Battle of fuel alcohol

By ETCO
09/10/2009

Source: O Globo - BUSINESS & CIA - 09/10/2009

Sindicom has decided to attack unfair competition in fuel alcohol.

The union, which represents the distributors, estimates that five billion liters of ethanol consumed in the country do not pay taxes in full. Fraud, dubbed professional default, reaches 30% of the sector and, according to Alisio Vaz, vice-president of Sindicom, begins to make unfeasible those who operate within the law. Industry representatives have already contacted the Federal Public Ministry in several states.

In the coming weeks, together with Unica, which represents the mill owners, they will hold meetings with the Federal Revenue Service and the Finance Departments of states such as São Paulo, Rio, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Goiás and Bahia. Following, an advertising campaign will be launched denouncing the irregularities.

Sindicom's investigations account for two to three dozen formally constituted distributors operating in the scheme. “They buy alcohol from the plants, resell it at the gas stations and declare the amounts to the ANP. Only, instead of paying the full amount, they collect a fraction of the taxes ”, says Alisio. For this reason, they are classified as defaulters, not as defaulters. The coup harms competition, because alcohol has a high tax burden. While the commercialization margin is close to R $ 0,06 per liter, taxes represent R $ 0,30 in Rio and R $ 0,12 in São Paulo. “The situation is serious, because alcohol consumption continues to grow, with massive production of flex cars. Competition loses and so do governments, because tax collection only tends to fall, ”he says.