The text of Provisional Measure 17/01, which will be converted into law by Congress, includes some important novelties for the pay-television and advertising industries. It amends articles of a previous decree that set up the National Film Agency (Ancine) and introduced rules for the audiovisual market. A vote scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, has been postponed because of more urgent business but is expected to take place next week. Here are the highlights of MP 17, a copy of which has been obtained by PAY-TV News from the Chamber of Deputies:
1) Brazilian programmers to be exempt from Condecine tax on overseas remittances and locally produced titles. They will pay the tax only when registering imported titles.
2) Foreign programmers to be totally exempt from Condecine, but they have to deposit 3% of overseas remittances in a special account with Banco do Brasil in their own names, using it to fund independent local production. If the funds in such accounts remain unused for 270 days, they will automatically belong to Ancine. Projections indicate that foreign programmers will amass in this manner 20 million reals per annum for investment in local production (now about 8.3 million US dollars).
3) Programmers to be eligible for a 70% income-tax rebate under the Audiovisual Act as of 2003, provided they invest in local production.
4) Pay-TV companies to be exempt from Condecine on foreign commercials or commercials aired in small and medium cities, in accordance with specific rules to be issued in due time.
5) Foreign programming to be distributed solely by companies incorporated in Brazil and legally responsible for the content exhibited. Payment may be made directly to the programmer?s parent company overseas.
6) Pay-TV operators to be responsible for ensuring that titles are registered with Ancine but not jointly liable for failure to pay Condecine on such titles.
7) Foreign content is defined as programming produced abroad and transmitted from another country into Brazil. National programming is produced and distributed in Brazil, even if its content is foreign.
8) Movies, videos and music are defined as national when produced in Brazil by a locally-owned production company and Brazilian professionals, or when coproduced in Brazil provided Brazilians own at least 40% of the rights to such works and two-thirds of the technical and artistic labor is Brazilian.