Parameterization Channels: How it works and what to look out for

Understand Logistics & Freight

Customs clearance is a fundamental part of international trade, involved in every single export and import operation to ensure a safe and legitimate transaction of goods. Usually, countries follow their own sets of rules and procedures when allowing products to enter and to exit their territory. Here in Brazil, our customs department has a system known as Parameterization, and in order to successfully import or export goods, it is important to understand how it works and what does each channel mean for your cargo.

What is Parameterization?

Is a method to clear cargo for import in a more effective way by the automatization of the customs processes, utilizing stored data from products that have been previously imported. Using this information as a parameter, the shipments’ specifications are automatically analyzed and then sorted into four customs clearance channels before they are officially allowed to get through Brazil’s territory: Green, Yellow, Red and Gray.

The Green Channel

In the green channel, an automatic customs clearance is made, and the goods are cleared without the need of checking by the customs authorities.  

The Yellow Channel

In the yellow channel, the customs authorities perform an examination of the documents to make sure that everything is in accordance with the regulations. If it is, the cargo gets cleared with no need of physical examination of the goods. If not, the shipment may be redirected for physical checking and a more complete analysis of the documents.

The Red Channel

In the red channel, the clearance is only granted after the authorities perform a documental and physical evaluation of the goods, to check if the information in the documents matches with the actual content of the container. That means that containers will be opened, and their content will be measured, weighed and counted, which leads to delays and inevitable extra costs of storage at the ports.

This process is time consuming, since there usually is a big volume of containers to be inspected and they are subject to the availability and work hours of the customs authorities. 

The Grey Channel

In the gray channel, in addition to a documental and a physical evaluation of the goods, they also go through extra verification to prevent that any frauds have been committed, and this process can take several days, even months, to be completed.

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