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Brazil to sign agreement with 10 countries to speed up customs clearance

Photo: Unsplash Rio skyline view
Brazil will sign an agreement with ten countries on 19 May to establish a faster clearance procedure for imported and exported goods.

The soon-to-be-signed deal provides the mutual recognition of companies with a good history of complying with customs rules, thus gaining the privilege of differentiated treatment of their goods, reported Brazilian media.

The undersecretary of Customs and Foreign Trade, Fausto Vieira Coutinho, said that Brazil expects to advance conversations with the United States to sign a similar commitment. Trade facilitation is one of the main items on the bilateral agenda.

In addition to Brazil, the regional agreement will involve Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. Companies that gain express treatment in Brazil will also enjoy quick clearance in other signatory countries.

In Brazil, companies with good compliance with regulations are part of the Authorised Economic Operator (OEA in the Portuguese acronym) programme. As a result, these companies can dispatch imported cargo in 26 minutes compared to the 28 hours it takes for other companies to have items cleared from the customs procedures at seaports. If the imported cargo arrives transported by trucks, it can be dispatched in 4 minutes instead of the 7 hours others take.

Data from the 2021 Customs Balance, released by the Brazilian Federal Revenue, show that only 0.32% of OEA was inspected last year. However, for those who are not OEA-member companies, the share of inspected loads reached 1.12%, an amount 3.5 times higher. In imports, 0.73% of OEA cargoes were selected for inspection, while it was 3.96% in other companies.

Quick goods clearance is an incentive for companies to maintain compliance in Brazil, said Coutinho. The objective is to offer more and more advantages. The number of OEAs increased from 5 in 2014 to 494 in 2021. This group of companies accounted for 26.32% of all Brazilian trade last year.