235 - 02/02 - Smuggling - Detention of Ships at Manaus - Brazil


We would like to advise Members, particularly those who operate in Brazil, that the Customs Authorities have recently started an operation to identify possible cases of smuggled containers, destined for Manaus or in transit.

The operation is as a result of recent cases of smuggling finished products made in the Far East (Hong Kong, Korea and Malaysia), with the label


(Made in the Free Zone of Manaus).

As a result, Customs officials are making very detailed inspections on board all ships to check cargo manifests. The declared transit cargo (mainly containers) is being discharged, opened and inspected to ascertain if such cargo is actually in transit or for Manaus.

According to the Club's Correspondent, it is of the

utmost importance

for local agents to receive in advance, by fax or courier, copies of the manifests for all transit cargo on board while they call at Manaus. As all the declared cargo is being discharged ashore and inspected by Customs, ships are being delayed.

It is important that Members ensure that manifests are sent for both full AND empty containers, machinery or any other kind of cargo that will be in transit while in Manaus and Itacoatiara. If any cargo is found on board without a manifest, Members should be advised that such cargo will be considered contraband and is likely to be seized.

The manifest for cargo destined for Manaus / Itacoatiara must be received by the ship's agents at least 10 working days before the vessel's call, to enable the agents to present it to Customs in the format required at least 5 days prior to the vessel's arrival.

In addition, agents MUST receive in advance, either by fax, e-mail or courier, the manifest and commercial invoices for any cargo ex-European ports bound for Iquitos, Peru. As per a new regulation issued by Customs, no direct transhipment from the vessel to barges is presently being authorised. All transit cargo shipped through Manaus MUST be discharged ashore and inspected physically by Customs. Once Customs are satisfied that the paperwork is in order, the goods may then be transhipped to barges.

Source of Information:

Williams Brazil, Recife



Via Susanne Hall (L7)


Staff Author