In its bimonthly report, the IRS defended the maintenance of the import tax exemption for international purchases of up to US$50. A position that is at odds with what some government officials and players in the retail sector defend and declare on this topic.

“It is proposed to maintain the rate currently in force for remittances below US$50 so that the effects of the strategy adopted in relation to tax policy for international remittances can be assessed”, highlights the Federal Revenue.

According to representatives of large national retailers, the exemption puts national products at a disadvantage compared to imported ones. Deputy Átila Lira (PP-PI) is one of those who follow the same line highlighted by the store owners. Lira, who is the rapporteur of the bill that aims to end the exemption, says that the measure could “generate imbalance with products manufactured in Brazil, which pay all taxes”.

At arm’s length

The agenda also involves executives from large Chinese stores, such as Shein and AliExpress, speaking directly with deputies with a view to maintaining the exemption. “We are against the end of the exemption. We even advocate that the value of the range be expanded to reduce the tax for purchases over US$50”an executive from Chinese retailers told EXAME.

Alibaba, owner of AliExpress, stated that the end of the exemption will have a major impact, especially on the poorest population. The platform also pointed out that taxation can reach 92% and be at odds with what is applied by other countries. And there is also the point that this extra cost will be passed on to the consumer.

Shein does not charge the 17% ICMS to its customers in Brazil, but has already made it clear that it will not assume the 92% cost, in the event of the end of the exemption for those enrolled in Remessa Conformo.

Last year, some parliamentarians even stated that Shein e Shopee practice “digital smuggling”. Representative Marco Bertaiolli (PSD-SP), president of FPE (Mixed Parliamentary Front for Entrepreneurship)declared that “Brazil today receives 500,000 daily packages from China, where the values ​​are underpriced and the packages are multiplied. You buy five T-shirts from Shein. She sends five packages, one with each t-shirt, to be below the taxed value, which is US$50 (R$262). Even so, when it exceeds US$50, the value of the invoice is underinvoiced.

According to the deputy, this ends up harming not only Brazilian companies, but also the country’s own industry and commerce. We have billions that are not taxed, nor the IOF [imposto sobre operações financeiras]it’s paid. It’s not just taxing what we have, it’s having a general perception of what is not being contributory in Brazil”, added the deputy.

Non-consumption impact

In February, a study commissioned by AliExpress concluded that 68% of Brazilians stopped shopping on AliExpress after the revocation of the import tax exemption for purchases up to US$50. The survey reveals that almost 7 out of 10 consumers consumers from classes C, D and E stopped making their purchases on the website.

The Chamber of Deputies postponed the discussion of the federal government project that establishes the Mover Program, which has as “jabuti” (jargon that represents excerpts included without direct connection with the main theme), the end of tax exemption for purchases of international products .

Since August 2023, international retailers enrolled in the Conform Remittance program have been exempt from tax for purchases up to US$50. Purchases up to this amount still need to deal with the 17% ICMS. Orders above this value pay 60% import tax and also the ICMS rate.


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