The Superior Court of Justice (STJ) of Brazil has recently clarified that the Tax on Manufactured Products (IPI) does not apply when the merchandise is stolen in the course of transportation between the vendor and buyer. The case in which this decision was delivered centered on a company whose cargo was stolen after leaving the plant.

In its decision, the 1st section of the STJ concluded that the previous understanding on the matter – i.e., that the IPI triggering event is the mere physical outflow of the goods or products – is an outdated understanding. Rather, the STJ considered that the new interpretation of the matter is that the IPI is in fact triggered when the goods are delivered to the buyer's establishment.

According to the Minister, Napoleão Nunes Maia Filho, when goods are stolen after leaving an industrial establishment, the commercial transaction initially envisaged does not take place and thus there exists no economic benefit for the manufacturer on which IPI should be levied.