Brazil temporarily waives methanol import tariff to ease shortage

07 October 2013 23:26  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) has temporarily eliminated the nation’s tariff on methanol imports to alleviate a shortage in domestic supply, the government agency said on Monday.

The tariff was cut from South American trading bloc Mercosur’s Common External Tariff (TEC) rate of 12% to a rate of 0% for 180 days, Camex said. The new tariff is limited to a maximum import quota of 282,500 tonnes.

Methanol is mainly used to make formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and acetic acid. The product is also used in the process of converting animal fat and vegetable oil into biodiesel.

According to Camex, the tariff was cut through the List of Exceptions to the Common External Tariff (LETEC) mechanism, a Mercosur initiative whereby member countries are permitted to maintain a list of 100 tariff code exceptions to the TEC.

According to Mercosur rules, a product can only be added to the LETEC when another is excluded.

To accommodate methanol, Camex said that the import tariff on liquid sorbitol has returned to the original TEC rate of 14% from a previous rate of 20%.

Current Mercosur members are Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela. Bolivia, currently an associate member, is in the process of becoming a full member.

By: Simon West

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