Environmental Regulation in Brazil - Chapter 23 - Doing Business in Brazil
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Originally from: Doing Business in Brazil - Hardcover
Doing Business in Brazil - Electronic
1. Early Legislation
23.101 For some time, Brazil has had legislation that directly and
indirectly relates to the environment. The essentially extractive economic
activities of the country in colonial times gave rise to the concern to
regulate these activities in some way.
23.102 The first extractive activity carried out in Brazil, the extraction of
pau brasil (Brazil wood), led to a 1605 law that was most likely the first
environmental law enacted in the Portuguese colony. This law established
certain requirements regarding pau brasil lumbering. Extraction of this
heavy, reddish or purplish hardwood gave the country and its people their
23.103 Since the 1960s and 1970s, the Brazilian legislators’ concern with
the environment has intensified, primarily as an extension of the
conservationist movement which spread worldwide during that period. In
fact, most of the legislation regulating activities that harm the environment
has been established since that time.
23.104 Although many Brazilian environmental laws have been enacted, a
large portion of the prevailing environmental legislation is quite old.
23.105 Some of the earlier legislation that is indirectly related to
environmental concerns includes the 1916 Civil Code in the chapter on
Neighborhood Rights.1 This part of the Civil Code regulates the misuse of
property in regard to neighborhood conflicts, prohibiting noise and odor
nuisance as well as construction works that are excessively unpleasant for
the surroundings. The New Civil Code, which came into force in January
2003, has kept neighborhood rights nearly unchanged vis-à-vis the 1916
1 Civil Code of 1916, arts. 554 and 555.
2 New Civil Code, arts. 1277 and 1280.
23.106 The 1942 Penal Code, when mentioning the crime of poisoning,
corrupting, or polluting potable waters,1 and the 1941 Law of Penal
Contraventions, when dealing with the abusive emission of smoke, steam,
or gas, are examples of laws not specifically environmental in their purview
but that indirectly deal with environmental protection.
1 Articles 270 and 271.
23.107 At the same level, Brazil has labor laws relating to the
environment. These laws establish guidelines regulating occupational
Pinheiro Neto - Advogados, established in 1942, is Brazil's leading commercial law firm with offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. The founding Editor of this publication, the late J.M. Pinheiro Neto, was the Legal Advisor to the British Chamber of Commerce in Brazil.
J.M. Pinheiro Neto, K.B.E. Law degree, University of São Paulo, class of 1938; State
Attorney for taxes, 1945-1955; worked for the BBC during 1940-41 in England;
awarded the Medal for Services to the Cause of Freedom in 1945; President of the
Anglo-Brazilian Cultural Society, São Paulo, since 1965; Member of the Council of the
British Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo and of the American Chamber of
Commerce, for many years; Director of numerous Brazilian companies; Senior
partner of the firm.
Aleksas Juocys. Law degree, University of São Paulo, class of 1958; Specialized in
tax matters, and head of the tax section of the firm.
Hélio Nicoletti. Law degree, Catholic University, São Paulo, class of 1963,
Postgraduate course in business administration, Fundação Getulio Vargas, São
Paulo, 1967; Head of one of the mergers and acquisitions groups, corporate work,
of the firm.
Antonio Mendes. Law degree, University of Franca, São Paulo class of 1964; Master
of Comparative Law, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.; Head of the
banking and finance group of the firm.
Celso Cintra Mori. Law degree, University of São Paulo, class of 1968; Head of the
litigation group of the firm.
José Roberto Pisani. Law degree, University of São Paulo, class of 1972; postgraduate
courses in tax law, Catholic University, São Paulo. Head of one of the tax groups of the
Antonio J. Peres Picolomini. Law degree, Catholic University, Campinas, class of
1968; Head of the labor and labor litigation group of the firm.
Noemia C.M. de Oliveira Novaes. Law degree, University of São Paulo, class of
1971; Specialization in International Law, University of Geneva, Switzerland; Partner
with Pinheiro Neto-Advogados; Experience in the computer science, technology
transfer, and trademark and patent areas.