Published at the end of last year, the Self-Control Law (Law 14.515/22) aims to modernize the inspection of agricultural activities in the country through the establishment of quality management requirements, incentives for voluntary sharing of analytical results in food, beverages, and inputs controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture (Mapa), and the use of artificial intelligence for inspection actions.

Currently, there are at least 18 productive sectors regulated by the Secretariat of Agricultural Defense of Mapa. The main regulatory instrument used is command control, exercised exclusively through administrative police power, with inspections primarily based on sensory and subjective observations by the inspector (visual, smell, thermal sensation) or the checking of licensing, authorizations, and establishment records.

In addition to the shortage of human resources for inspection activities in a country the size of Brazil, the large number of regulated sectors, and the growth of agribusiness, when inspections are carried out, auditors can only verify a sampling of production records and laboratory analysis results provided by entrepreneurs to assess the quality, for example, of the food, beverages, and inputs being produced.

Law 14.515/22, currently in the process of regulation, combines various regulatory instruments, such as recognizing self-control measures as integral and necessary for production conformity, the possibility of third-party certification (a mechanism widely used by Inmetro, for example), incentives and rewards for periodic and voluntary sharing of quality and traceability information in production processes, analysis of information using artificial intelligence, and distribution of inspections according to the associated production risk, among others.

The application of all these instruments will allow the public administration to simultaneously and comprehensively monitor those enterprises that adhere to the compliance program and share production information, in a mechanism similar to the declarations made to the Federal Revenue Service, where the declarant is responsible for the information provided.

The accuracy of the provided information can be audited through third-party certifications and is subject to direct inspection, similar to the current verification of production processes records. Among the benefits for economic agents who join the compliance program are increased agility in import and export operations and priority in obtaining authorizations and licenses from Mapa.

In this model, inspection actions are likely to be developed with greater efficiency, planning, and the ability to act swiftly upon the identification of problems, resulting in risk reduction and increased safety for both producers and consumers. Therefore, with the regulation deadline approaching, the participation and joint efforts of public and private sectors are essential for the effective implementation of Law 14.515 in a short timeframe, with transparency and shared responsibility across all sectors.

Letícia Silva is a consultant at Oliveira Souza Advogados; Guilherme de Castro Souza is a partner at the law firm, specializing in Business Law and Foreign Trade, with over 10 years of experience serving the agribusiness industry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *