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Brazilian telecoms agency seizes thousands of illegal products in Amazon warehouses

The action is part of Anatel's initiatives to tackle the sale of irregular goods in marketplaces.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

In an operation that concluded on Friday, Brazilian telecommunications agency Anatel seized thousands of illegal products in warehouses and distribution centers managed by Amazon.

Product certification at Anatel is mandatory for products that emit radiofrequency. It is a record that aims to ensure the item, which received a seal from the agency, meets the quality and safety standards established in the country. When purchasing a non-approved product, Brazilian consumers do not have the guarantee of technical assistance in the event of technical issues, or to file a complaint through Anatel so the agency can intervene in the event of unsolved problems.

The Anatel investigation, which lasted for over a week and took place at Amazon's sites in the Brazilian cities of Betim and Cajamar, is part of the agency's initiatives to tackle the sale of irregular products in online marketplaces. After inspecting 67,000 items with a team of 16 Anatel agents, some 5,700 illegal products were identified, including wireless headphones, portable batteries, and smartphone chargers, all of which lacked the Anatel certification. 

The agency estimates that the seized equipment, if sold, would be worth approximately 500,000 Brazilian reais ($95,000). The telecommunications agency had the support of the Smuggling and Embezzlement Division of the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service in São Paulo and the Specialized Federal Attorney.

Anatel's advisor, Moisés Moreira, and inspection superintendent, Hermano Tercius, coordinated Anatel's investigation at Amazon. According to Moreira, "Anatel has constantly worked with marketplaces to ban the publication of ads for irregular products," Moreira noted, adding that Amazon "fully cooperated with the inspection agents, providing the proper identification and verification of the products sold by its various sellers."

For Tercius, "an inspection action like this provides security to the consumer by guaranteeing the acquisition of telecommunications products of proven quality and that do not jeopardize the physical integrity of consumers and their families."

Anatel's inspection activity at Amazon is part of the agency's broader plan to tackle piracy. Since 2018, Anatel's inspection actions together with other bodies have seized approximately 4.6 million irregular products, with a total estimated value of 500 million Brazilian reais ($95 million).

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