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Administrative Council of Tax Appeals Discusses Binding Precedent

The Administrative Council of Tax Appeals (CARF) is the most relevant administrative body for judging disputes of a tax nature in Brazil and is responsible for analysing disputes involving federal taxes, including income taxes, corporate taxes, tax treaties, transfer pricing, etc.

In an directive published this Tuesday, the Administrative Council of Tax Appeals proposes fifty binding precedent, among which is the Summary 49, by which “the cargo agent and the maritime agent, as representatives in the Brazil for the international carrier shall be liable for infringements committed in the carriage of goods ”.

The draft may be approved at an extraordinary session at CARF’s headquarters on September 3.

In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed by a higher authority, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying and interpreting law.

This is another chapter in the long battle fought between the Tax Authority and ship agents- who suffer from the fact that the Federal Revenue imposes on them fines that should be aimed at the carrier / shipowners.

The summary statement proposed by CARF intends to give final contours to the imbroglio, but in a completely unfavourable outcome to ship agents – an essential figure for international maritime transport.

As agents of foreign shipowners who carry out international transport, ship agents perform the all-important task of dealing directly with the complex intricacies of the Brazilian bureaucracy.

In this regard, considering PROMARE’s mission to promote foreign trade, shipping mentality and Legal Certainty in and outside the courts, we express our utter disagreement about the CARF’s directive and proposed biding precedent.

Thus, in order to discuss and argue against the proposed biding precedent our office will attend the session at which CARF will deliberate on the approval.