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Santos Customs on Strike Following Week of Slowdowns

Customs officers in the largest Brazilian port of Santos decided to proceed with a one-day strike, guaranteeing further delays and extra warehousing costs for shippers after a week of slowdowns, the Journal of Commerce reports.

All cargo will be affected apart from “essential” items, such as medicines, hospital supplies, livestock, and food for ships’ crews, according to Sindifisco, the union representing officers of the Receita Federal, which is the name of Brazil’s customs agency.

The union says they had to go ahead with the strike after the government failed to respond to last week’s slowdowns.

Sindifisco is now saying the government has reneged on promises made earlier this year to get them back to work.  The government counters that it has not gone back on the promises, but given the dire state of public finances, much of the agreement must be delayed.

While Sindifisco says that each day of downtime in Santos leads to the accumulation of 2,000 to 3,000 containers and delays in the collection of Reais100 million ($30.8 million) in federal taxes, members of the local shipping community dispute those figures.

Currently , hundreds of containers are delayed at Santos.  At this moment, it is difficult to say whether or not dispute will be resolved by November 1st.

Please be guided accordingl. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation.

New Customs Strike Threat at Santos from November 1st

Shippers and port users in Santos are preparing themselves for delays and extra storage costs as customs officers in the port go on strike yet again, according to a report in the Journal of Commerce.

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.