Government lowers taxes on mobile phones and computers

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On Wednesday (17), the federal government announced a 10% reduction in the Import Tax for computer and telecommunications equipment acquired abroad. Approved at a meeting of the Executive Management Committee (Gecex) of the Foreign Trade Chamber of the Ministry of Economy (Camex), the measure should take effect next week.

According to the government, this reduction in the tax rate covers a total of 1,495 product categories, including cell phones and computers, which may suffer a reduction in prices of 2% to 5%. The initiative was motivated by the devaluation of the real in the last year, leading to a rise in prices.

It is worth mentioning that the reduction refers to the common external tariff (TEC) charged for each category, varying from 5% to 16%. Smartphones and notebooks, for example, priced at 16%, will have the tax reduced to 14.4% (10% reduction over 16%). An electronic device whose tax to enter Brazil is 10%, will now pay 9%.

The rate will be zeroed for items with a tariff below 2%, as a way of reducing bureaucracy for importers and consumers, according to the Ministry of Economy. The measure will also benefit products such as beer and bakery machines, excavators, cranes and forklifts, among other items.

National industry in scolding

The government says that lowering the import tax rate will reduce costs and increase competitiveness in various sectors of the economy. But the Brazilian Association of the Electrical and Electronic Industry (Abinee) thinks differently.

According to the entity that represents the Brazilian manufacturers of computers, cell phones and other electronic equipment, this is an “untimely and improvised decision, which will only bring losses and insecurity to the sector”.

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In a note, Abinee also said that it is not against cutting import tariffs and opening trade, but commented that they “must be done across the board and with predictability”.

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