Public Consultation for Draft of New Law on Import Licensing

The Secretariat for Foreign Trade (SECEX) published the initiation of a Public Consultation for the draft of a new Ordinance concerning the applicable rules of the import licensing procedure. The new Ordinance proposes a review of the system and rules applicable to the licensing of imports currently in force and contained in SECEX Ordinance n. 23/2011.

Among the main changes proposed in the draft of the Ordinance is the update of legislation according to technological advances. Following the implementation of the SISCOMEX Single Portal, it has been confirmed that licensing can take place through the new module (LPCO Importation) or through the old one (SISCOMEX Importation), due to the recognition that not all licensing governmental bodies are able to use the most recent module. The definition of the usage of each module will be up to the licensing governmental body, combined with the compatible customs modality.

Moreover, the Ordinance eliminates the possibility of creating licensing requirements, without a due published act of the competent authority, by only including the product in SISCOMEX. This proposal redeems the current government’s discussion against the changes in administrative treatment, which allowed the establishment of a minimum prices policy for the importation of certain products – a practice deemed not in line with WTO rules.

Also, considering the provisions of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization, the draft simplifies the licensing modalities, so that imports are only subject to automatic licensing or non-automatic licensing (eliminating the current modality of imports exempt from licensing).

The draft of the Ordinance proposal was made available by SECEX on its website, and any interested parties from the private sector can submit their comments and suggestions until March 14, 2022.