Brazil loses R $ 100 billion a year due to counterfeit products, reveals ABCF

Director of the Brazilian Association to Combat Falsification (ABCF), Rodolpho Ramazzini presented during the seminar "Competitiveness in Industry - Product Traceability", promoted by the Security Department (Deseg) of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), this Wednesday (22), numbers alarming damage that the piracy of products provokes to Brazil. “The country loses R $ 100 billion a year in taxes that are not collected, in addition to the damage done to companies.

Read also Survey carried out by the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality demonstrates the billionaire losses caused to the country in 2020, the first year of the pandemic

One of the demands of ABCF with the government, according to him, is that the sectors most affected have reviewed their tax rates, since the appeal of the lower price is one of the attractions of pirated products. The sector most affected is that of cigarette manufacturers, with losses of R $ 4 billion per year, resulting from the sale of pirated products. "Almost 60% of the cigarette that is sold in São Paulo is Paraguayan and is not only sold by street vendors, but also in legalized commercial establishments," he said.

"There is research showing that the number of smokers has been falling in recent years, but what is happening is the migration of consumption of legal cigarettes by illegal ones, which poses serious risks to the health of consumers," he said.

Other sectors most affected by counterfeiting are auto parts, beverages, designer brands of clothing and eyewear.

"Brazil loses a lot of money with tax evasion, which could be invested in health and education and still equip the government to precisely stop these illegal practices," he said. Ramazzini also pointed out that the number of inspection agents in Brazil is very small in relation to other countries, even though they have an extensive border area, through which various products enter and leave.

This year, according to the specialist, the Federal Revenue carried out 630 operations, but the volume of illegal products entering the territory, across borders, is quite high. In addition, he pointed out that products that do not require a high technological level are counterfeit and made within the country and in several states. The specialist cited several seizures of pirated products carried out jointly with the Federal Police this year. THE falsificação of drinks is very big, according to him, but not only of whiskeys, as in the past. “We made draft beer seized. They take empty barrels from other companies and fill them with the counterfeit drink, ”he explained.
For Ramazzini, differently from previous decades, pirated products today have offered a greater risk to consumer health and safety, such as food, electrical equipment, among others. He cited product seizures, such as beer, milk, cleaning products, among others. If you recently discovered falsificação and sale of counterfeit electrical wires and cables, including in large retail chains.
According to Ramazzini, the industry must be organized to act in a cohesive manner and work together so that criminals realize that it is prepared for this fight. “There are sectors that are affected by almost 50% by piracy. As the national industry, by paying the tax burden it pays, with high labor charges, will be able to compete with this unfair competition? ”He asked.
"Only a cohesive work of the private initiative articulated with associations such as ABCF, Fiesp and the public power can curb these actions". (

PF seizes 600 boxes of contraband cigarettes; three were arrested

Source: G1 (Rio de Janeiro - RJ) - 22/05/2012

Apprehension took place on Monday (20), in Marechal Cândido Rondon (PR).

Smuggling was hidden on a rural property.

Three people were arrested with 600 cases of smuggled cigarettes from Paraguay in Marechal Cândido Rondon, in western Paraná, on Monday night (20). According to the Federal Police (PF), 350 boxes were in a truck that transported grain and the rest was on a rural property.

In addition to cigarettes, a car and a motorcycle were also seized, which would be used as scouts.

Driver is arrested with 2 thousand packages of cigarettes in Prudentópolis

Source: Rede Sul de Notícias (Guarapuava - PR) - 21/05/2012

Contraband was being taken from Foz do Iguaçu to Curitiba

A driver was arrested with two thousand packages of smuggled cigarettes from Paraguay last night, Sunday (20th), in Prudentópolis. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the approach was during a routine inspection on BR-277.

The goods were hidden in a car and would be taken from Foz do Iguaçu to Curitiba.

The prisoner and the contraband were taken to the Federal Police in Guarapuava.

Men are detained with smuggled cigarettes in Itapeva, SP

Source: G1 (Rio de Janeiro - RJ) - 19/05/2012

The arrests were in Vila Isabel.

Police found 20 boxes of the product in two vehicles.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of smuggling cigarettes in Itapeva (SP). They were in two cars loaded with 20 boxes of the product.

According to the Military Police, the men were caught in Vila Isabel. According to the police report, three cars were sighted during the patrol. During the approach, a driver managed to escape. The other two were stopped and the police found the cigarettes of illegal origin.

The prisoners and the seized products were taken to the Federal Police station in Sorocaba (SP). Men must respond in freedom for smuggling.

Federal Highway Police seizes more than 23 packs of smuggled cigarettes

Source: Diário de Ourinhos (Ourinhos - SP) - 16/05/2012

The 23.470 were seized by the Federal Police of Marília

The Federal Highway Police seized on Monday, another large cargo of smuggled cigarettes from Paraguay. The goods would be taken to be sold in the city of São Paulo.

During routine inspection on the BR-153, at around 12:30 pm the tactical team of the Ourinhense base approached a GM Astra car with plates from Foz do Iguaçu-PR. The police soon suspected that the vehicle was escorting another vehicle, so due diligence was carried out in the immediate vicinity, the second vehicle being located, a GM Meriva from São Paulo that carried 23.470 packs of cigarettes.

Those involved informed that they came from the city of Foz do Iguaçu-PR and had the destination of delivery of goods to the city of São Paulo. Given the facts, the suspects were referred to the Federal Police of Marília, where vehicles and cargo were apprehended. If the foreign origin of the cigarette is confirmed, the suspects may be indicted for the crime of contraband.

Teenager 14 years steals motorcycle and is detained

On Monday (14), the Military Police arrested a teenager of just 14 years of age accused of stealing a motorcycle from a 'mototaxi' establishment, located in the Cohab de Ourinhos.

At around 22 pm, police officers observed an individual driving a motorcycle and, while trying to approach him, the boy made his escape for a few blocks entering a 'mototaxi' garage in the same neighborhood.

The police then detained the driver, who was a child under 14 who claimed to have borrowed the owner's motorcycle. The teenager was taken to the police station where the police located the owner who denied lending the motorcycle to the minor.

The officer on duty charged the teenager for theft of a vehicle, it was released after the occurrence was registered and the motorcycle was returned to its owner.

Police seize marijuana portion with teenager in Praça do Caló

At one of the points known to the Military Police used by drug users, Praça do Caló, located on Rua Duque de Caxias, the PM arrested a teenager with two portions of marijuana. The case happened at dawn on Tuesday (15).

During routine inspection, at around 01:30 am, the military detained a teenager in a suspicious attitude. During the personal search he was found with the smallest two portions of marijuana packaged for sale.

The minor was referred to the Police Duty and after the record of the occurrence was released to a guardian. The drug was seized.

Minimum price: decisive step against tax evasion


Source: Correio Braziliense (May 26, 2012)

Brazil's socioeconomic reality has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Research carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that several indicators have had significantly improved performance, such as per capita income (increase of 176%) and unemployment rate (reduction of 45%). But that was still not enough to change the sad scenario of smuggling and piracy in our country.

The Underground Economy Index, released at the end of 2011 by the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics (ETCO) and the Brazilian Institute of Economics of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Ibre / FGV), fell by 1,1% last year in relation to 2009. After registering growth for two years (2008 and 2009), with a speed close to that of GDP, the underground economy accentuates the rate of decline, reaching, for the first time, around 17,2%. Despite this, the volume of money involved in the shadow economy has grown (from R $ 589 billion in 2009 to R $ 653 billion in 2011).

The explanations for these numbers were found in a survey by Fecomércio-RJ / Ipsos. The result indicates that the number of Brazilians who consume products of irregular origin jumped from 42% in 2006 to 48% in 2010. Most consumers heard in the survey justify the price difference between the legal and the illegal product as the main motivator of the purchase.

Many Brazilian consumers have not yet realized that the lowest price includes tax evasion, embezzlement, contraband, lack of product guarantees and, possibly, worse quality. How to deal with a problem that does not come up against physical boundaries and is culturally accepted by society? It is evident that stricter laws can contribute to discourage the practice of contravention. Today, very little is done on a punitive basis, both against those who co-opt someone and against those who are co-opted.

The tax issue is perhaps the most important in this regard. Much has been discussed about the tax burden in Brazil, one of the highest in the world, and especially about the difficulty in the process of paying taxes. If we take the cigarette sector as an example, we see that, in 2011, the share of products sold originating from smuggling and manufactured by companies that possibly do not collect their taxes properly reached about 30% of the Brazilian market. As a result, tax evasion is estimated to have reached the R $ 2 billion mark.

The formal industry, pressured by the high tax burden, today above 60%, is forced to practice prices much higher than those offered by the illegal market. The difference between prices charged by the formal industry and smuggling in some Brazilian cities can reach a stratospheric 240%.

Through Law No. 12.546, sanctioned on December 14, 2011 by President Dilma Rousseff, which among other topics will introduce the change of the IPI system for cigarettes, increasing the tax burden to close to 70% by 2015, the federal government created the minimum price for the sale of cigarettes. The goal is to curb tax evasion caused not only by smuggling, but mainly by companies that fail to pay all taxes due. The measure brings penalties to retailers who sell cigarettes below R $ 3 (2012), and the merchant may have the product seized and still be disqualified from selling cigarettes for five years.

For the Federal Revenue, the law aims to "curb the tax evasion that occurs in the cigarette manufacturing sector by the predatory practice of prices that encourage unfair competition in the sector". The initiative is an important step in the fight against the illegal market, but it cannot come alone. In order to prevent it from ending like other laws that “do not stick”, the inspection and the appropriate punishment must be companions inseparable from the minimum price.

The fixing of the minimum price, according to the IRS, "will provide greater competitiveness among companies, ensuring the implementation of favorable conditions for the development of activities in an environment of fair and fair competition". However, the established minimum price is still far from being able to cover all costs, margins and taxes paid by manufacturers.

With the new IPI rules, selling a pack of cigarettes for R $ 3 and paying all taxes will possibly mean still working with a negative margin, which increases the risk of probable tax evasion. Economic-financial analyzes show that, ideally, the minimum price should be set at a level between R $ 3,50 and R $ 4 in 2012.

In order for the country to continue moving forward and to count on an even more attractive business environment, it is essential to persevere in reducing the current levels of tax evasion, not only in the cigarette sector, but in all those that stand out for the high tax evasion, in a way to give priority to an effective balance between market agents, in line with what the principles of free initiative and free competition set forth in Article 170 of the Constitution assert.

Finally, the statement that the increase in taxation on cigarettes would lead to a reduction in consumption is not sustained, since, in practice, it tends to imply a migration of consumption to the illegal market, which, with artificially low prices, constitutes in an even more attractive offer for new consumers.

Robert Abdenur

Diplomat and executive president of the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics (ETCO)

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Plenary suspends ADI judgment on registration of cigarette companies

Source: State Law - Salvador / BA - 21/10/2010

The Plenary of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) suspended on Wednesday afternoon (20) the judgment of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 3952, proposed by the Christian Labor Party (PTC), which challenges the law that allows the cancellation, by the Secretariat of the Federal Revenue, the special registration necessary for the functioning of the tobacco industries (article 1 of Law 9.822 / 99). The rule allows the registration to be canceled in the event of non-payment of taxes or contributions. ADI's analysis is expected to continue in Thursday's session.

PTC also disputes Article 2 of Decree-Law No. 1.593 / 77, which allows the company to appeal against the Revenue's decision, but determines that this appeal has no suspensive effect, that is, it does not allow the factory to function until it is completed, judicially or administratively, whether or not there has been tax evasion.

The Federal Attorney General, Luiz Inácio Adams, defended the action as unfounded, stressing the understanding that the procedure provided for in Decree-Law 1.593 / 77 is triggered only in view of the “recalcitrance (disobedience) of the taxpayer in complying with a tax obligation certified in another process in which the adversary had already exercised ”.

The Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics (ETCO), the Union of the Tobacco Industry in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Sindifumo-RS) and the Union of the Tobacco Industry of the State of São Paulo (Sindifumo-SP) also manifested in the gallery. .

Police break up in Paraíba gang that acted in RN

Source: Diário de Natal Online - Natal / RN - 20/10/2010

A joint operation between the Federal, Federal Highway, Civil and Military police, in addition to the Federal Revenue Service, managed to break up in the city of Patos a gang that acted in cargo theft and cigarette smuggling with branches in the states of Paraíba, Ceará and Rio Grande do North. In the operation called Catenga, 11 arrest warrants were carried out.

All arrests took place in the city of Patos and the Federal Police seized approximately 10 counterfeit cigarette cases. During the action, three military police officers were arrested in the 3rd Battalion of Military Police of Patos. One of them, José Tarcísio Mendes Gomes, is appointed as the leader of the gang. The other two, Ewerton Carvalho Barbosa and Rubenilton dos Santos Barbosa, served as scouts to facilitate the passage of goods, the result of cargo theft or smuggling from Paraguay, which came from São Paulo and Paraná camouflaged in trucks loaded with fruits and vegetables.

All material had as its final destination the city of Patos and were transported in trucks that were prepared to hide illicit cargo. “They put cigarettes in trucks together with fruits and vegetables to disguise the inspection. The military police used the function of public security authority to circumvent the inspectors and pass, without any problem, on the existing barriers on the roads ”, added Paulo Henrique de Lima, PF delegate. Arriving in Patos, the products were stored in the houses belonging to the group and distributed to several commercial regions of Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará.

According to the Federal Police, products were obtained in various ways. One of them was the import of cigarettes from Paraguay, however, the gang also carried out robberies against deposits by companies and sold the material with fake stamps from the IRS.

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The Federal Police began investigating the group in September 2008 after the seizure of contraband cigarettes in the municipality of Pombal, in the Sertão Paraibano


The products were stolen from regular companies in assaults against drivers or the result of smuggling from Paraguay. Cigarettes were brought from the states of Paraná and São Paulo in trucks that transported fruits and vegetables. Upon arriving in Patos it was distributed to several cities in CE, RN and PB.


The gang was led by military police officer José Tarcísio Mendes Gomes, with the participation of two more police officers. They were responsible for circumventing road inspections in order to let the material pass.


During the operation, the Federal Police learned about 20 smuggled cigarette cases, in addition to a Fiat Doblô, two motorcycles and a truck, among other objects. The general balance sheet will be released today.