Brazilian Customs reintroduce the obligation to produce the original bill of lading

15/11/2017 - 5:25 | Author: Proinde

Sea carriers and cargo traders will be aware that the cargo delivery system in Brazil is quite unique in that the carrier does not deliver the cargo to the consignee but to Customs-bonded ports and terminals that will ultimately physically hand the cargo over to the rightful cargo owner following clearance from the Customs authorities.

Although the international laws and, indeed, Brazilian legislation, compels the Master to safekeep the cargo and deliver it at destination against presentation of the original bill of lading; since 2013, through a Normative Instruction (IN) issued by the Customs authorities, it became possible in certain circumstances for an importer to take delivery of the cargo without presenting the original B/L.

This situation has led exporters and carriers to face financial losses due to non-payment of the freight charges and cargo value, respectively; the carriers, in particular, were also exposed to lawsuits from shippers and NVOCCs in Brazil and abroad arising from wrongful or unauthorised cargo delivery.

Following strong lobbying from the industry and public hearings, on 14 November 2017, the Customs authorised issued IN RFB No. 1,759/2017 which updates the procedures for cargo clearance and reintroduces the need for the importer to produce the original B/L as a condition to obtaining the release into their custody of cargoes in Customs-bonded spaces.

Read the full circular here


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