Seminar discusses solutions for smuggling

Event held in Brasilia brought together experts from the public and private sectors


Dad Squarisi, Opinion editor of the newspaper Correio Braziliense and Minister Cardozo. Credit: Claudio Reis / Esp.CB / DA Press. Brazil
Dad Squarisi, Opinion editor of the newspaper Correio Braziliense and Minister Cardozo. Credit: Claudio Reis / Esp.CB / DA Press. Brazil

ETCO-Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics and the newspaper Mail Braziliense promoted, on October 6, in Brasilia, the seminar Smuggling in Brazil: impacts and solutions. The event aimed to provoke dialogue and reflection around the political, economic and social implications of illegal trade and was accompanied by the publication of a six-page supplement on the subject in the newspaper.

Important names from the government, such as Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, from Justice, and federal deputy Efraim Filho (DEM-PMDB), and from the private sector dealt with several aspects of the theme. One of the points was the concern with the health and safety of Brazilians, given the intense commercialization of counterfeit medicines and other health products.

Participants also discussed how the increase in the tax burden that has been made or proposed by the government aggravates the problem, by making legal products more expensive and increasing the return of smugglers. “We are losing routily,” lamented Evandro Guimarães, president of ETCO. "Smuggling not only removes demand from Brazilian industry, which generates jobs and income here, but also makes the government collect less tax".

According to Edson Vismona, president of the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP), which supported the event, the increase in taxes tends to increase contraband in the same proportion.

According to data presented at the seminar, smuggling causes an annual loss of R $ 30 billion. The amount would be enough to cover the hole in the Federal Budget projected for 2016, of R $ 30,5 billion.


How to reverse the picture

When reflecting on possible solutions to smuggling, the participants cited the reduction of the tax burden and the strengthening of the control of Brazilian borders, the entrance gate for several illegal products.

José Eduardo Cardozo stated that, until 2018, there will be a reinforcement of policing through the installation of integrated command centers. The measure aims to enable greater integration between security forces and expand the monitoring capacity of states bordering other countries, which occupy a territorial strip of 25 thousand kilometers.

As a long-term measure, federal deputy Efraim Filho stressed the need to structure a consumer awareness program, which often does not give due importance to the topic. “The big problem with smuggling is that the citizen's first view is absolutely superficial. He considers crime to be harmless and does not harm anyone. Sometimes, the view that remains is that a guy who sells pirated CDs and DVDs is just earning his money, which would be better than stealing, ”said Efraim, who is president of the Mixed Parliamentary Front to Combat Smuggling , established this year in the National Congress.