Have exceptional measures been adopted with regard to the import of goods?

Yes; under BNA’s Order 5/2020, of 30 March, (“Order 5/2020”), the import of basic foodstuff, medication, biosafety material and other essential materials (jointly referred to as “Essential Goods”) is no longer subject to the limits foreseen under Order 18/19, of 25 October, subject to the condition that the underlying payments be made directly to the producers or their official representatives.

The same Order establishes that essential goods and services, such as medication, hospital material, biosafety material and other essential material, may also be acquired through a simplified procedure, whose terms will be determined by the head of the ministerial department in charge of public finance, as well.

Moreover, the importation of Essential Goods shall be subject to an exceptional licensing regime intended to simplify the relevant procedures.

 

Does this measure apply to all essential foodstuff?

No; only to the following:

  • sugar;
  • rice;
  • grain of maize;
  • wheat grain;
  • beans;
  • powdered milk;
  • cooking oil;
  • cattle meat;
  • pig meat;
  • chicken meat.

 

Are there limits regarding advance payments regarding the import of essential goods? Does BNA have to authorize such payments?

Pursuant to Order 5/2020, only advance payments regarding the import of essential goods in amounts superior to US$ 100.000,00 (one hundred thousand United Stated dollars), per operation, are subject to BNA approval, subject to an exemption on the issuance of performance bank guarantees.

Advance payments regarding other assets that may come to be considered as essential and that are superior to US$ 100.000,00 (one hundred thousand United Stated dollars) are also subject to BNA approval.

As means to benefit from said approval, interested parties must address their duly grounded requests to their commercial banks that will then be forwarded to BNA. BNA’s exchange control department should reply to the approval requests within 48 hours from the receipt of the request or the additional clarifications that it deems fit to request.

 

For how long will these exceptional measures be in place?

This exceptional regime entered into force on March, 30th, and it is set to last for a 90-day period.

 

And what about custom duties and taxation on imports: were any measures approved?

Yes. For a start, goods imported to provide humanitarian help and/or donations shall now be exempt from VAT and custom duties.

In addition, it is foreseen that taxes due on importation of goods food, medicines and other essential goods may be paid under the so-called “a posteriori payment” regime.

 

Are there any limitations in place in which concern to exportations?

Yes; the approved measures also include a suspension of all the exportations related with nationalized food products, medicines and medical equipment. It is also expressly prohibited to take out from national territory certain essential goods, fuel, medicines and equipment / materials for medical use.

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

The information provided and the opinions expressed herein have been prepared with the help of VdA Legal Partners and are of a general nature. They are not in lieu of appropriate legal advice in connection with specific cases.