Brazilian and US officials share approaches to risk management in trade

A delegation of officials from Brazil’s National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), Ministry of the Economy, and Department of Federal Revenue (Receita Federal) has been in Washington D.C. this week exploring how automation and risk management can simultaneously increase security and facilitate trade.

The visit is part of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation’s (Alliance) ongoing project in Brazil to help make trade simpler, faster and more cost-effective by modernising licensing procedures at INMETRO, Brazil’s technical standards agency. INMETRO issues import licenses for a wide range of consumer and durable goods from children’s toys to electronics and automotive parts. The demand for import licenses in Brazil has doubled in the last five years making the need to modernise ever more important.

Delegates met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Department of Commerce, to share approaches to risk management tools, systems, and processes and ensure that new reforms in Brazil are informed by international best practices. The delegation also visited the Port of Baltimore where they observed products being screened and the interaction between CBP and the CPSC.

Brazil ratified the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2016 and has been working to introduce risk management into its trade operations, particularly amongst partner government agencies, such as INMETRO, present at its ports of entry.

Philippe Isler, Director of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, said: “We know that throughout the global trading system governments and businesses face many of the same issues, which is why learning from each other is so instructive.”

“The introduction of modern risk management techniques at INMETRO alongside an upgraded IT system will allow officials to focus on high-risk shipments, reducing the average time taken to issue licenses. At the same time, the reforms will increase transparency and predictability for compliant traders.

“The goal is to use trade as a positive force for unlocking inclusive economic growth that can benefit all. We hope that this week’s visit will help to steer INMETRO towards a modern, fit-for-purpose system that will facilitate trade and fuel that growth.”

Pedro Henrique De Sa Brown, Researcher in Metrology and Quality (Conformity Assessment Department) at INMETRO, said: “We are grateful we had the opportunity to witness first-hand how similar agencies in the U.S. manage risk and facilitate legitimate trade. We are confident that some of the knowledge we gathered here will help us secure trade and simplify the regulatory environment for the private sector.”

Find out more about the Alliance project in Brazil.