U.S. And Brazil Update Agreement To Increase Transparency And Combat Corruption

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The United States and Brazil signed a new protocol on anti-corruption and trade facilitation as an update to the existing 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC). According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the protocol adds three new annexes with provisions on customs procedures, transparent regulatory practices, and anti-corruption policies.

Annex I, “Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation”, includes provisions to increase customs cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil, including on trade enforcement. These provisions include agreeing to online publication of customs information, the acceptance of electronic documents under international standards, mechanisms to ensure consistent customs treatment from port to port, and a single window for electronic submission of import, export, and transit documentation.

Annex II, “Good Regulatory Practices”, includes provisions to provide greater transparency about Brazil’s regulatory procedures. These provisions include agreeing to online publication of draft regulations, providing opportunity for interested parties to comment, and encourage authorities to assess regulations to reduce regulatory burden.

Annex III, “Anticorruption”, includes commitments to prevent and combat corruption, including provisions to preclude the tax deductibility of bribes, provisions regarding the maintenance of books and records, and provisions to establish whistleblower protections for those who report corruption.

The full protocol to the ATEC and a fact sheet can be found on the USTR’s website.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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