August 8 2019  |  Associations

ASUTIL’s Brazil border conference set for November

By Ronnie Lovler

The South American Association of Free Stores (ASUTIL) in conjunction with the Chamber of Free Shops of Uruguay will hold a two-day conference focused on the new Brazil land duty free stores. The conference will take place on November 5 and 6 in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

The organization of such a meeting had been under consideration by ASUTIL and the Chamber throughout the year, but took new urgency once border stores opened a few weeks ago on the Brazilian side of the border.

In a conversation last week with Americas Duty Free, ASUTIL Secretary-General José Luis Donagaray indicated ASUTIL was working on the dates and location, but that a decision to hold the meeting had already been made.

“The idea of the meeting is to work on the border issues with technicians, suppliers, new operators and potential operators and others to answer a lot of questions and improve communications,” he said.

Much still needs to be clarified about how the stores on the Brazilian side of the border will impact the business of already existing land duty free stores in Uruguay, Argentina, and other South American countries.

Those who wish to service the new Brazilian stores also have questions that need to get answered, including simply getting to know who may be coming onto the duty free and travel retail shopping scenario in Brazil.

The Porto Alegre meeting will also include plenty of time for networking for those who attend. Details have not yet been shared about exactly where the conference will be held.

The first three Brazilian land duty free stores are located in Uruguaina, Barra do Quarai, and Yaguarao, all just across from Uruguay.

Legislation allowing for the establishment of land duty free stores in Brazil was approved years ago, but it was only last March that Brazilian customs officials gave the green light to the establishment of the stores on the Brazilian side of the border.

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