"I have to weigh every item I want to send to Brazil and get a consular invoice for each," says Rehen. In 2003, while at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rehen received donations of research equipment, including microscopes, computers and slide scanners, worth more than US$200,000. Once the material arrived it was held by customs officials for six months, and the university was charged US$10,000.
The problem is not new. Rehen recalls that when the university ordered a machine for the laboratory he was working in as an undergraduate, it arrived more than six years after he finished his doctorate. [1~4+2+4+6=13~16 anos]
And, according to Rehen, when the material finally arrives, it is often outdated or broken (see Brazilian officials destroy rare fish specimens). He says disagreements between different government agencies encourage the delays. Brazil's Internal Revenue Service, for instance, recently blocked some imports, stating that CNPq was in debt, he says. CNPq denied the statement.