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Protest at the Revenue delays cargo release

Express shipments, which should be released within 24 hours, are taking four to five days to be released


In recent days, tax auditors from the Federal Revenue have intensified demonstrations against the 51% cut in the agency's budget, the non-payment of salary bonuses and the lack of competitions to restore the staff. To pressure the government and attract public attention, tax auditors increased the sampling of shipments checked at airports and ports.


As a result, express shipments, which should be released within 24 hours, are taking four to five days to be released. According to the Brazilian Association of International Express Cargo Transport Companies (Abraec), the express cargo transport sector faces an increase in operating costs, because they have to pay the daily rates for the shipments that are stored in customs warehouses until their release.


"The accumulation of cargo is large, especially at the airports of Viracopos and Guarulhos," said the executive director of Abraec, Vagner Battaglioli.


GRU Airport, which manages Guarulhos airport, and RIOGaleão, which manages Rio's international airport, did not comment and suggested talking to the IRS. Viracopos airport did not respond to an interview request. The IRS said it would not comment on the matter.


Abraec has already sent letters to the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, the Minister of the Civil House, Ciro Nogueira, to the special secretary of the Federal Revenue, tax auditor Julio Cesar Vieira Gomes, informing about the difficulties faced by the companies.


“The situation is untenable. And the trend is for tax auditors to increase even more the time for releasing loads. This affects companies from all sectors,” said Battaglioli. The Economy Ministry declined to comment on the matter.


On the 8th, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) recognized the legality of the payment of efficiency and productivity bonuses to servants in the tax and customs careers of the Federal Revenue and the Labor Tax Audit. The judgment rejected the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) filed by the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras. The government has yet to publish a decree validating the payment of the bonus. If that happens, the mobilization of tax auditors may slow down.


But mobilization is not limited to the standard customs operation. In recent weeks there have been mobilizations of tax auditors at major airports in the country. On another front, a group of approximately 5,000 tax auditors refused to assume leadership positions at the Revenue because of the precarious working conditions of the teams. The Ministry of Economy refused to hand over the positions and hundreds of auditors are now resorting to justice to enforce their decision.


“The Federal Revenue suffered a budget cut of R$ 1.2 billion. The current budget is enough to run for five months. With a constraint of this size, managers have to deactivate many projects. It is this framework that led the servers to hand over their leadership positions. The situation is becoming unmanageable”, said the president of the National Union of Tax Auditors of the Federal Revenue (Sindifisco Nacional), Isac Falcão.


Another problem cited is the lack of public tenders to replace the number of employees who have retired or left their positions. Falcão said that the number of servers has been reduced by 40% in recent years.


The National Sindifisco calculates that the reduction in audits carried out by the Internal Revenue Service could cause an annual loss of R$ 9 billion to the public coffers. The amount is related to the recovery of undue credits. In 2021, tax auditors managed to prevent a loss of R$ 22.4 billion to the public coffers with the undue request for tax credits by companies.


The National Sindifisco calculates that the reduction in audits carried out by the Internal Revenue Service could cause an annual loss of BRL 9 billion to the public coffers. The amount is related to the recovery of undue credits. In 2021, tax auditors managed to prevent a loss of BRL 22.4 billion to the public coffers with the undue request for tax credits by companies.


Also according to the union, other problems resulting from the lack of personnel and the fall in the budget should follow, such as the suspension of the analysis of requests for credit qualifications resulting from judicial decisions and the anticipation of reimbursements.

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