It is possible to keep goods stored in Brazilian bonded warehouses for up to three years. But what happens and what must be done after that? This article answers these questions and brings more information on the subject.
It is not possible, though, to keep goods under this regime forever. According to the law that regulates bonded warehouses, goods can be kept in these warehouses for one year. This period can be extended for a total of three years, if certain conditions are fulfilled.
After the expiration
What happens after expiration? Basically, there are four possible actions that can be taken if the bonded warehouse storage regime has expired. They are:
- Clearance for consumption
- Admission into another special or atypical customs regime
- Exportation, under certain conditions
The clearance for consumption is the option most frequently chosen by importers. It consists of the sale of the stored goods to a Brazilian buyer. Merchandise is nationalized and the importer must pay all the taxes that were suspended due to the bonded warehouse regime.
Admission into another regime
It is possible to transfer goods from the bonded warehouse storage regime to another customs regime, such as temporary admission. For example, this measure might be taken if a company is keeping machinery in a bonded warehouse and then rents it to a Brazilian entity.
This measure is usually taken when the goods stored were not sold before the expiration of the regime. Therefore, cargo will be sent abroad, so Federal Revenue considers that the merchandise was only temporarily admitted. Consequently, taxes relating to customs clearance are not charged.
Exportation of goods imported under bonded warehouse regimes are usually part of a logistic strategy for foreign trade companies. Merchandise is stored in Brazil until it is sold to a country that is closer than the country of origin, for example. In these cases, goods were already admitted into Brazil seeking to export them at a later date to another country.
If none of these actions are taken within 45 days of the bonded warehouse regime expiring, the stored goods will be classified as abandoned cargo by the Federal Revenue, with the initialisation of an administrative process of forfeiture by the company.
Any cargo considered abandoned will be subject to one of the following actions:
- Sale to companies or individuals through auction
- Donation to nonprofit organizations that belong to the Municipality, State or Federal government
- Donation to an Organização da Sociedade Civil de Interesse Público (Oscip, or Civil Society Organization of Public Interest)
- Incorporation by governmental entities
Note that abandoned goods will only be destroyed if they fill certain conditions, such as if the cargo consists of:
- Cigarettes and tobacco derivatives
- Firearms, replicas and toys that might be confused with weaponry
- Goods that are damaged, spoiled, with expired validity or any other circumstance that impedes the sale, donation or incorporation of it
- Fake products, or cargo not following the requirements of Lei de Propriedade Industrial (Industrial Property Law)
- Books and other audiovisual works that conflict with any form of authorial rights
- Goods with a value lower than BRL 50 will be destroyed, as well as goods that were placed for auction twice and not successfully sold.
It is possible for the owner to clear the stored goods, even after the 45 day period. This must be done before the application of the penalty of forfeiture. In order to do that, the importer will have to comply with the required formalities, paying the suspended taxes, as well as the applied interest and additional expenses.