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Brazil Further Facilitates Imports of Regulated Food and Health Products

The Brazilian Health Agency (ANVISA) has adopted a number of measures in recent weeks and months aimed at facilitating the importation of products subject to sanitary oversight. Among other actions, ANVISA has implemented a new risk management system that focuses on the most sensitive products while facilitating trade for companies and products that are considered low-risk. To that effect, the agency is currently processing imports through one of four channels: green (simplified import release procedures), yellow (documentary analysis), red (physical inspection of the merchandise) and grey (special investigation procedures).

ANVISA has also taken steps to streamline the documentary and procedural requirements in place for imports subject to sanitary oversight. For example, an importer can now submit the documentation required for the issuance of an import licence prior to the shipment of the actual product from the country of origin, whereas in the past that process took place after the arrival of the goods in Brazil. ANVISA is also accepting food product certifications issued by other countries, has rescinded a requirement to submit certain documents and is considering additional measures to further facilitate trade. 

As a result of these actions, ANVISA indicates that the number of pending import licence applications for health, food, cosmetic and sanitizing products (i.e., applications awaiting the start of the relevant technical evaluation) fell by 50.6 percent in September 2018, from 13,905 to 6,868.

ANVISA also recently announced its intention to eliminate by the end of the year 200 of the 1,043 federal sanitary regulations currently in place in Brazil because they have been determined to be obsolete. Described by Brazilian authorities as a “regulatory guillotine,” this action is designed to make Brazilian sanitary legislation cleaner and clearer. ANVISA will hold a public consultation process before issuing a formal proposal to withdraw the relevant regulations.

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