Special customs regime for the Oil & Gas industry in Brazil

The special Brazilian customs regime REPETRO allows companies to import specific equipments to be used in research and exploitation of oil and natural gas fields, with the exemption of federal taxes such as the following:

  • II – Import tax;
  • IPI – Excise tax;
  • PIS – Contribution to the social inclusion program;
  • COFINS – Contribution to the social security financing;
  • AFRMM – Additional freight for the renewal of the merchant navy.

The goods which REPETRO may be applied to are listed under the sole appendix of the Normative Resolution RFB 844. The resolution determines the general ruling of the special fiscal regime, including licensing requirements and conditions.

In general, the regime may be applied to a) Fictitious exporting of equipment, when it is bought from a national supplier by a foreign company in order to be used in national territory. In this case, the product is re-imported under “temporary admission” conditions; b) Temporary admission to products bought from national suppliers by the national licensee; and c) The Drawback regime, applied to the importing of industrial supplies for the production of goods destined to fictitious exporting.

Further legislation details may be found at the following Federal Reserve site:

Climate fund for renewable energy in Brazil

The Climate Fund was created through the Brazilian Law 12.114 of 09/12/2012 and regulated by the Decree 7.343 of 26/10/2010 as an instrumento for the National Policy for Climate Change. The fund is tied to the Ministry of Environment and is meant to garantee resources for projects or studies and financing initiatives that foresees mitigation of climate change.

It has been announced on February 13th, 2012 by the Minister of Environment, Izabella Teixeira, and by Luciano Coutinho, the president of the National Economic and Social development Bank (BNDES) that the amount of R$ 360 million has been made available for the 2012 budget.

The lowest rate is 2,5% per year for solar energy projects, with a pay back period able to reach up to 25 years.According to Mrs. Teixeira, solar and ocean energy are the projects most likely to get support from the fund, being that wind and biomass industries in Brazil have already advanced significantly.

IDB’s clean energy ranking in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) through its Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), in partnership with Bloomberg New Energy Finance have recently published the executive summary of the Climatescope, the first annual ranking on Clean Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report highlights market data and new opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors on clean energy in the region.

The final report is scheduled to be presented during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, that is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in upcoming June this year. The study profiles 26 countries in the region and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy. Nonetheless, our intent is to be very much present during the launching event, though our diplomatic mission to Rio+20. Bellow a few highlights on the executive summary. Bellow is how the Climatescope scores each country in the region:

Enabling framework: The existing policies, power market structures and levels of clean energy capacity.

Clean energy investment and climate financing: Funds deployed in support of clean energy, plus the availability and cost of local capital such as microfinance.

Low-carbon business and clean energy value: The availability of local manufacturing and supply chains for clean energy goods, services and financing.

Greenhouse gas management activities: The extent of actions taken and projects developed under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Key findings:

  • At least 80 clean energy policies are in place or in the late stage in Latin America and the Caribbean (energy market mechanisms or tax-based incentives). Overall, the region is significantly behind in the clean energy policy realm.
  • Brazil, Nicaragua and Panama, respectively, received the highest Climatescope scores thanks to a combination of supportive local policies, clean energy investment and other factors.
  • The region’s relatively high electricity prices offer opportunity for clean energy project developers.
  • Microfinance has emerged as a significant lever to help expand clean energy access.
  • The region’s largest economies are the leaders in terms of active domestic players involved in clean energy value chains, ranging from financial institutions, to equipment markets, to project developers and installers. Brazil is the only country with a complete value chain for at least two clean energy technologies (biofuels and biomass, and waste). Mexico is the on the road of becoming the first country with a complete value chain for wind and solar.
  • Most CDM projects in Latin America and the Caribbean are located in Brazil and Mexico. A presence of multinational corporations in these nations is most likely the reason.

Brazilian energy policy: Compared with its peers, Brazil has the most diverse set of clean energy policies with at least one incentive in place for nearly every one of the categories examined. To date, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES)’s offers of below market rates and extremely favorable conditions has effectively monopolized lending to the country’s low-carbon economy.

Regulatory mark for grid connected generation in Brazil

The national agency for electric energy of Brazil ANEEL has approved in April 2012 the Normative Resolution 482 for grid connected up to 1 MW renewable energy generation projects. Please follow the link for ANEEL Normative Resolution 482 available in Portuguese.

Brazil – Japan Energy Saving Solutions

On its second visit to Curitiba, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) had a reception at the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná for the Japan – Brazil Energy Saving Solutions Seminar. Along with the organization, many Japanese companies presented their portfolio of products and investment interests in Brazil, some of them considering the city of Curitiba as a possible destination for their business expansion in the country. The event was held on July 13th, and was supported by the International Business Center and the local Japan – Brazil Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Japanese products that were presented included large storage capacity batteries for solar photovoltaic systems (Panasonic Latin America), valves, compressors and cooling systems (Mayekawa), ESCO financial solutions for energy efficiency (Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance), and a compact solar – wind hybrid generator (Sinfonia Technology).

We had the chance of meeting with Mr Nobuo Takagi, from the Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide, and followed up on the solar project we have for the northeastern region of Brazil. We had presented this project last November, 2011, on the first JETRO mission to Curitiba. On this second occasion, we extended the conversation to speaking about current market conditions for the renewable sector in Brazil, and how the new normative resolution for distributed generation should boost the sector within the next years.