Brazil's Customs Strike Impacts Global Pharmaceutical Cold Chain

Andrea Charles

With Brazil customs offices still on strike cargo is being delayed from 2 days to several weeks at major ports, airports and warehouses. Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical cold chain continue to monitor the situation with product integrity at risk due to supply chain delays.

In a recent interview with Angela Mazzeo, Quality Analyst at the Butantan Institute the largest producer in Latin America of immunobiologicals and biopharmaceutical, Mazzeo said: "One of the top 3 risks to the temperature controlled pharmaceutical supply chain is red tape situations at the airport".
Brazil’s largest port, Santos, is worst affected by the strike, also impacted are Manaus, Santana Itacoatiara, Salvador, Paranagua, and Santarem. Customs officers are demanding better remittance packages and working conditions.

Brazil is already recognised as a region with complex customs regulations, any delay could risk supply chain integrity and the efficacy and safety of medication. For this reason many perishables are being cleared more quickly, and ensuring clinical trials materials and other temperature controlled pharmaceutical products are moving through the supply chain is of paramount concern.

Stakeholders in the cold chain logistics must always be prepared and many cold chain solution providers have contingency plans firmly in place and have publicly assured their customers that their products are not being affected by the strike.

Most are hoping the situation will be resolved through government negotiations by next week, until then the world watches the next host of the Summer Olympics.

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