Alliance Announces New Trade Facilitation Project With Brazil

The Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) today announced a new partnership aimed at increasing Brazil’s competitiveness in international trade and boosting economic development.

The partnership will see the Alliance, the Brazilian government and the local and international private sector work together to develop and implement targeted trade facilitation reforms.

The announcement comes during the World Economic Forum on Latin America taking place in São Paulo, Brazil, this week.

The Alliance is a not-for-profit venture which brings together governments and businesses as equal partners to identify trade facilitation issues, such as customs delays and unnecessary red tape at borders, and implement targeted reforms to address them. It was set up to help governments implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and to ultimately encourage sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Brazil ratified the TFA in March 2016 and is driving an ambitious trade facilitation agenda to increase Brazil’s integration into global value chains and raise the competitiveness of Brazilian industry.

The announcement follows five months of collaboration between the Alliance, Brazilian government officials, and the private sector, including ICC Brazil, to identify key bottlenecks in Brazil’s import and export procedures.

The partnership will focus initially on building a risk management system that can streamline import licensing procedures at the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO). INMETRO is Brazil’s main national accreditation body, responsible for certifying and licensing goods manufactured in or exported to the country. One of the goals of the Alliance is to share best practice from its projects, and in the longer term it will work with MDIC to showcase the Brazilian trade facilitation approach to help other countries in their trade facilitation efforts.

Although in its first stages of development, both MDIC and the Alliance will work to conclude the remaining procedures needed to begin implementing the project in mid-2018.

The Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Marcos Jorge de Lima, pointed out that the Brazilian government has been working hard to make foreign trade a central pillar for the Brazilian economy. “We believe that reducing red tape and costs in export and import is essential for our productive sector to be more competitive. The Foreign Trade Single Window Programme, which is at the core of the Brazilian trade facilitation strategy, will reduce the average time of export and import operations by about 40%. This partnership with the Alliance is a recognition of our commitment with trade facilitation reforms and complements the efforts that we have already been taking to improve Brazil’s industry competitiveness”.

Philippe Isler, the Alliance’s Director, said: “Making it easier to trade across borders can help Brazil to create jobs and export opportunities for local businesses, particularly SMEs who are hit hardest by burdensome regulation.

“What is unique about the Alliance’s approach to trade facilitation is that we bring businesses into the process as equal partners of government, not merely consultees. Both international and local businesses have already been instrumental in identifying the main trade procedure issues facing Brazil, and will be key in developing and implementing the project.”

Once approved, this will be the Alliance’s third project in Latin America. It is already implementing two projects in Colombia, while projects in Argentina and the Dominican Republic are in early-stage development.