Research shows negative effects of border smuggling

Among them are violence, tax evasion and poor access to basic services. Murder rate is more than double the national average.


Smuggling across borders is an old, well-known problem that is renewed without the Brazilian authorities being able to control it. A recent study of the Institute for Economic and Social Development of Borders (Idesf) highlights the traces of violence, tax evasion and poor quality of life left by illegal activity. In the border towns most affected by crime, homicide rates are more than double the national average.

Located on the border with Paraguay, Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul, is one of the main smuggling routes. The homicide rate per 100 thousand inhabitants (95,84) is more than three times the national average (29,5). Four of the six cities most affected by criminal practice are in the state. The second most violent is Guaíra, in Paraná, with an average of 68,34 homicides.

“The border towns are hard hit. Along with smuggling comes violence, organized crime, clashes between factions. And this has a direct impact on public safety, not just on the border, but across the country,” says Edson Vismona, director of the National Forum Against Piracy (FNCP). “Rio de Janeiro is the flagrant example. It's all connected. Police actions need to be integrated because it is not an isolated phenomenon. Weapons, drugs and ammunition circulate throughout the country. The volume of smuggling resources finances criminal organizations”, evaluates Vismona.

From January to September this year, the inspection of the foreign trade area of ​​the Federal Revenue Secretariat seized R $ 1,7 billion in illegal goods and vehicles. The record value of seizure of illegal products is 15% higher than that recorded in the same period last year. In addition to land borders, goods enter the country through ports and airports. “The inspection work needs to be done constantly. There can be no contingency of resources for public security. This represents the paralysis of State actions and the advance of crime. There is a need to support borders and integrated action between forces with a focus on large deposits ”, analyzes the FNCP director.

Combat is unsatisfactory and suffers constant blows from wrong decisions. Some public policies prove to be a real failure, as is the case with the increase in taxes on cigarette sales. In 2011, the tax on the product increased. What was supposed to be an incentive for Brazilians to smoke less became an incentive to buy cheaper cigarettes smuggled from Paraguay. With that, in addition to tax evasion, the citizen's health is even more impaired when consuming products of dubious origin. Cigarettes today represent more than half (67,44%) of contraband that crosses borders — a loss of R$ 6,4 billion between industry losses and non-taxation. Of these, R$ 4,5 billion correspond to taxes that the government fails to collect, according to Idesf.


brazil mail infographic search contrabandIn reverse, the information technology sector benefited from the reduction of taxes. With low prices, legal computers have gained in competition with smuggled ones. The number of seizures went from 10 million units to 3 million, between 2005 and 2016. National production jumped from 3 million to 13 million. The study suggests changes in tax policy as a way to fight smuggling.

The survey also reveals the precariousness of basic services in smuggling regions. Unemployment and the entry into the informal market affect the population's quality of life. Mundo Novo and Paranhos, in Mato Grosso do Sul, have the highest dropout rates in primary education, 4,5 and 6,4, respectively. “At the beginning of the life process, insertion in school, dropout and failure rates are higher than the national average. What do we do in the steps prior to the security issue to resolve the issue? Nothing. People work massively in informality. The municipalities do not generate jobs and income ”, explains Luciano Barros, president of Idesf and responsible for research.

The local economy is also affected. The average GDP per capita of these municipalities was below R $ 20 thousand in 2013, while the average GDP per capita in Brazil was above R $ 26 thousand. “All municipalities are financially dependent on the federal and state government, they do not generate their own income, so there is a push game. It is a terrible situation. Municipalities should face the problem independently, but they do not have this autonomy ”, analyzes Barros.




The Brazil we want

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This is the theme of the campaign supported by ETCO against smuggling, an evil that robs the market of national companies, fuels organized crime and bleeds public coffers.


The numbers are frightening: with this value, which corresponds to the wealth that Brazil stopped producing in 2016 because of smuggling, it would be possible to build more than 1,3 million popular houses, a thousand hospitals, 65 thousand daycare centers or 25 thousand public schools . These are losses that no country can afford to ignore - let alone let them grow year by year, as has been happening. The exhibition was one of the actions of the O Brasil que Nós Queremos campaign, carried out by the Movement in Defense of the Brazilian Legal Market. The Movement was created by ETCO and the National Forum Against Piracy and Legality (FNCP) and has the support of 70 entities. The objective is to join forces and mobilize authorities from the three branches of government and society in the fight against these illegal practices.

Watch: The Brazil We Want (video)


“The country in which we all want to live one day can only begin to be built if we leave aside the rhetoric and move on to immediate and effective change actions that have everyone's commitment,” says Edson Vismona, ETCO's executive president. In our experience, improving the business environment, simplifying entrepreneurial activities, and fighting corruption and illegality are the ways to reach this dream country. In addition to damaging Brazil economically, activities such as cigarette smuggling finance organized crime, increasing the levels of violence that afflict the population every day. What we need is to evolve, once and for all, from discourse to practice, with measures that actually monitor and curb these activities, encouraging the industry to return to invest and trade to sell. ”

At an event in Brasília, Edson Vismona demanded less rhetoric and more action against smuggling
At an event in Brasília, Edson Vismona demanded less rhetoric and more action against smuggling

Another campaign action involved the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. Whoever went to the newsstands or received the publication at home on March 29 was surprised by the headlines on the front page. The main one said: "Paraguayan smuggling falls to the historic minimum". And the others brought other "good news" related to the problem, such as the victory of the State in the war against gangs that use contraband to finance drug trafficking and other crimes: "Public power resumes neighborhoods on the outskirts of São Paulo". Unfortunately, these were not real headlines, but an advertising jacket with news of the dreams of a country that had already managed to solve the problem of smuggling.


The problem was discussed by experts on August 3, at an event that was held at FIESP to commemorate the first State Day to Combat Smuggling in São Paulo. The date was established by a bill by Congressman Jorge Caruso (PMDB), from the recently formed State Front to Combat Smuggling. The objective is that every year, on that day, paulistas can debate the challenges and results of this struggle. “Smuggling is an activity dominated by gangs like the PCC. Criminals use
the profits generated by smuggling to finance other crimes such as drug and arms trafficking, ”says Caruso.
The São Paulo legislature follows the good example of the National Congress, which created a Parliamentary Front two years ago with the
same purpose, chaired by federal deputy Efraim Filho (DEM / PB).

Ephraim Son

“Efforts to combat illicit practices must be
unified. It no longer makes sense for the public authorities, parliament and organized civil society to act in isolation and uncoordinated, ”says Efraim.

In addition to harming the country's economy and development, smuggling brings products to the Brazilian market without quality control and hygiene, which endanger consumers' lives and health. The list includes everything from sunglasses that cause damage to the retina to sharp and sharp toys, unsuitable for children, and cigarettes with rat hair and cockroach paws, which end up being inadvertently consumed by the population. In the same vehicles and schemes used to smuggle these products, the
Criminal factions also bring weapons and drugs that fuel violence in large cities. “The fight against illegality
it is a struggle for life. The violence that is on the streets, and that frightens us so much, is financed by smuggling, ”says Vismona.


The Brazilian population agrees. In a recent survey conducted by Datafolha, at the request of the Movement for the Defense of the Brazilian Legal Market, 84% of respondents said they believed in the link between cigarette smuggling and organized crime.


Combating the problem requires a constant effort by all actors in society and the effective engagement of the Federal Government in the inspection of our borders. In March, as part of the O Brasil que Nós Queremos campaign, ETCO agreed with the Ministry of Justice to sign a protocol of intentions, which includes a set of measures and intelligence actions to
suppress smuggling in the national territory.
Only then, by joining efforts, will Brazil be able to get rid of this culture of illegality more quickly and, consequently, increase tax collection, invest more in social programs, curb the consumption of products harmful to the health of the population and reduce violence and violence. performance of organized crime in large cities.
“The Brazil we want is the country of order and progress, which generates wealth, jobs and development for all Brazilians”, reinforces Vismona.

Read more about it:



Smuggling, threat to national sovereignty

In an article published in the Jornal Correio Braziliense, dated 15/08, the president of ETCO, Edson Vismona, talks about the lack of Brazilian competitiveness, caused by the legal uncertainty and the wrong commercial and regulatory rules.



by Edson Vismona


Among the main problems of the lack of Brazilian competitiveness are legal uncertainty and the existing commercial and regulatory differences, including between countries.

In the classic and correct view of business analysis, they are factors that inhibit investment and, therefore, the generation of jobs and income. On the other hand, less visible, as it is more complex and difficult to control, asymmetric conditions of competition are formed, the entry of products via Ile-gals is favored, in the first moment, reaching the peak of the existence of companies that falsify even the illegal version of products, or even that use tax mechanisms to perpetuate their bad faith action, in a persistent way.

The case of cigarettes is emblematic of this problem. Efficiently, product consumption reduction programs have reached quite satisfactory levels. However, the measurement of the dose of the medicine not only affected the national industry but also facilitated the growth of crime, which today accounts for 45% of the Brazilian cigarette market. The question is then, who takes care of this market and its harmful effects on the population? The certainty we have is that the worsening of the current measures will generate clear and objective favoring the neighboring country, a decrease in Brazilian industrial activity and the growth of crime, benefited by smuggling, orchestrated by criminal organizations that expand their power.

In Paraguay, for example, cigarettes are taxed at just 16%, while in Brazil companies in the sector pay, on average, 70% of taxes on products legally manufactured. In addition, manufacturers in the neighboring country are not required by their government to comply with standards similar to those imposed by Brazilian authorities, such as the placement of warning phrases and images on packaging, which, by law, must occupy 75% of the space of the packs.

The quality of Paraguayan cigarettes is also much lower than that of Brazil, according to research carried out by the State University of Ponta Grossa, which showed that these products contain, in addition to high concentrations of heavy metals, animal waste such as cockroach legs and rat hair.

The issue of cigarette smuggling, in fact, is turning into a national security issue. It is nothing new for anyone that this activity is dominated by organizations such as PG. But in a testimony to the US Senate in May 2017,0 political scientist Ema-nuele Ottolenghi, of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), revealed the close link between the illegal cigarette trade and international terrorism .

According to Ottolenghi, the growing presence of companies affiliated with Hezbollah in the tobacco retail business increases the possibility that the illicit tobacco trade will become an additional source of income for the terrorist organization ”.

He further explained to US senators that drug and cigarette smuggling routes along the Paraguay-Brazil border are becoming indistinguishable. The current situation in public security in Rio de Janeiro is one. reminder of how organized crime works. How many rifles, pistols and machine guns have been produced in the capital of Rio de Janeiro in recent years? How many drug production centers have been blown up by the authorities? Illegal trade in products is one of the activities that causes the most damage to the population and the country. The difficulties in border inspection and control reinforce the need for greater integration between the various government forces involved in combating the problem. This is a premise for the country to return to growth, to generate jobs and to promote the development that we need so much. We can no longer live with illegality as if it were a normal part of our lives. It is necessary for the whole society to come together around a common objective: the restoration of the country we want, respecting ethics and the law, today and for the generations yet to come.

Did you buy stolen cargo product? You are the loser.

O Millenium Institute held the hangout “Custo Brasil: the impact of cargo theft”, with the participation of ETCO president, Edson Vismona and João Antonio Wiegerinck, lawyer and specialist at Imil.

During the debate, Edson Vismona defended the importance of implementing concrete actions to fight crime, involving the federal, state and municipal spheres. João Antonio Wiegerinck pointed out that the entire cost of these occurrences falls on consumers, making prices for final products more expensive and generating more expensive insurance for companies.

To watch the hangout in its entirety, click here.

São Paulo City Hall launches the SP Legal Program


In a meeting with Mayor Dória and secretaries of Urban Security, Social Assistance, Innovation and Technology, Justice, Invest São Paulo and Sub-City Halls, on May 31, representatives of the Legal Brazil Movement, led by ETCO and FNCP, discussed Defense of Legality and social action in the city of São Paulo.

As a result, the SP Legal Program will be launched by the City Hall, in partnership with the Brasil Legal Movement, a series of actions in defense of the legal market in the city.


More than 80% of Brazilians believe in the relationship between cigarette smuggling and organized crime in the country

Research shows that Brazilian associates contraband with violence and does not see efficient government action in the inspection and fight against illegal trade


A survey carried out by Datafolha at the request of the Movement in Defense of the Brazilian Legal Market, a coalition that brings together more than 70 entities representing sectors affected by illegality in Brazil, presents a very critical panorama in relation to the performance of the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments in the fight against smuggling between the two countries. Conducted between February 9th and 11th of this year, the survey heard about 2 thousand people in 130 small, medium and large cities in all regions of Brazil.

For 77% of respondents, the Brazilian authorities do not act effectively in border surveillance, a percentage that is 73% for the effectiveness of the Paraguayan government in the same area. One of the main findings of the research is the assessment that Brazilians make of the reasons why inspection on the Paraguayan side is so flawed.

Among respondents who believe that Paraguayans do not take measures to contain the problem, 76% believe that this is because politicians and authorities profit from this type of business. This is especially true of cigarette smuggling. Today Paraguayan brands are already responsible for 45% of sales in Brazilian territory, and the president of Paraguay, Horácio cartes, owns the largest cigarette manufacturer in the country.

The Eight cigarette, manufactured by Tabacalera del Este, a Cartes company, is today the best-selling brand in the State of São Paulo and the third in Brazil. And 41% of respondents know the brand, a percentage that rises to 48% among respondents aged 16 to 24, showing that smuggling penetration is even higher among younger people.

The survey also found that 84% of respondents see a link between cigarette smuggling and organized crime in Brazil. The Brazilian government's efforts to curb the entry of Paraguayan cigarettes into Brazil are disapproved, and support for sanctions against Paraguay is supported by 58% of those surveyed.

“Lack of competence in surveillance by the governments of both countries, and in the Paraguayan case, Brazilians also see an omission motivated by the fact that authorities and politicians from the neighboring country are beneficiaries of cigarette smuggling to Brazil,” says Edson Vismona, president of the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics (ETCO) and coordinator of the Movement.

The executive recalls that the smuggled cigarette trade in Brazil is dominated by criminal organizations such as the First Comando da Capital (PCC) and the Comando Vermelho (CV). “It is not possible to talk about crime without victims. Documents seized by the Civil Police in São Paulo show that the PCC establishes quotas for the sale of Paraguayan cigarettes and needy communities in the state ”informs.

Vismona also recalls that, although important, policies to restrict cigarettes cannot be excessive, at the risk of further stimulating the smuggling of the product. "The excess of taxes for the sector is one of the decisive factors in the growth of cigarette smuggling in the country, since Paraguayan brands check to cost less than half the minimum price established by law in Brazil" recalls the entity's president.

Donte: Southwest Leaf (31/05)

Illegal clothing and accessories market loses most to smuggling in Brazil

By Jéssica Lima / Modanet

The illegal market in Brazil is responsible for handling large amounts of money per year and, consequently, the government and society are affected by it. According to a study released in March by the Institute for Economic and Social Development of Borders (IDESF), Brazil loses R $ 130 billion annually due to the illegal smuggling market, tax evasion, and the losses to industries.

In this scenario, the clothing and accessories sector has an alarming picture: the segment lost R $ 29 billion in 2016 due to illegal trade, according to a survey carried out by the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP). By including other items, such as sneakers (R $ 1,6 billion), glasses (R $ 7,78 billion) and watches (R $ 624 thousand), the loss comes close to R $ 39 billion.

“Illegal trade brings losses to both the market and the consumer. The cause is directly linked to the high value of taxes paid by companies, a situation that ends up facilitating illegal trade and contributing to crime ”, says Edson Vismona, president of ETCO and FNCP.

Source: Digita Fashion Sitel (click to read the full article)