In progress

Modernising licencing procedures of the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), Brazil’s national standards agency

Supporting Brazil’s integration into global supply chains


As Brazil becomes more integrated into global supply chains, the demand for import licenses for consumer and durable goods has surged, doubling over the last five years. The explosion in demand for import licenses has put a strain on government resources and led to delays in processing import license applications. Older generation IT systems and underutilisation of risk management principles are also contributing to processing delays. INMETRO, the standards agency responsible for issuing import licenses, has put in place temporary measures to help address the current processing bottleneck, but with the scaling up of trade volumes, sustainable reforms are needed to ensure timely and easy processing of import licenses.

What are we doing

With the support of key government agencies and leading private sector businesses and organisations, our project will:

  • assist in modernising and upgrading INMETRO’s internal IT systems to improve processing and fully automate data exchange with other IT systems such as Customs’ IT system in line with international best practices
  • help to achieve full interoperability between INMETRO’s IT systems and Brazil’s new single window, Portal Único
  • introduce a risk-based, streamlined licencing process to differentiate between low and high-risk applications, allowing all low-risk applications to be approved automatically


Ultimately, we expect this project will help to reduce the average time to issue licenses to compliant traders from seven to three working days for 70% of applications. This project will also help the Brazilian government take steps toward its larger goal of fostering risk management principles within all government agencies operating at the border.

The modernisation, upgrade and interoperability of INMETRO’s IT systems:

  • will simplify and streamline processes providing sustainable efficiency gains for INMETRO
  • eliminate the need to manually cross-reference data from multiple IT systems, a major bottleneck in the licensing process
  • means that traders will only need to log into Brazil’s new single window to request and obtain import licenses, making the licensing process less burdensome and time-consuming for traders and improve compliance

Introducing a risk-based licensing system will:

  • immediately help to reduce the bottleneck in issuing licenses as all low-risk applications will be approved without delay
  • free INMETRO analysts from manual checks and enable them to focus on processing medium to high-risk applications, thereby protecting consumers more effectively
  • increase transparency and predictability in the processing of licenses for compliant traders


Key indicators of success will include the reduction in number of days to obtain an INMETRO license and the number of license applications processed through Portal Único. We will also measure the number of small and medium-sized enterprises benefiting from the reduction in license processing time.

How can the private sector get involved?

We are looking for businesses to actively participate in key project implementation activities, such as by participating in public-private dialogues to re-engineer processes, sharing international best practices in licensing processes, and participating in focus groups that will test the new IT systems.

Project Structure

Phase 1


Modernisation of licensing procedures

Phase 2


Modernisation and upgrade of IT systems


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Alex Perkins

Senior Manager for International Government Affairs at FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles and related parts and services in more than 140 countries. Moving goods across borders is part of its everyday operations. “FCA decided to get involved in the Global Alliance because it provided a unique opportunity to leverage the company’s in-house customs and supply chain management expertise to drive economic growth in developing countries in a way that is also meaningful for our local operations in those countries."
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Eston Sakala

Eston Sakala, Managing Director, Evolution Logistics and Solutions, Lusaka
Eston Sakala set up his own clearing and forwarding business in 2016 helping traders to move their goods in and out of Zambia – a profession he has been in for 17 years. In three short years he has grown his business from scratch to employ 18 staff with a customer base spanning Zambia’s key import and export sectors. “My goal now is to build capacity in my business, embrace technology and deliver my service to the level of a DHL,” says Eston. “I’d love to see the day when I can sit in front of my screen and watch trucks being processed by Evolution in real time, every minute, every hour. I want to be the go-to business for quick and correct clearances.”
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John Kornerup Bang

Head of Sustainability Strategy and Shared Value at Maersk
As one of the world’s largest integrated transport and logistics companies operating in 130 countries, Maersk is a major part of the global trading system. “International trade has helped lift over a billion people out of poverty. At the same time, we recognise that we need to make global trade available for everybody so that all can share in its benefits. That’s why a key pillar of our sustainability strategy is to multiply the benefits of trade by supporting countries to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – and why we work with the Alliance to do it."
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Mark FeDuke

Director of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs at ArdoVLM
ArdoVLM is an international food trading company moving frozen fruits and vegetables, animal proteins and grains across the world from field to market. “You can be in business and do well by doing good and we are big believers in leveraging trade to deliver positive outcomes in developing countries."
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