New law provides for confiscation of adulterated gas station


By JOÃO CARLOS MOREIRA, Diário de S. Paulo - 12/04/2005

The state government today launches a package of measures against fuel adulteration.

By sanctioning the law that eliminates the registration in the ICMS register of gas stations caught selling baptized fuels, Governor Geraldo Alckmin also announces the sending of two bills to the Legislative Assembly with new punishments to merchants and distributors involved in the frauds.

One of the projects to be presented foresees the so-called loss of adulterated fuel, as the DIÁRIO anticipated. The irregular product will be confiscated by the state, which may reprocess it for use in supplying police vehicles and ambulances. Today, the trader spotted? gas station owner or distributor? it is obliged by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) to reprocess the christened fuel, but it does not lose the product.

"If the company passes a test and it is proven that the product is adulterated, all the fuel in the tank will be lost," said Alckmin. The second bill that will be sent to deputies prevents irregular trade in solvents, which are added to the fuel for fraud. As it has commerce controlled by the ANP, the solvent used in frauds arrives at the stations with cold invoices. According to the proposal, the irregular cargo will be taxed as fuel, increasing the ICMS tax rate from 18% to 25%.

"If we do not act at all ends, we will not be able to face this increasingly organized mafia," said José Clóvis Cabrera, director of tax administration at the State Finance Department.

"The legislation we have so far no longer imposes fear on criminals," he added. The anti-adulteration package will also have agreements with the ANP, Procon and the Public Ministry to expand the inspection.

The law to be signed today was approved on the 31st and will enter into force as soon as it is published in the “Official Gazette of the State” - which may happen tomorrow. With the revocation of the ICMS, the post or distributor caught are forced to close. The owner is prevented from opening a new company in the business for five years. Today, the establishments continue to function. Only the pump in which the irregularity was found is sealed.

Alckmin must veto amendments submitted by deputies.
One of them is that which determines that stations in hypermarkets have specific ICMS, not being able to use the registration point of the merchant network.