Brazilians’ perception about smuggling and its solutions

The Movement for Brazilian Lawful Market Defense – a national coalition created by the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics (ETCO) and by the National Forum to Fight Bootlegging and Illegalness (FNCP) to stand up for the under-the-law Brazilian market, and which relies on the adhesion of more than 70 entrepreneurial entities, including the support from the Brand Protecting Group – BPG – disclosed the results of an unprecedented research carried out by the Datafolha Institute about the Brazilian’s perception about smuggling and its impacts on society.

Carried out between April 22nd and April 24th, 2015, the research has national encompassment, and 2.401 people from 143 small, medium, and large cities were heard. The research shows that smuggling is deeply rooted into society, and the consumers’ view on its causes, consequences, as well as possible ways out.


Insertion of smuggling into society

· 35% of the interviewed people declared that they had already bought some smuggled product

· Out of this total, more than 60% declared that – when shopping for such items – they knew they had been smuggled

· 50% said that they knew someone who had already bought smuggled products

· For 51% of the sample, the main entrance gate for smuggled products into Brazil is Paraguay

Disadvantages of smuggled products

· For 53% of the Datafolha-heard people, low price is the main advantage of smuggled products

· If we take into account only the people who declared buying smuggled products, mentioning low price peaks 76%

· 89% of the interviewed people agree that smuggled products are cheaper because no tax is paid;

· 87% agree that this happens because such products do not have to comply with Brazilian inspection norms;

· 77% said they believe low price is a reflection of the poor quality of the raw materials used

· For 43%, poor quality is the main disadvantage of these products, and the second biggest is lack of warranty, mentioned by 33%

· Most of the people in the research agree that smuggling is harmful for society and for the country. For 86%, smuggled products encourage organized crime and trafficking

· 80% of the people heard agree on three points: smuggled products are harmful to your health; consuming such products; reduces employment in the country; and smuggled products reduce the money the Brazilian government has to invest

The ones responsible for the problem

· The Federal Government is considered – by 48% of the people interviewed – as the main responsible for smuggling getting into the country

· For 28%, consumers are the root of the problem

· Only 5% consider that the work done by federal authorities to fight smuggling is very efficient

How to change this scenario

· 92% of the interviewees said that Brazilians would quit buying smuggled products if the Brazilian products were more inexpensive

· Among the measures pointed out by the interviewees to reduce smuggling at the border between Brazil and Paraguay, there are:

· Police reinforcement and frontier control (61%)

· Enacting harder, more punishing laws against smuggling (61%)

· Complete border blocking by the Federal Police (53%)

· Programs to generate jobs on both sides of the border (53%)

· Creation of a Brazil/Paraguay intelligence center (48%)

As it can be seen through the results of the research, smuggling reduction is brought forth by a behavioral change in society, but mainly by a stricter action by the authorities at all levels to directly fight this crime off.

Since 2014, the Movement for Brazilian Lawful Market Defense has been doing its best to bring in ideas to the national debate to be changed into practical actions, and which can contribute to reduce smuggling, and – as a consequence – the serious effects it brings to the country.

The three main proposals stood up for reflect the vision shown by the Brazilians in the results of the Datafolha research:

· Reinforcement at border security, with intelligence, tenaciousness, and political and administrative will to protect the under-the-law internal market.

· Creation of a Positive Brazil/Paraguay agenda so as to allow the neighboring country to have sustainable development, with no need for the current heterodox “export” practices of irregular merchandise into Brazil.

· Assess the correlation between the tax load on the various products and smuggling, with the latter allowing – in several sectors – an enormous competitive advantage.

Entities must be together so that governmental spheres may be put to action and take firm, effective steps to fight this serious crime off, which brings in huge loss to the country.

Have a more in-depth view on the research results at and fully download it.