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Government zeroes import tariff to guarantee rice supply

24 May 2024

The Executive Management Committee (Gecex) of the Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) approved this Monday (20), during an extraordinary meeting held remotely, a proposal to eliminate the import tax on three types of rice.

As a result, two types of non-parboiled rice and one polished/burnished type were included in the List of Exceptions to the Common External Tariff (Letec), following a request from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the National Supply Company (Conab), to avoid that the national supply of the product is compromised by the floods in Rio Grande do Sul, responsible for around 70% of national production.

“The government is acting decisively to guarantee food security and the well-being of all Brazilians”, stated the vice-president and minister of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services (MDIC), Geraldo Alckmin. “By zeroing out tariffs, we seek to avoid problems of shortages or increases in the price of the product in Brazil, due to reduced supply.”

The reduction to zero of tariffs for NCMs 1006.10.92, 1006.20.20 and 1006.30.21 comes into effect from publication in the Official Gazette of the Union and is valid until December 31st of this year. The MDIC Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex) will monitor the situation to reassess the validity period, if necessary.

Currently, the majority of rice imports in Brazil are intra-bloc from Mercosur, in which the II rate is already 0%, but there is potential for imports from other origins, such as Thailand. In 2024, until April, rice purchases from Thailand will already represent 18.2% of total imports.

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