Abinee (Brazilian Association of Electrical and Electronics Industry) should also only make a statement next week.

Anfavea (National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers) said that there is still no record of complaints from the automotive sector, but the entity continues to monitor the issue.


Abitrigo (Brazilian Wheat Industry Association) reported this Friday (7th) that three ships loaded with 100,000 tons of grain from Argentina came to a halt at the port of Santos (SP) waiting for clearance due to the operation. -standard. According to the entity, this jeopardized the supply of flour in Brazil. The entity pointed out that the cargoes have already been released and that the operations of associates in Santos have been normalized. Thus, the supply was restored.

Arno Gleisner, director of Foreign Trade at Cisbra (Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services), stated that the standard operation delays the release of around 5% of randomly chosen imports to undergo stricter inspection by the Revenue, including in the so-called red stream. About 95% of the loads pass through the green flow, with more lenient inspection, and are not affected by the mobilization of tax auditors.

Gleisner explained that, since the beginning of pressure from auditors for salary adjustments, imports may take up to 15 or 20 days to go through the red flow. In normal times, this release would take between three and five days.

The delay in clearance ended up creating a queue of loads awaiting release. Gleisner said that this line is longer at the customs of Foz de Iguaçu (PR) and Uruguaiana (RS), the largest in the country.


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