Fight against smuggling must be permanent, says expert

Rodolpho Ramazzini: Porous borders

The federal government announced a few weeks ago the start of the Ágata 8 operation, an important initiative whose objective is to strengthen security at Brazilian borders during the World Cup. There are more than 30 thousand men from the three Armed Forces, in addition to agents from the Federal Police, Federal Highway and Military and professionals from other agencies.

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Law increases penalty for smuggling crimes

Source: Portal Migalhas - 27/06/2014

President Dilma Rousseff signed on Thursday, 26, the law 13.008 / 14, which increases the penalty for smuggling crimes from 1 to 4 years of imprisonment to 2 to 5 years. The rule, published in the DOU on Friday, 27, also differentiates and better defines the crimes of embezzlement and contraband in the CP. According to the text, the penalty will be applied twice if the crimes are committed in air, sea or river transportation. Until then, the CP restricted this increase in punishment to goods smuggled by air transport.

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Projects and Initiatives

Electronic invoice

We contributed to the design, implementation and improvement of the Electronic Invoice project, which began to take effect in 2006. The System improved inspection, reduced tax evasion and reduced costs for tax authorities and companies.

Inspection Support Systems

We help to develop mechanisms to control the manufacture of products with high tax evasion power, such as the Beverage Production Control System (Sicobe) and the Cigarette Production Control and Tracking System (Scorpios).

Member of CNCP - National Council for Combating Piracy and Intellectual Property Offenses

The National Council for Combating Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property (CNCP), a collegiate and advisory body of the Ministry of Justice, aims to develop guidelines for the formulation and proposition of a national plan to combat piracy, its tax evasion. arising and offenses against intellectual property.

Underground Economy Index

ETCO believes that knowing the size of the problem is critical to tackling it. Much is said, but little is known about informality, piracy and evasion, as, as illegal activities, they are difficult to measure. In a pioneering initiative, ETCO, together with the Brazilian Institute of Economics of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (IBRE-FGV), annually publishes the Underground Economy Index, a study that estimates the values ​​of activities deliberately not declared to public authorities with the purpose of evading taxes.

To learn more about the Shadow Economy Index, please click here

Simplification of the Tax System

Convinced that the complexity of the Brazilian tax system is one of the factors that encourage tax evasion, ETCO has contributed with concrete suggestions for greater efficiency in the payment, inspection and tax collection system. Among these proposals are the federal, state and municipal cadastral unification; the principle of full anteriority, with main ancillary obligations defined until June 30 of the previous year, subject to regulatory taxes; and the simplification of procedures for registration and registration of companies.

Special taxation regimes

One of ETCO's suggestions culminated in the promulgation of Article 146-A, resulting from Constitutional Amendment No. 42/2003. The article foresees that States, the Federal District and municipalities, in addition to the Union, institute differentiated taxation systems in order to prevent competitive imbalances caused by the actions of individuals who use the reduction of their tax costs to gain spurious competitive advantages. ETCO acts with a view to the enactment of a complementary law, essential for the application of the article.

Union of forces for the legal market

We created, in partnership with the National Forum to Combat Piracy (FNCP), the Movement in Defense of the Brazilian Legal Market, which joins forces to act in a coordinated manner in the fight against smuggling, piracy, fraud and counterfeiting of products and defends border control actions. The Movement has the support of 70 entities. Within the scope of cities, also in partnership with the FNCP, we created the Legality Movement, which unites forces between civil society, city halls, the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police, parliament, state agencies and the National Front of Mayors to fight, effectively and forcefully the illegal market in Brazilian cities.

Studies, seminars and publications

We sponsor dozens of research, events and books on topics related to ethics, including the Culture of Transgressions in Brazil series, which brings together contributions from great Brazilian thinkers, including the sociologist and former President of the Republic Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

International operations

We are members of committees that fight transnational illicit practices that provoke unfair competition. In 2016, we joined the Latin American Anti-Smuggling Alliance (ALAC), which brings together civil society entities and government agencies from 15 Latin American nations in the search for joint actions to stop smuggling in the region; in 2017, we started to act in this direction also with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Recognition of ethical companies

We are part of the management committee of Pró-Ética, a recognition program for companies committed to ethics in their relations with the public sector. Pró-Ética was created in 2010 by the Ministry of Transparency, Inspection and Controllership-General of the Union (CGU) in partnership with the Ethos Institute.

Ethics for young people

To strengthen the ethical principles in the training of Brazilian students, we created the Ethics for Young People project. The initiative developed and made available to high school teachers, at the address www.eticaparajovens.com.br, a series of pedagogical activities to deal with the theme with its students in a pleasant and engaging way, stimulating critical thinking.

“Look at the rapa”: an alert for street vendors

By Nelson Vasconcelos, Diário de S. Paulo - 07/01/2005

For those who don't know, rapa is the City Hall car that drives inspectors and police through the streets 'to seize goods from unlicensed street vendors', as the Houaiss Electronic dictionary says. At least on the streets of Rio and São Paulo, it is not uncommon to hear the warning of street vendors threatened by the proximity of the Law, shouting loudly: "Look at the rapa!" – and whoever is sensible should run away, to avoid being detained for a few minutes and losing their products.

Read also: Money that stopped being collected with piracy would give to build 200 schools

And this is still a holdover from the 'romantic times of camelting'. Today it's not that much anymore, mainly because the coexistence between the men of the Law and the street vendors is much more tolerant and comradely, so to speak.

Well… this brief digression comes about the farewell to this column, which over the past eight months has presented different aspects of the large piracy market in the country and in the world. Once the alert has been made about the problems that piracy brings to the economy of countries — especially those on the periphery, like us — it's time to move forward. It's time to shave off…

Before that, the column thanks the collaboration of several sources — each defending its side, of course — and the multiple criticisms it received during that time. If all of them were not answered, it was due to lack of time.

Of the hundreds of emails that made it to the column — including messages sent via the internet — most claimed that companies have their share of blame for piracy, basically for stimulating rampant consumption and for not offering affordable prices at all levels of the population. It is a very frequent criticism in relation to goods such as clothing, CDs and DVDs, for example. Anyone who doesn't have R$25 for an original CD pays ten reais for three pirates on the corner. As music is increasingly a perishable, short-lived product, the pirated CD lasts at least until the favorite artist goes out of style. And who doesn't have Nike hunts with Naike…

Companies from various sectors, in turn, claim high spending on research and product development, hence their prices. And they say that the issue of piracy would be more related to a certain 'lack of honesty' of the consumer in general.

Companies also complain about something important: high taxation by the Government, which directly influences the final price of products to the consumer. But the Government does not seem to realize that high taxation does not necessarily mean higher revenue. Experiences in São Paulo, reported here, have already shown that consumers are able to choose the legal product, if the price to be paid is consistent.

The companies also demand from the Government more vigorous actions by the inspection and repression agencies against contraband, tax evasion and theft of goods. There are those who argue to what extent this is legitimate, as it means government spending to protect purely private interests, with no public benefit. It is a discussion that goes far.

The column spoke to sectors of the Government that, for their part, recognize their limitations and plan to put in practice, in the coming months, actions that can reduce the problem of piracy in the country. It will not be an easy task, considering that there is a lack of investments in technology and personnel, in addition to greater exchange between public agencies and, one of the great knots in the country, a more agile Justice.

Brazil loses R $ 287,9 billion to the illegal market

Another issue involving the Government is its (in)ability to negotiate with friendly countries — mainly those of Mercosur — and articulate with them a joint and permanent action against piracy.

It should not be forgotten that the United States, sheriffs in world trade, is putting strong pressure on countries that give piracy a chance. This could mean billion-dollar losses for the country's economy.

The Brazilian Legislative has repeatedly shown itself concerned with the matter and has done its part — it is a more than commendable effort, rare in the case of the Legislative. The formation of an exclusive inter-ministerial committee to combat piracy is in itself a positive point. When you start working, it will certainly be better.

Anyway, the message is given: piracy is the economy of illusion. As I said here, when a consumer chooses to buy a counterfeit or smuggled product, it looks like he is getting a good product, it looks like he is creating jobs, it looks like he is contributing to the country's economy. But it is all illusion. In the long run, the result is negative for several sectors. Better not pay to see.

Nor can the column cite an interesting discovery: that of reader Edson Barreto, an observer of the day-to-day on the streets, who wrote dozens of good stories about street vendors and street commerce. It is piracy, I would say, collaborating positively for the revival of the boring carioca chronicle.

And the most important: that 2005 is a very, very good year for everyone.