Parameterization Channels: understand what they are

  • 08/09/2020
  • 9 minutes

Over the years, foreign trade has undergone significant changes in relation to its procedures, standards and tools. In this sense, the parameterization channels were created to streamline and simplify a series of processes.

To bring complete information on the topic, we interviewed Genar Teixeira Clemente Júnior, partner-owner of InPort, which has been one of the Brazilian customs clearance references for two decades.

Throughout the article, we will explain what these channels are, why they were created and in which cases they are used. Check it out!

What are the parameterization channels?

All goods that come from abroad must be submitted to customs clearance before entering Brazilian territory. The measure serves to verify the accuracy of the data declared by the importer in relation to the imported goods. It is worth remembering that they are registered through the Integrated Foreign Trade System (Siscomex), which also allows the registration of the Import Declaration (DI) or the Single Import Declaration (DUIMP), with the start of the new Operational module expected for the second half of this year.

After the DI is registered and the clearance procedure begins, it is submitted to a tax analysis and selected for the conference points, also called parameterization channels. This is necessary because, according to Genar, “all imported goods that enter the country are submitted to a bureaucratic formality before the Federal Revenue Service, which establishes the parameters for customs clearance”.

Before Siscomex and before the 1990s, all imported cargo was summarily checked by the tax auditors of the Federal Revenue Service (SRF). However, as time went by, the need arose to streamline the process, which became computerized. “In this way, the parameterization channels emerged and Artificial Intelligence (AI) started to separate the cargo in different types of channels in 1992”, reports Genar. The channels differ as follows:

• green (automatic clearance);

• yellow (documentary examination);

• red (documentary and physical examination of the merchandise);

• gray (intended for detailed preliminary analysis, when there is a strong suspicion of invoice issued for less than the amount really charged for the cargo, evidence of fraudulent interposition or absence of financial backing from the importer).

According to Genar, this color order has a logic very similar to that used in traffic lights. In the green channel, for example, the documentary and physical examination of the goods at customs controls is dismissed — it is just necessary to go to the terminal, pay the storage fees and collect the goods. The yellow channel, in turn, is a mechanism in which the customs ask the importer or customs broker to present documents that cover the cargo reported to the Federal Revenue Service. They are:

• bill of lading (BL);

• commercial invoice, document describing all the characteristics of the imported product.

The red channel requires even more documents and proof, such as the physical checking of the merchandise, which is indispensable in this channel. The gray channel, on the other hand, is the one that demands the most attention, as it is aimed at cargoes where there is suspicion of an illegal act and it is necessary to prove everything that the Federal Revenue Service will argue.

If the need to present the cost composition of the goods is determined, this must be proven — some companies issue invoices for less than the amount really charged and owe additional explanations in situations like this. In this case, the merchandise can be retained for up to 180 days until the evidence is investigated.

What is the importance of shipping agency in relation to the parameterization channels?

Genar highlights the importance of shipping agency in dealing with parameterization channels. “The intermediation performs, as the shipowner’s mandatary, the entire procedure to support the care of the cargo, from the port of origin to the port of destination, according to what was agreed between seller and importer”, he explains.

In short, the carrier’s responsibility is to promote interchange between countries, and this assignment only ceases when the order reaches its final destination, with total security. Control over the channel option is done by the Federal Revenue Service — and it is worth remembering that the broker cannot intervene.

What are the biggest challenges to proceed with electronic records through Siscomex?

As explained by Genar, conventional cargo, such as dry cargo, does not require major concerns. “I do not see any kind of impediment for the registration to take place normally,” he says. In fact, the agility to register after unloading, which requires a physical presence at the terminal, is a good way to optimize the process. When the terminal certifies the entry of the cargo into the precinct, customs clearance can begin.

The partner-owner of InPort points out that one of the most frequent errors starts well before the registration of the Import Declaration (DI). Most of the time, when the system reads a merchant password — that is, the electronic knowledge that informs details of the merchandise, such as weight, quantity and value — and detects any intercurrence, Siscomex blocks the process until there is a correction.

“From the unblocking onwards, the cargo is fit for the legal representative, who acts on behalf of the importer and can start the formalities”, says Genar. In any case, there may be inconsistencies related to weight or some other detail, such as the Mercosur Commercial Nomenclature (NCM), which has a specific code. Sometimes, the interested party realizes that a certain product had its code registered with only one wrong digit and that the correction must be made.

How does channel redirection work?

A large part of the imports that occur in Brazil are parameterized in the green channel, which streamlines the process and allows the work to be focused on goods whose risk is higher. However, depending on the risk analysis and the criteria established by the Federal Revenue Service, the clearance can be redirected.

When an indication of irregularity is found, a DI that was selected for the green channel, for example, may be redirected to another customs verification channel during the fiscal analysis. The selection of the initial declaration for a channel does not prevent the sector responsible for the clearance from determining the redirection to another channel — as long as there are indications requiring the need to verify the goods.

It should be noted that the import is not always directed to the green channel. Therefore, the historical indicators of each importer are also taken into account, that is, those who presented few customs risks in their operations are more likely to receive such a classification.

Finally, the parameterization channels work as an important tool to guarantee a properly regulated market, providing even more security for importers.

Use your visit to the blog to learn more about the customs clearance steps!