End to Customs Slow Downs at Brazilian Ports Might End Soon

According to the Journal of Commerce, Brazil shippers with customs officials of the Receita Federal and the government expected to end a six-month long dispute that has slowed shipments and racked up storage fees.

The Sindifisco Nacional union, which represents the RF members in Brasilia, is expected to end the dispute by Christmas Eve or in early January at the latest. The union’s complaint is  very complicated and“no longer about money” but more about “several legal points and the status of the RF in the Brasilia civil service hierarchy.”

The Policia Federal were given an improved status earlier this year and the RF now wants the same for both its categories: the Auditores Fiscal, who are back room fiscal auditors, and the front line customs inspectors. Some of these aspects of the “dispute” will probably be left out of the MP, which might cause more problems for shippers and strikes further down the line.

The 10,500-member strong Sindifisco upped the ante last week when it threatened an Operacao Canal Vermelho (Operation Red Channel), whereby it would closely inspect almost all containers entering the port of Santos and other Brazilian ports.

Sindifisco carried out the OCV at Santos  and some border crossings. The action, though, lasted only two days instead of the threatened five days.

Shippers were still hit hard by extra storage costs as thousands of containers were delayed at the port’s six container terminals.

The Santos and Sao Paulo Shipagents Association (Sindamar) said that last week the dwell time for imported containers increased from an average of three days up to 10 days because of the OCV. That caused delays for the most popular Christmas imports such as cod from Norway and Portugal.

RCL Agencies will  continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available.