Members of Sindifisco, the union for Receita Federal (customs) officers in Brazil, voted last week to carry out a “zero-clearance operation” starting October 16 that will grow into a full-blow strike from November 1st if their demands are not met,
Sindifisco claims that the government of Michel Temer, which is trying to introduce market reforms and slash the state budget, has not kept the promises it made earlier this year regarding wage increases, making a strike the only means of redress. Brasilia says it has not reneged on the agreements, but that their implementation must take place in 2019 and 2020 rather than 2018 and 2019 in order to help balance Brazil’s finances.
The union said that they will continue to clear “essential” cargoes such as medicine and hospital supplies, live animals, and food for vessel crews. The slowdown will leave an extra 3,000 containers on the Santos quay each day and cause clearance times to jump to between three and five days rather than the average 24 hours, according to the union.
In practice, say Santos insiders, the customs officers will probably clear about 30 percent of all containerized cargoes. In addition to longer clearance times, expensive storage costs also begin to accrue during these disruptions.
Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will provide more updates once available.