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The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) is going to decide if imported vinyl records with works by Brazilian artists are entitled to tax exemption

04/13/2020

The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) will decide whether imported vinyl records, but containing the musical work of a Brazilian artist, also qualify for tax exemption under the Federal Constitution for these products. The issue will be discussed in the Extraordinary Appeal with Bill of Review (ARE) 1244302, which unanimously had general repercussion recognized in a virtual session (Theme 1.083).

In the case of the records, the São Paulo Court of Appeals (TJ-SP) reversed the first instance decision that had authorized customs clearance without payment of the Circulation of Goods and Services Tax (ICMS) of vinyl records containing musical works by Brazilian artists imported from Argentina. According to the ruling of the TJ-SP, the immunity for imported products is misplaced, because the so-called "PEC of Music" (Constitutional Amendment 75/2013) had as its sole purpose to allow products of national origin to recover market.

Physical support

In its appeal to the STF, Novodisc Midia Digital Ltda. states that as of the constitutional amendment, the tax exemption applies to any material support of a musical phonogram with the work of a Brazilian artist. According to the company, it is not necessary that the material media or digital files containing the cultural works be produced in Brazil, since the only exception would be not optical media for laser reading. Novodisc argues that the records are only physical support for the phonograms. It maintains that since their production was made exclusively in Brazil and only the reproduction was performed abroad, tax immunity cannot be ruled out.

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