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Brazil Seeks to Simplify Administrative Procedures, Prioritise International Trade

Brazilian authorities have unveiled 202 specific measures aimed at improving and simplifying various administrative procedures. Forty-six of these measures involve trade remedies, 19 are related to drawback issues, 19 pertain to import licencing requirements, 18 relate to public interest matters, 16 are linked to INMETRO’s import licencing consent process, 12 are related to import duties, and another 12 are related to the special Ex-Tarifario regime. Some of these initiatives will be implemented by the end of February while others will be in place by the end of the year.

Specific actions that will be implemented in the coming months include, among others, simplifying administrative controls related to consignment exports, eliminating document consularisation requirements related to import licencing and generally improving the import licencing process, allowing the importation of old books and documents, simplifying the procedures to import certain industrial machinery and parts thereof, expanding the drawback regime and the electronic single window for trade operations, standardising DECOM’s technical investigation procedures and generally improving trade remedy proceedings, promoting Brazil’s participation in the Generalised System of Preferences programmes of Switzerland and Norway, fully developing an electronic information system on non-tariff barriers faced by Brazilian exports, adopting a digital certificate of origin in bi-lateral trade operations with Argentina, simplifying access to Brazilian foreign trade statistics, and adopting an electronic system for the special ex-Tarifario and automotive parts regimes.

Meanwhile, Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services Marcos Pereira reiterated the commitment of the Temer administration to prioritise international trade at an event held 18 January at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mr. Pereira said that international trade must take centre stage in the path to economic growth by assuming an essential role in a consistent long-term strategy. He added that his government will actively seek to reinforce Brazil’s engagement in the negotiation of trade agreements in an effort to enhance the country’s participation in global trade and investment flows. Brazil is currently focused on completing the on-going trade negotiations with Mexico and further engaging the European Union, Canada and India, among other economies. Mr. Pereira favours a broader scope for Brazilian trade agreements that includes disciplines in the areas of government procurement, services and investment.

Brazil has already made significant progress in many of these areas. For example, Chilean and Brazilian trade officials recently held a third round of talks on a bi-lateral government procurement agreement. The two sides hope to reach a deal that guarantees the participation of Chilean and Brazilian companies in public tenders carried out by the other side, thereby promoting bi-lateral trade in both goods and services. Separately, Mercosur and the European Free Trade Association (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) have successfully concluded exploratory discussions on an FTA, while Mr. Pereira and his Argentinean counterpart underscored during a meeting in Davos the importance of accelerating the on-going FTA talks with the EU.

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