Revenue wants to strengthen customs surveillance and improve service


Source: Valor Econômico, 09/03/2005

By Arnaldo Galvão, from Brasília

Photo: Ruy Baron / Valor
Jorge Rachid
Jorge Rachid: team leader will start to lead only ten people

The Internal Revenue Service will have its structure reinforced to improve customs surveillance and modernize the service to taxpayers. At the beginning of this process, 665 new commissioned positions (leadership) are being filled by tax auditors, but an increase in the number of employees is essential. Secretary Jorge Rachid informs that this reinforcement in the structure will allow, on average, a team leader to command ten employees. Before that, there was a leader for 50 people. These and other administrative changes are foreseen in Ordinance No. 30 of the Ministry of Finance, published in the “Diário Oficial da União” on March 4. It establishes the new internal regulations of the Revenue.

For the first time in its 37 years of existence, the Revenue will have at its disposal exclusive aircraft for customs surveillance. One of them is the Sertanejo single engine, manufactured by Embraer, and seized in Presidente Prudente (SP). The other is an American twin-engine Aerocomander, which still depends on a technical feasibility analysis. The former owners lost the planes because they were used for the illegal transportation of goods.

The two planes will carry out intelligence missions (image recording and support for teams) and emergency transport. What currently happens is that these works depend on partnerships with the Brazilian Air Force, the Federal Police and state governments. A Revenue mission also visited Canadian airports last week. The objective was to verify the functioning of modern systems for controlling the movement of people and cargo.

Rachid is also awaiting a government decision on the request to increase the number of employees of the Revenue, submitted in June last year. The proposal sent to the Ministry of Planning was to hold a tender to hire 1.500 auditors and 2 technicians. Currently, there are 7.647 tax auditors and 6.464 technicians. The starting salaries for this career are R $ 7.531,13 (auditor) and R $ 3.937,81 (technical).

Among the recent administrative changes of the IRS is the creation of the Division for the Suppression of Smuggling and Misdemeanor (Direp), which will have teams specialized in combating piracy and other tax crimes. Currently, about 3 thousand employees are already involved in this activity, but Rachid says that the goal is always to improve the business environment, frustrating unfair competition.

According to estimates by the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (Etco) - Rachid considers them “reasonable” - tax evasion in the markets for beverages, fuels, tobacco, beer and soft drinks is R $ 6 billion per year. With these resources, the budgets of the Ministry of Health or Education could be doubled.

If, in terms of control, the Revenue is being reinforced, on the side of taxpayer assistance there is also provision for modernizing actions that promise to save people's time. Rachid guarantees that in all 567 units of the Revenue in 505 municipalities, a sufficient amount will be invested to add technology to the administrative processes, through digital certification.

The idea is to facilitate real-time access for individuals and companies to obtain copies of certificates, rectifications, consultations and foreign trade operations (exports, imports and monitoring of customs transit). Later this year, the IRS expects to be able to provide transparent and quick follow-up of claims processing to individuals.

Investments in the modernization of the Revenue will be R $ 900 million, of which R $ 400 million this year and the remainder in 2006. This is the forecast of the Pilot Project of “spending on quality” approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will have an impact on the fiscal effort of 4,25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to pay interest on the public debt.

To facilitate foreign trade, electronic scanning equipment (scanners) will be purchased to analyze the contents of large containers, as required by the International Maritime and Port Security Code (ISPS). Investments in information technology will also be made to improve customs services. Rachid informs that an agreement with the Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Infraero) already allows the electronic monitoring of 100% of the spaces for the transit of people and cargo at the main airports in the country. The goal is to extend this control to ports and border posts.