Originally published May 16, 2011
Keywords: Brazil, new customs policy, car imports, MDIC, non-automatic import licenses, import license registration
Mr. Fernando Pimentel, the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), confirmed on May 11, 2011, the adoption of a new customs policy that will affect car imports into Brazil. Beginning on May 10, 2011, car imports became subject to non-automatic import licenses, which may take up to 60 days to be granted by Brazilian customs authorities. This new policy also means importers will need to obtain an import license registration prior to the shipment of cars into Brazil.
Government sources had previously stated that imports of automotive parts would also be subject to said barriers. However, it was later clarified that such imports will not be affected by such new measures.
According to Mr. Pimentel, the new measures were not designed against imports from any particular origin. Yet, many in Brazil are arguing these new restrictions were indeed a retaliation against similar trade barriers recently adopted by Argentina against various imports from Brazil. In fact, the numbers speak for themselves. Nearly half of all cars imported into Brazil come from Argentina, and roughly 80 percent of all cars made in Argentina in 2010 were exported to Brazil. The new measures will also affect car imports from the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico.
At this time, no specific regulations or guidelines have been officially enacted, nor has a press release been made public by MDIC. Importers registered with SISCOMEX (Brazil's computerized trading system) noticed the policy change on May 10, 2011, which was later confirmed by Mr. Pimentel.
In any event, these measures are a significant step by the Brazilian government, and businesses involved in the production, exportation, or importation of cars and auto parts into Brazil should follow this issue closely. A similar incident occurred in January 2009. At the time, Brazil adopted a similar measure and decided to require import licenses for a wide array of imports into Brazil, only to suspend it 2 days later amid growing debate over its trade flow consequences and mounting industry opposition.
Learn more about our Global Trade practice.
Visit us at mayerbrown.com
*Observations in this article about Brazilian law are by Tauil & Chequer Advogados.
Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the Mayer Brown Practices). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a limited liability partnership established in the United States; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership, and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.
© Copyright 2011. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.
This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.