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Exemption from ICMS in the Federal District for combating COVID-19


The pandemic situation of COVID-19 worldwide is already well known. In the Federal District, the number of contagions is proportionally high compared to the rest of the country and we are already beginning to feel some of its negative effects on the economy and society.


A considerable price increase is perceived due to the scarcity of certain products used to fight the spread of the virus, especially for sterilization and other preventive measures.


In order to contribute positively to the decrease in the prices of these supplies, especially considering the tax scale impact, on Monday, March 23, 2020, the Governor of the Federal District (Distrito Federal), issued Decree No. 40,549, which amends Decree no. 18,955, of December 22, 1997, which regulates the Tax on Operations Relating to the Circulation of Goods and on the Provision of Interstate and Intermunicipal Transport and Communication Services (Imposto sobre Operações Relativas à Circulação de Mercadorias e sobre Prestações de Serviços de Transporte Interestadual e Intermunicipal e de Comunicação - ICMS). This Decree is the result of the previous authorization granted by the Federal Justice in the writ of mandamus No. 1016119-38.2020.4.01.3400.


The Decree No. 40,549 of March 23, 2020, temporarily exempted from ICMS for internal outbound and import operations the following goods throughout the Federal District:


I - alcohol gel;

II - inputs to manufacture gel alcohol, except electric energy used in its production and the packaging used for packaging the final product;

III - medical gloves;

IV - medical masks;

V - 5% sodium hypochlorite;

VI - 70% alcohol.


It should be noted that in operations supported by the benefit provided for in this item, the reversal of the tax credit will not be required.


The Decree came into force on March 23, 2020, but has had its effects retroactively since March 20, 2020, and will be valid until December 31, 2020.


Such a measure will certainly be extremely welcome by all handling pharmacies, drugstores and medical products stores that have been suffering from the then tax scale impact of the ICMS on these products. But, above all, it is a welcome measure for the entire population of the Federal District that needs these basic products to combat COVID-19.


By André Correa Teles, founding partner of the firm Ferraresi Cavalcante - Advogados, tax and business lawyer, and Matheus Perez business lawyer associated with the firm Ferraresi Cavalcante - Advogados

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