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January 29, 2009 

Brazil Suspends Recently Announced Import Licensing Program

The Government of Brazil has announced that it has suspended its short-lived electronic import licensing program that was implemented earlier this week by Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

Under the import licensing program, importers in Brazil were required to obtain an electronic import license prior to importing products included in 24 chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Import licenses were supposed to be issued with 10 days from the application date, but Brazil's Secretariat of Foreign Trade (SECEX) had up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the application.

The stated purpose of the program was to monitor Brazilian import statistics, but the program was widely criticized as a protectionist non-tariff trade barrier.

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