Interruption in Customs Clearance: action alternatives

  • 11/08/2022
  • 10 分钟

Among those who think about importing or exporting goods, it is common to find doubts regarding processes that may cause the interruption in customs clearance. A variety of records and documents, combined with a subjectivity character in relation to deadlines set by public agencies, can cause many entrepreneurs to hesitate to work with international trade.

Therefore, the best way to prepare to enter the world market is to know these processes better and count on specialized help.

In order for you to have this notion about how to deal with the interruption in customs clearance, we count on the help of Larissa Mendes, Coordinator of Financial Operational Control at Tecon Salvador. Keep reading.

What is the interruption in customs clearance on import?

Customs clearance is a vital process for companies that mainly seek to import products and nationalize them to be sold within our national territory.

It consists of receiving the Import Declaration by the tax authority, which then analyses documents and records, physical characteristics of the load and consistency of data with what is being transported.

When there is any conflict in this data, lack of information or mandatory documents, these agencies order the immediate interruption of the order, leaving the process stopped and the cargo retained until the importer resolves impeding issues.

In some cases, being an importer certified as authorized economic operator (AEO), in the AEO – Level 2 Compliance modality, they can still count on the goods with early delivery, with constraints.

However, even if the tax authority releases the delivery, in some situations, the owner of the goods may not make any use or commercial transaction with the cargo until the customs clearance is resumed and completed.

How to deal with the interruption in customs clearance?

Generally, the very nature of the interruption will point to the reason why it was necessary. When there is only the lack of a document or a record that has gone unnoticed, this clearance can be resumed more easily.

However, the most common case involving information conflicts is differences in the value of taxes. Many customs clearances are interrupted because this data difference leads to an incorrect calculation of the taxes that must be paid to nationalize the load.

To deal with these cases, Larissa points out two main paths: agree to the adjustment and pay the additional taxes or present a request of nonconformity.

“The option of paying taxes offers the immediate advantage of the clearance course. Meanwhile, the option of request of nonconformity refers to the defence, registered in the Integrated System of Foreign Trade (Siscomex), by the Importer”.

As payment is a simple and straightforward process, what the importer really needs to pay attention to is how this second alternative works, when you want to resort to tax analysis performed by the tax authority.

First, of course, it is important to note that this feature is a company right and can be carried out in any case of interruption, regardless of the conflicting value or the generating nature of the calculation.

And it is always good to also reinforce that asking for a review of taxes does not always mean that this decision will happen in your favour. It is a technical process that will further investigate the documentation and arrive at a definitive answer.

Therefore, it is necessary to analyse another important factor of this request, which is, the time determined for you to have a closure.

“The option of requesting of nonconformity offers some risks related to the term”, says Larissa. “Especially in the case of perishable, unhealthy products or with risk of plant shortages and provision of contractual fines. In addition, there are storage costs that cover the logistics chain.”

She goes on to explain that although Art. 42 of IN 680/2006, guarantees up to 8 days for the drafting of the notice of infringement by the customs authority, there is a risk that this period will be longer in practice. “In this case, it is up to the filing of a lawsuit, and, in some cases, there is also the provision of early delivery of the goods” — which we commented before.

“In March/2020 IN 680/06 contemplated two other early delivery alternatives that refer to Acts of the General Coordination of Customs Administration (COANA), which still require specifications, and AEO Importers, with compliance level no. 2.”

How to understand the best solution?

The first step to deal with the situation is to act as quickly as possible and understand the reason for the interruption. Was it the lack of documentation? Data conflicts? Differences in characteristics?

If the withholding does not result in differences in the value of taxes, simply correct the records according to the requests of the tax authority to release your product.

However, if the difference in taxes paid is what retains the burden, you will have a decision to make. It may have to do with the nature of the cargo and the importer’s need, but first it is necessary to deal with the most objective part of the issue.

That means you have to do your own analysis. Has the change in the value by the authority been right? Was there really a disagreement of what was in the documents? So even if you make the request in the Siscomex, it’s quite possible that you’re just postponing the release of the cargo.

However, if you have an understanding that everything is in compliance, it is your right to request a review. What we reinforce is that this analysis period can be variable, so depending on the characteristics of your cargo and possible storage costs, it is interesting to postulate early delivery.

Finally, there is a third option that is not so rare. If the difference in the amount overpaid is not so high and will not cause major impacts on the importer’s revenue, many prefer to pay the tax even having reservations to it, understanding that the time of goods on hold would be even more damaging.

Either way, each case will be presented in one way and will require a type of approach. This is exactly how Larissa concludes our interview:

“One. must analyse the scenario of the importer, with regard to the urgency of the goods, the value of the cargo, the logistics of delivery, the tax classification, among others. These variables will allow you to assess the risks to your business by analysing costs and benefits among existing options.”

It’s even one of the supports Wilson Sons can offer you. As the reasons for the interruption in customs clearance with the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service (RFB) are not always clear, we assist importers in identifying these points and the fastest possible resolution for clearance. The important thing is that, with knowledge and preparation, you do not have the impediment to enter the international market once and for all.

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