sexta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2017

Regional court rules Uber drivers are not employees according to Brazilian law

Bildergebnis für uber logo
UPDATE on February 14th: Another ruling from the same court, on a separate case, has declared that Uber drivers are indeed employees. The matter is still highly controversial.

A Federal judge has ruled, in one specific case, that a Uber drives is not entitled to the benefits of Brazilian labour laws. The ruling was based on the fact that the driver enjoyed a high level of independence and autonomy, not being subject to strict schedules or to direct orders from a boss.

This does not create any enforceable precedent (Brazilian law does not work with court precedents, except on a handfew cases).

However, it is one of the first decisions on the matter and it certainly  will have an impact in future cases, specially in Minas Gerais state, where the court is located.

This has been a total surprise to me. I was betting that the Brazilian courts, which are always over protective of workers, would use this opportunity to extend its claws over Uber and other apps.

I`m glad for being wrong on this matter. Brazil needs a lot more freedom for entrepreneurs.

By the way: I`m not a big fan of Uber`s legal standing in Brazil, generally speaking. But I will leave this topic for another time. 

quarta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2017

Dropshipping models in Brazil

Bildergebnis für dropshippingA reader has written me, asking if his dropshipping operation in the US would be able to serve Brazilian costumers.

The products would be paid for by credit card, and delivered to Brazil through Fedex.

I have actually given a lecture about this topic in London, during the Ecommerce Expo, a few years ago.

Here is my short reply to this complicated topic:

This project will face a lot of trouble. The most difficult one is that, in theory, Brazilians cannot import products through mail or Fedex without paying taxes. 

Because of that, all such packages are inspected by the Brazilian customs,  usually at Viracopos airport.  This process is unpredictable and may take 30 to 180 days. 

On top of that, total taxation over the goods may reach 100% of the value, and sometimes more (the goods may be evaluated as having a higher value than what is stated in the invoice). This tax is either paid upfront by Fedex and then charged from the final customer at the time of delivery, or must be paid by the final customer before the goods reach his hands. 

This is always a stressful process. 

A more reliable way to work would be to send the goods to a Brazilian importing company (trading company), who would import them through the more formal channels and deliver them in Brazil. 

I do this kind of corporate structuring often. Let`s discuss this in more detail.