STF começa a julgar ações que discutem tributação de ICMS na importação do gás da Bolívia

O Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) começou a julgar, na sessão desta quarta-feira (21), três Ações Cíveis Originárias (ACOs 854, 1076 e 1093) em que se discute a legitimidade ativa para cobrança de ICMS sobre gás natural importado da Bolívia pela Petrobras S/A em estabelecimento situado em Corumbá (MS). Após a leitura do relatório pelo ministro Gilmar Mendes, foram apresentadas as sustentações orais das partes e interessados nos processos. O julgamento das ações prossegue nesta quinta-feira (22), com o voto do relator e dos demais ministros.

Disputa

Nas ações, o governo de Mato Grosso do Sul pretende que seja declarado o direito exclusivo do estado de tributar o gás natural boliviano com ICMS, com o argumento de que é em seu território que se completa a importação do produto pela Petrobras, desde o início do funcionamento do gasoduto da Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolívia-Brasil S.A. (TBG). Esse gás é distribuído, por meio de dutos, a diversos estados da Federação, entre eles São Paulo, Santa Catarina e Rio Grande do Sul. Em dezembro de 2007, o então relator das ACOs, ministro Celso de Mello (aposentado), deferiu liminares para que os três estados se abstivessem de proceder a qualquer tipo de autuação ou lançamento tributário do ICMS incidente sobre as operações de importação de gás natural advindo da Bolívia, realizadas pela Petrobrás no município sul mato-grossense.

Destinatário jurídico

Na sessão de hoje, o procurador do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul, Ulisses Schwarz Viana, defendeu que a unidade da Petrobras S/A situada em Corumbá é o efetivo importador do gás natural boliviano, pois é lá que ocorre a entrada física do gás no Brasil, a medição do volume do produto e o desembaraço aduaneiro. Segundo argumentou, ainda que se entendesse que a entrada física do produto não se dá em Mato Grosso do Sul, como defendem os demais estados, o contrato de importação aponta que o destinatário jurídico é a Petrobras de Corumbá.

Destinatário do bem

Os procuradores de São Paulo, Santa Catarina e Rio Grande do Sul defenderam que a legitimidade da cobrança do ICMS pertence ao estado onde se localiza o destinatário do bem e que não há menção, no texto constitucional, à legitimidade do estado do importador. A titularidade ativa do ICMS incidente sobre mercadorias importadas, segundo eles, compete ao estabelecimento onde ocorrer a entrada física do produto.

Sustentaram, em complemento, que, se o constituinte quisesse atribuir a titularidade ativa ao estado em que estiver situado o estabelecimento importador, bastaria dizê-lo, e não, como fez, estabelecer que o ICMS cabe ao estabelecimento destinatário da mercadoria ou bem importado. No caso dos autos, uma vez que a transferência do domínio do gás ocorre não apenas em Mato Grosso do Sul, mas também nos demais estados litigantes, defenderam, na sessão virtual, que o tributo deve ser pago aos quatro estados, na exata proporção em que neles ocorra a transferência da mercadoria.

Petrobras

No papel de terceiro interessado, a Petrobras, representada pelo advogado Frederico Ferreira, afirmou que, no momento de ingresso do produto em território nacional, na aferição do volume importado na fronteira, não é possível sequer precisar o volume que será demandado posteriormente pelos distribuidores locais nos pontos terminais. Além disso, é ainda no estabelecimento situado em Corumbá que a Petrobras realiza a venda do gás natural, conforme demanda dos distribuidores locais. Portanto, defendeu que o tributo deve ser recolhido perante o estado em que se localiza o estabelecimento do importador, destinatário legal da mercadoria.

Fato gerador

O vice-procurador da República, Humberto Jacques de Medeiros, se manifestou pela confirmação das liminares. Para o Ministério Público, o produto é nacionalizado no território de Mato Grosso do Sul e, depois, distribuído ao restante do país. “O destinatário que importou foi a Petrobras, não a distribuidora doméstica, local ou regional. É ali que ocorre o fato gerador do tributo”, disse.

SP/CR//CF

Leia mais:

28/12/2007 – Liminar do Supremo dá a MS o direito exclusivo de tributar a importação do gás boliviano com ICMS

4/12/2007 – Concedida liminar ao Governo do Mato Grosso do Sul quanto à cobrança de ICMS sobre importação de gás boliviano

Fonte: http://www.stf.jus.br/portal/cms/verNoticiaDetalhe.asp?idConteudo=453766
Todas as informações contidas nesta página são de responsabilidade do seu criador.

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