Brazil Reverse LogisticsThe Brazilian Advisory Committee for the Implementation of Reverse Logistics Systems has issued Deliberation No. 11 which contains guidelines for the implementation of “reverse logistics” systems for products and packaging.

“Reverse logistics” is a term used for “take-back” of products and packaging in Brazil and these systems are established by the National Waste Law 12.305, 2010, its implementing Waste Decree 7404, 2010 and a number of State laws.

Waste Law 12.305 allows for the implementation of reverse logistic systems through three different legal instruments: regulations, sectoral agreements (contract between manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers and the government to set up extended-producer responsibility), or terms of commitment (agreement between government and particular business parties). To date sectoral agreement has been the preferred option under this law and national sectoral agreements have been put in place for packaging for lubricating oils, waste packaging, and lamps. Prior to this law, it should be noted that for certain waste streams (namely: batteries, agrochemical packaging, used oils and tyres) reverse logistics already exists through other legal measures. Furthermore, sectoral agreements for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and medicines are in the pipeline for some time although they are both not yet finalized.

To implement a reverse logistics system, section 3 of the deliberation provides that manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers may establish a management company with its own legal identity for the operation of the system including administrative obligations. Its goal will be the collection and final environmental disposal of products and packaging. However, for technical and economic reasons companies may join more than one management company.

In accordance with Article 34 of the Waste Law reverse logistic systems established by a sectoral agreement or terms of commitment may be national, regional, state or municipal. However it clarifies that sectoral agreements signed with the national government must always have national scope.

Sectoral agreements that are signed with the national government for particular products and packaging are binding in nature. Section 9 of the deliberation states that this means that they also apply to non-signatories of the agreement for the particular sector. This tackles the problem of “free riders” who have not engaged in the sectoral agreement contract. It means that even non-signatories are mandated to implement the reverse logistic system along with the same obligations of those who have signed the agreement.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors or retailers may still enter into a sectoral agreement or terms of commitment at State or Municipal level to implement their own reverse logistics system, however this does not alter their obligations under a national sectoral agreement entered into with the national government. Furthermore, the terms of a state or municipal level agreement must be compatible with the national sectoral agreement and in accordance with Article 34(1)(2) of the Waste Law it may be extended to cover additional environmental provisions but may not include less than the national requirement.

The reverse logistics system should set up progressive goals and schedules to be implemented at different stages. These goals should include targets based on quantitative, qualitative and regional criteria.

Finally, each reverse logistics system should set up a Performance Monitoring Group referred to as a “Grupo de Acompanhamento de Performance-GAP” which is made up of manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers linked to the supply chain as well as representatives from their management companies (if any) to allow the proper implementation of the system.

This deliberation is important as it provides clarification on some of the confusing points of reverse logistics systems, particularly how the plans at national, regional, state and municipal level fit together and how the systems should be implemented.

This deliberation entered into force on 26 September 2017 upon its publication in the gazette, however the existing reverse logistics systems currently in place will be allowed until their next amendment or revision to implement the guidelines.

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