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Laws Behind the Rio Olympics

The following is a guest post by Eduardo Soares, a foreign law specialist from Brazil who covers Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions. Eduardo has previously written posts on the Brazilian law collection, capoeira and the law, a Law Library report on citizenship pathways and border protection, highlights of the Law Library’s collection of materials related to the development of the civil law system, and the new civil procedure code in Brazil.  His most recent posts were on the impeachment process in Brazil and the legal framework for fighting corruption in that country.

Olympic City / Cidade Olímpica (Photo by Flickr user Brian Godfrey, Nov. 4, 2015). Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Olympic City / Cidade Olímpica (Photo by Flickr user Brian Godfrey, Nov. 4, 2015). Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21 and September 7 to September 18 respectively.  In addition to the enormous effort and investment that the city and the country had to make to organize an event of this magnitude, it was also necessary to work on the regulatory framework of the country.  Several new laws were promulgated to enable the games to run more effectively.  As with previous In Custodia Legis posts on the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, in this post I outline some of the relevant laws that will apply in connection with the Rio Olympics.

In fact, the legal preparation started before the city was even chosen to host the 2016 Olympics.  On October 1, 2009, the government promulgated Law No. 12,035 (Lei No. 12.035, de 1 de Outubro de 2009).  This Law provided certain guarantees related to the candidacy of the city of Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and established special rules for their implementation, provided that the city was chosen by the International Olympic Committee.

Law No. 12,035 includes provisions authorizing the use of federal government properties for activities related to the games; prohibiting the unauthorized use of the symbols of the games for commercial or noncommercial purposes; suspending, during the period between July 7 and September 26, 2016, the contracts for the use of advertising space at airports or in federal areas of interest to the games; providing for the availability, with no cost to the organizing committee of the games, of services related to security, health, health surveillance, customs, and immigration; and providing for all the broadcasting frequency spectrum and signals necessary to the organization of the games to be made available to specified institutions and individuals.

Visa Waiver

Law No. 12,035 also provides that the requirement for foreigners to have a visa to enter the country during the Rio Games may be waived, as can the fees associated with work permits.

Considering the implications associated with the visa waiver, on November 24, 2015, the government issued Law No. 13,193 (Lei No. 13.193, de 24 de Novembro de 2015), which delegated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Tourism the power to waive the visa requirement.  In exercising this power, on December 24, 2015, the three ministries issued the Collective Administrative Act No. 216 (Portaria Conjunta No. 216, de 24 de Dezembro de 2015), which establishes an exemption to the visa requirement for nationals of Australia, Canada, United States, and Japan who come to Brazil exclusively for tourism between June 1, 2016, to September 18, 2016.  For such people, the Act allows a maximum non-extendable period of stay of 90 days from the date of first entry.  The Act also explains that the exemption does not apply to nationals of these countries who wish to perform paid activities, participate in research, internships, studies and social or voluntary work, or undertake technical assistance activities of a missionary, religious, or artistic character.

Taxation

Estádio Jornalista Mario Filho, o Maracanã (Photo by Flickr user Luciano Silva, Jan. 3, 2014). Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/. According to the Rio 2016 website, the "legendary Maracanã Stadium will stage the opening and closing ceremonies and the decisive matches of the men's and women's football tournaments (both finals and one semi-final in each). The iconic venue was modernised for the 2014 FIFA World Cup."

Estádio Jornalista Mario Filho, o Maracanã (Photo by Flickr user Luciano Silva, Jan. 3, 2014). Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/. According to the Rio 2016 website, the “legendary Maracanã Stadium will stage the opening and closing ceremonies and the decisive matches of the men’s and women’s football tournaments (both finals and one semi-final in each). The iconic venue was modernised for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

In terms of taxation, Law No. 13,161 (Lei No. 13.161, de 31 de Agosto de 2015) amended several laws, including Law No. 12,780 of January 9, 2013 (Lei No. 12.780, de 9 de Janeiro de 2013), which had previously been enacted to provide for taxation measures related to the games.  According to Law No. 13,161, durable goods over R$5,000.00 (US$1,515.00) to be used in the games are exempt from taxation if they are later donated to the federal government (União) to be transferred to charities of social assistance or to public companies.  The donation can also be made directly to potential beneficiaries or non-profit organizations related to sports, environmental protection, or childcare.

A Provisional Measure enacted on March 16, 2016 (further discussed below), (Medida Provisória No. 718, de 16 de Março de 2016), amended Law No. 12,780 to allow vessels intended for accommodation in the period of the 2016 Games to be considered, for tax and customs purposes, foreign ships on cruise trips along the Brazilian coast, therefore suspending the payment of taxes.

To facilitate the understanding of customs proceedings, the government issued a Customs Guide, which is divided in three chapters covering information related to the tax regime and customs procedures.  The first chapter contains general information on import and export; the second chapter has information on the import of goods being brought into the country by travelers as part of their luggage, through international courier companies, or as cargo; and the third chapter discusses the return abroad of goods that came into the country temporarily.

Marketing

Rio 2016 logo (Photo by Flickr user Phil Guest, Aug. 28, 2012). Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.

Rio 2016 logo (Photo by Flickr user Phil Guest, Aug. 28, 2012). Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.

On May 10, 2016, Brazil enacted Law No. 13,284 (Lei No. 13.284 de 10 de Maio de 2016), which amended the Olympic Act and criminalizes the unauthorized use of official symbols of the games.  The Law also prohibits ambush marketing by association and ambush marketing by intrusion, and subjects offenders to jail time or a fine.

Unauthorized use of official symbols includes reproducing, copying, falsifying or improperly modifying any official symbols that belong to the entities organizing the games.  This offense is punishable with three months to one year in prison or a fine.  Importing, exporting, selling, distributing, offering or exposing for sale, hiding, or keeping in stock products that involve the reproduction, imitation, falsification, or unauthorized modification of official symbols, without the permission of the entities organizing the games or their delegates, is punishable with one to three months in prison or a fine.

Ambush marketing by association is punishable with three months to one year in prison or a fine.  The Law defines such marketing as promoting brands, products, or services, in order to achieve economic advantage, through claiming direct or indirect association with the games, without permission from the entities organizing the games or their delegates, and inducing others to believe that such brands, products or services are approved, authorized, or endorsed by the organizers.

The offense of ambush marketing by intrusion is also punishable with three months to one year in prison or a fine.  This offense involves the exhibition of brands, businesses, establishments, products, services, or the performance of promotional activities, without permission from the entities organizing the games, in a way that attracts public attention in official locations (such as stadiums, sports centers, training facilities, etc.).

In addition, offenders may also have to pay indemnification for the damages caused or advantage received according to the dispositions of the Brazilian Civil Code (Código Civil, Lei No. 10.406, de 10 de Janeiro de 2002) for conduct prohibited by Law No. 13,284.

Security

To ensure airspace security during the games, the government issued Decree No. 8,758 of May 10, 2016 (Decreto No. 8.758, de 10 de Maio de 2016), which establishes the procedures to be followed by the bodies that make up the Brazilian Aerospace Defense System (Sistema de Defesa Aeroespacial Brasileiro) with respect to suspicious or hostile aircraft that may present a threat to security during the games.  Decree No. 8,758 defines aircraft, suspicious aircraft, and hostile aircraft.

An aircraft classified as suspicious will be subject to the following progressive coercive measures: investigation, intervention, and persuasion.  If the coercive measures prove to be unsuccessful, given the context and the threat, the aircraft will be reclassified as hostile and may be subject to destruction measures.

According to a regulation (Circular de Informação Aeronáutica (AIC 07/16)) issued by the Department of Airspace Control (Departamento de Controle do Espaço Aéreo) of the Air Force, exclusion zones will be activated during the games, which will divide the airspace of the State of Rio de Janeiro into three zones.

The white zone covers a distance of 72 kilometers from any sports arena (which are concentrated in the areas of Copacabana, Deodoro, Maracanã and Barra); the yellow zone covers a distance of 27 kilometers; and the red zone covers a distance of 7.2 kilometers.

Only authorized aircraft will be allowed to fly in the white and yellow zones. In the red zone, there will be maximum restrictions imposed and only a few official aircraft or aircraft associated with the event will be allowed to fly.  It is in the red zone that the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) may, as an extreme measure, destroy an aircraft considered hostile.

Doping Control

Photo by Flickr user Nathan Forget, Dec. 23, 2006. Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Photo by Flickr user Nathan Forget, Dec. 23, 2006. Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Much attention has been given to issues related to doping and testing of athletes in the lead up to the Rio Olympics.  One of the requirements for Brazil to host the games was the creation of a national anti-doping organization.  Thus, on November 30, 2011, the government enacted Decree No. 7,630 (Decreto No. 7.630, de 30 de Novembro de 2011), which created the Brazilian Authority for Doping Control (Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem, ABCD).

The ABCD is responsible for, among other things, advising the Minister of Sport on the implementation of the national policy on preventing and combating doping, including with respect to the recommendations of the National Council of Sports (Conselho Nacional do Esporte) and the contents of the National Sports Plan. The ABCD is also responsible for promoting and coordinating the fight against doping in an independent and organized way, in and out of competition, according to the rules established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the protocols and commitments made by Brazil.

In addition, the ABCD is in charge of ensuring compliance with the law, in particular the International Convention against Doping in Sports, which was ratified by Decree No. 6,653 of November 18, 2008 (Decreto No. 6.653, de 18 de Novembro de 2008), and technical norms and international standards of doping control.  On March 16, 2016, the ABCD issued Administrative Act No. 1 (Portaria ABCD No. 1, de 16 de Março de 2016), which created the Brazilian Anti-Doping Code (Código Brasileiro Antidopagem) that regulates the fight against doping in sports in Brazil.

To further implement the control of doping during the Games, the government issued, also on March 16, 2016, Provisional Measure No. 718 (Medida Provisória No. 718, de 16 de Março de 2016), which creates the Sports Anti-Doping Tribunal (Justiça Desportiva Antidopagem).  The Tribunal is composed of a tribunal and a prosecutor’s office (Procuradoria) and will prosecute violations of anti-doping rules, apply sanctions, and ratify decisions issued by international bodies related to the topic.

In addition to the sanctions already provided by the general rules on sports, contained in Law No. 9,615 of March 24, 1998 (Lei No. 9.615, de 24 de Março de 1998) — such as a warning, elimination, exclusion from a championship or tournament, and a fine — the Provisional Measure provides that an athlete caught by the doping test may be subject to the cancellation of his or her titles, awards, records, scores, and sports results obtained, and may be required to return awards, trophies, medals and other advantages gained.

The Provisional Measure was approved by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies on July 5, 2016, and by the Federal Senate on July 6, 2016.  On July 28, 2016, Provisional Measure No. 718 was converted into Law No. 13,322 (Lei No. 13.322, de 28 de Julho de 2016).

Background on Provisional Measures

In relevant and urgent cases, the President of the Republic may adopt provisional measures that have the force of law.  (Constituição Federal, art. 62.)  Such measures must be submitted immediately to the National Congress.  Except as provided for in sections 11 and 12 of article 62 of the Constitution, provisional measures lose their effectiveness as of the day of their issuance if they are not converted into law within a period of sixty days, which may be extended once under the terms of Section 7 of article 62 of the Constitution for an equal period of time.  (Id. art. 62(§ 3).)  It is the responsibility of the National Congress to regulate, by legislative decree, the legal relations stemming from such measures.  (Id.)  The sixty-day period starts to run from the publication of the provisional measure.  (Id. art. 62(§ 4).) The running of this period is suspended during the periods in which the National Congress is in recess.  (Id.)

 Approveitem os jogos! Enjoy the games!

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