A balance of Brazilian foreign trade

Brazilian foreign trade in 2017 made significant advances, not only due to the surplus of almost US$ 67 billion registered in its trade balance (the highest result since 1998), but also due to the initiative to simplify customs procedures.

Despite the positive result, Brazilian exports are still very dependent on commodities. It is essential to promote, with appropriate public policies, the export of manufactured products with higher added value and, as a consequence, the growth and strengthening of the Brazilian industrial park.

This demonstrates the importance and the need for the export culture to be continuously founded, as well as the work of reducing bureaucracy and modernizing Brazilian control systems.

It is a priority to establish strategies that eliminate obstacles and favor our external competitiveness, helping the export sector to overcome market challenges.

It is also necessary for the country to integrate even more into the foreign market. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (AFC), promoted by the WTO and concluded at the Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013, in force since February 2017, seeks greater flexibility and transparency in the relationship between governments and foreign trade operators, reducing operating costs and the negative bureaucratic impacts on import and export operations.

In this sense, Brazil, as a signatory country to the agreement and committed to the AFC, had a fruitful year in terms of improving customs processes.

With the Single Foreign Trade Portal Program, all requirements, licenses or authorizations directly incident on foreign trade operations must be requested through the Integrated Foreign Trade System (SISCOMEX).

The interveners will be aware of all the requirements they must meet to complete their processes, as well as all relevant legislation can be accessed through the Siscomex Portal.

The new export process, carried out through the Single Export Declaration (DU-E) program, seeks to adapt customs and administrative control to the logistical process of exports, in order to carry it out efficiently and safely, but without causing unnecessary delays to the flow of exports.

One of the main gains with the DU-E was the elimination of the obligation to issue the export memorandum, provided that export operations are carried out through the program.

It was a former claim by the category and CECIEx against the requirement to inform, through the export memorandum, all commercial data of indirect export operations promoted by the commercial and trading companies to their suppliers.

For Brazilian imports, there are also advances in the scope of the Single Portal of Foreign Trade Program.

The new system called the Single Import Declaration (DU-IMP), when fully implemented, will allow, among other procedures:

*that import clearances can be decentralized and distributed among the units, that is, the document conference can be held in a different place where the cargo is located for clearance;

*that an import process that requires an import license can be registered while it is analyzed by the consenting agency.

Licenses can be requested either in the systems of Organs consenting bodies or directly on the Portal, through the LPCO (Licenses, Permissions, Certificates and other documents);

*the collection of taxes will be carried out in a unified manner and the Portal itself will send the information and the appropriate transfers to those who correspond in the Federal and Union Units, thus bringing greater speed in the proof of payments, as well as reducing fraud.

In the context of international relations, among the priorities are the resumption of the Mercosur economic agenda, finalizing the negotiations of the free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (under discussion for almost 20 years), starting dialogues for trade agreements with Canada, the United States and Japan and intensify the treaties with Mexico, without forgetting the member countries of the Pacific Alliance.

Brazil has been working to intensify its participation in global trade and investment flows, and the idea of ​​making Brazilian foreign trade more agile, simple, modern and less costly is essential for greater competitiveness of Brazilian companies in the foreign market.

The dialogue between companies and the government has to be increasingly open, constant, close and requires a strategic, firm position that increasingly consolidates the importance of Brazil as a player in international trade.

Diário do Comércio Blog – Rita Campagnoli – Published on 02/09/2018

*Director of Dahll International and President of the Brazilian Council of Import and Export Trading Companies (Ceciex)