São Paulo wants law to inhibit fuel adulteration


By Sonia Racy, The State of S. Paulo - 08/02/2005

Adulteration and fuel evasion are at a more than worrying level. So much so that, following a decision by Governor Geraldo Alckmin, the Secretary of Finance, Eduardo Guardia, and the director of the Sincopetro, José Alberto Paiva Gouveia, a double action was triggered. The first, already underway, aims to inspect certain suspicious posts on time. In Paulínia, last week, more than 100 inspectors were kept on call for 24 hours, seven days a week, to detect solvents in gasoline. The second is a constitutional action. The State of São Paulo sent a bill to the Legislative Assembly that allows the State to revoke the state license and registration of the station that is adulterating fuel. "This rule is already in the ANP legislation, but it is not being followed," says Paiva Gouveia, recalling that there is a certain post in São Paulo that has already been closed 18 times and remains open.

The Guardia secretary warns that the action has already closed six posts. "We are going to make a firm point on this point: in addition to the loss of revenue, we have the consumer problem itself that is being deceived", he adds. Last year, only the infraction notices applied by the secretariat totaled R $ 600 million. “But that doesn't solve the problem. What will work, after the new law to curb fuel alteration is sanctioned, is the closing of gas stations and cancellation of the state license and registration ”, he points out. Currently, the most that São Paulo can do is distribute the list of fined stations so that the population knows who was caught changing fuel.

The special fuel regime introduced by the government of Rosinha Matheus, in Rio, is also getting in the way. “They invented a tax substitution regime that allows the withdrawal of fuel at some refineries, such as the one in Manguinhos, without paying the tax”, explains Guardia, not knowing how to explain what motivated the governor to adopt the process, unique in Brazil. With this gap, cheaper fuel is entering São Paulo.