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Brazil Seeks Input on Products that May See Tariff Hike

The Brazilian government has established a technical working group and is accepting submissions from interested parties on the products that could see a tariff hike under a new mechanism approved by the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) in December 2011. That arrangement authorises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to temporarily increase their import duties on up to 100 tariff lines above the levels established in the Mercosur common external tariff. The new duties may not exceed the bound rates agreed by Mercosur at the WTO.

Domestic stakeholders seeking a tariff increase on any particular product must submit a range of information to the working group, including the characteristics of the product (e.g., commercial name or brand, technical or scientific name, NCM code, current MFN duty rate, principal function, preferential duty treatment, etc.), information on the tariff increase sought and its duration, data regarding the demand and supply of the product, and other miscellaneous information. Applicants may request that the tariff increase apply to an existing tariff line or that a new tariff line be created to cover a product with certain specific characteristics. The working group will examine the submissions, consult with other government agencies as needed, forward any tariff increase proposals to the other Mercosur members and make adjustments to those proposals whenever applicable. The working group will also examine any tariff increase proposals requested by Argentina, Paraguay or Uruguay and may seek public input as part of its consideration process.

Any tariff increases will enter into force 30 days after the pertinent notification has been made by the Mercosur secretariat and may be in place for up to 12 months, with the possibility of annual renewals. Mercosur member states will be able to utilise this mechanism through 31 December 2014.

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