The sanitary inspection fee is a duty created by Law 9.782/1999, under which acts of inspection and health surveillance undertaken by the Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) are taxable, including health inspections of ships for issuance of the certificate of free practice.

In 2000 a maritime agency filed suit against ANVISA objecting to the assessment of the referred fee, which was incurred each time that a loaded ship managed by the company berthed at a Brazilian port. The company argued that in its capacity as maritime agent, it was not obliged to pay the tax, as it acted only as a representative of the shipowners in operation at the ports.

The company was successful at first instance and although ANVISA appealed the decision, the Regional Federal Court of the Second Region confirmed the referred decision, recognising that the maritime agent could not be considered the legal taxpayer of the tax obligation.(1)

For further information on this topic please contact Godofredo Mendes Vianna at Law Offices Carl Kincaid by telephone (+55 21 2276 6200), fax (+55 21 2253 4259) or email ([email protected]).


(1) Ref Proc 2000.51.01.033142-4.