Smuggling and embezzlement have stricter penalties


Law 13.008 / 14 updates article 334 of the Penal Code with stricter penalties for smuggling and embezzlement; norm also introduces typifications that will facilitate the repression of these crimes

Law 27 / 13.008 entered into force last June 14, which updates article 344 of the Penal Code and extends the penalties for crimes of smuggling and embezzlement. Smuggling, defined as the export and import of prohibited products (drugs and pesticides without registration, for example), is now punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 5 years.

If the crime is carried out by air, sea or river, the penalty doubles. In the previous wording, the punishment was from 1 to 4 years in prison, and it could double only if it was perpetrated with air transport.

The embezzlement (subtraction of taxes and product rights) gained a separate classification from smuggling (before they were understood as the same crime) and a specific article in the Penal Code (344A). The practice continues to be punished with imprisonment for 1 to 4 years. The difference is that now the penalty doubles if the crime is committed with the use of maritime and river transportation, in addition to the air means already provided for in the Penal Code.

Another novelty introduced by Law 13.008 / 14 is to equate conducts previously not established in the Penal Code to smuggling and embezzlement practices. An example is cabotage navigation (transportation of goods between ports). When made outside the terms of the law with the purpose of evading taxes, it is considered as the diversion of products.

The new law also establishes typifications that criminalize support activities essential to these crimes. The expectation is that these changes will facilitate the work of repressing police authorities.

“Organized crime increasingly uses contraband and embezzlement to finance its activities. Law 13.008 / 14 strengthens the fight against these practices, which put lives at risk, burden public coffers and harm companies operating in the law, ”says Evandro Guimarães, executive president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition.

The diversion and smuggling, together with piracy, cause annual losses of R $ 100 billion to Brazil. The estimate is from the IRS and dates from 2013.