A car manufacturer with a plant unit located in the State of Santa Catarina filed an indemnity lawsuit at the Federal Courts against the Federal Government, caused by damages suffered due to the Brazilian Federal Revenue's excessive delays to clear through customs the goods imported by the plaintiff company at the Port of Itajaí. The release of imported goods normally takes 5 to 10 days, and the Plaintiff claims that the mentioned release of the goods took 35 days.

The judge of Brusque's First Federal Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff company, having adversely judged the Federal Goverment to pay the Plaintiff the amount of R$ 88,000.00 by way of indemnity for damages suffered, having the amount been set based on the additional expenses the company incurred with cargo storage and use of containers.

In his decision, the designated judge applied the Normative Instruction (IN) 69 of 1996, which provides for the import customs clearance and lays down in article 25 that "the customs check relative to import statements selected to the yellow and red channels must be concluded within a maximum period of five business days, counted from the day following the date of receipt of the statement extract and its supporting documents". In addition, it has also been observed that article 24 of Law 9,784 of 1999, which regulates the administrative proceedings in the ambit of the Federal Public Administration, lays down that "should there be no specific provision, the acts of the body or authority in charge of the proceedings and the parties subject to the administrative power of the State who take part in it must be performed within five days, except in cases of force majeure".

The Federal Government may appeal the decision.

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