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Brazil Broadens Benefits for Temporary Importations under ATA Regime, Modifies Customs Clearance Rules

Brazil has expanded its ATA carnet regime for temporary importations by accepting carnets issued by entities affiliated with the International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation (ICC-WCF ATA). As a result, effective 23 November carnets issued by such countries as the United States, Canada and Japan, which are signatories of the 1961 ATA Convention, will be accepted by the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service (Receita Federal).

Also known as “merchandise passports,” ATA carnets are international customs documents that ease temporary imports of commercial samples, professional equipment, and goods for exhibitions and fairs by simplifying customs procedures, eliminating duties and value-added taxes, and replacing the purchase of temporary import bonds. They operate under international customs conventions administered by the World Customs Organisation and serve as a guarantee against the payment of customs duties that may become due on goods temporarily imported and not re-exported. The carnet guarantee is based on an arrangement whereby a national association is held jointly and severally liable with the carnet holder for compliance with customs procedures for which the carnet was issued.

Separately, the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service (Receita Federal) has modified in various ways its customs clearance procedures. For example, authorised economic operators will now be able to register their import declarations prior to the arrival of maritime cargo in a Brazilian port, thereby reducing the amount of time required by customs officials to clear that cargo. Additionally, a new mechanism will allow importers to modify an existing import declaration in the Integrated Foreign Trade System (Siscomex) without the need to initiate a formal administrative process. The importer will make the necessary changes and pay the taxes that are calculated by the system, including any interest or penalties that may be owed. Brazilian authorities indicate that this improvement will allow import declarations to be immediately amended, further reducing administrative burdens on importers.

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