The Brazilian government announced the promise, in the late afternoon of Thursday (29), of an increase of US$ 100 million (approximately R$ 519 million) in the import exemption quota for scientific research. Even with the announcement, the amount remains below the amount released for exemption in previous years.
According to the minister of Science and Technology, Marcos Pontes, “the tax authorities promised that it will increase another US$ 100 million immediately”. The speech was posted on the Ministry of Science and Technology website.
Thus, the quota for the year 2021 would go to US$193 million, of which US$93 million in exemptions had already been fully used by the end of May. The value in 2020 was US$300 million (more than R$1.5 billion in current values).
The announcement came after pressure and requests from scientific entities for the recovery of the value of the exemption for imports. In general, the import quota allows, through the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), institutions, companies and scientists to import, exempt from fees, equipment, accessories and raw materials destined for scientific and technological research.
This week’s Folha report showed that studies have been stopped due to the end of the exemption quota for the year 2021. Some research institutes, such as Butantan and Fiocruz-Fiotec have used other sources of income to continue the research carried out there, including studies linked to Covid-19.
Several scientific entities have been demanding the Bolsonaro government for full restoration.
On the 14th, research pro-rectors at USP, Unicamp and Unesp sent a letter to the minister of Science and Technology asking for the recovery of the customary values of the import quota.
ABC (Brazilian Academy of Sciences), SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science) and Confies (National Council of Support Foundations for Higher Education and Scientific and Technological Research Institutions) have also sent a letter to Pontes and Paulo Guedes, Minister of Economy, in search of the full restoration of the quota.
The CNPq itself, in January, even sent an official letter to the Ministry of Economy to reinstate the quota, as shown in Lauro Jardim’s blog in O Globo newspaper.