Annex V.C. Integrated Foreign Trade System of Brazil: institutional arrangements
5.C.1. Integrated Foreign Trade system (SISCOMEX) of Brazil. InBrazil, the coordination of the work between the various agencies involved in foreign trade is based on the assumption that each agency maintains its independence and the ownership of its information. Within this framework,Brazil has developed a fully computerized system for the registration of exports and imports, the Integrated Foreign Trade System (SISCOMEX), which records all foreign trade transactions of the country and involves all the entities that participate in foreign trade, including governing and consenting agencies.
5.C.2. Governing agencies. Governing agencies are those responsible for definitions, and include: the Customs of Brazil (Ministry of Finance, Federal Revenue Secretary), responsible for the tributary and tax police; the Central Bank of Brazil, responsible for the contracting exchange; and the Secretariat of Foreign Trade, responsible for the commercial operations of export and import (standard rules, trade remedies, trade promotion and statistics).
5.C.3. Consenting agencies. The consenting agencies are entities involved in foreign trade (30 in total) which are responsible for inspections and special permits, such as certification of origin, phytosanitary issues, controlled products, military products, etc. The Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, the environmental control agencies (IBAMA), the quality control agency (INMETRO), the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice are the main consenting bodies.
5.C.4. Institutional arrangements in respect of Brazil’s foreign trade statistics. In 1991, pursuant to a determination by the Presidency of Brazil, approved as law in the Congress, a technical and political accord was reached among the agencies involved. Based on this determination, a decision-making structure for foreign trade statistics was created, which consisted of a Managers Committee (composed of the ministers of the three Government agencies mentioned in para. 5.C.2 above), a Technical Committee (comprising technicians with extensive knowledge of foreign trade activities) and a set of subcommittees (made up of experts in each area and each body responsible for standards and rules), with each body clearly defined functions. This decision-making structure is also responsible for training users (both companies and individuals) and for infrastructure.
5.C.5. Working arrangements. Decisions are taken by each subcommittee and when there is no agreement, the matter is referred to the Technical Committee or, if necessary, to a higher level, that of the Managers Committee (Ministers) for a final decision. All three governing bodies have full access to the system within their area of responsibility, without need of approval by the others. All access and permissions have been previously negotiated within the technical subcommittee and the Technical Committee. Simple questions such as on responsibility for the administration of tables of code and names and the implementation of data checks in the data entry system (e.g., regarding parameters for preventive validation) were also previously defined for each body. These arrangements have allowed a single data source and a single flow of information to exist, with prior validation of all the variables and interconnection with other existing databases (e.g. the national register of companies with foreign trade data), as well as the implementation of the recommendations of IMTS.