Pictured are (from left): Ricardo Rizzo, Antonio Carlos Kieling, Geraldo Eustáquio, Mila Peixoto, and Lauro Andrade.

Anfacer, the Brazilian Ceramic Tile Association, will train customs personnel until November 29, 2007 to identify and circumvent the entry of porcelain tile that does not meet the new Brazilian standards. The work, which began July 5, 2007, will educate and unite the groups responsible for implementing the standards at sea ports and airports.

“Training will take place at the ports of Rio Grande and Chuí in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Vitória in the state of Espírito Santo, Paranaguá in the state of Paraná, São Francisco do Sul, and Itajaí in the state of Santa Catarina,” states Antonio Carlos Kieling, Anfacer ceo.

The Brazilian standard for porcelain tile (ABNT 15.463) is very important for the Brazilian ceramic tile market, not only in enhancing the quality and competitiveness of its products, but also to defend the porcelain tile brand that reaches consumers.

On a brighter note, figures for 2007 indicate that Brazilian ceramic tile manufacturers may end 2007 with an overall production of 665.2 million square meters of tile, which exceeds the 594.21 million square meters reached in 2006.

On the foreign market, forecasted expectations are lower due to the currency rates. Exports shall end with $41.62 million (U.S.), which is 3.16% less than the $42.79 million reached in 2006.

The 114.36 million square meters shall not be repeated this year. Anfacer estimates exports to be 108.2 million square meters for 2007, down 5.37% from 2006, because of the high devaluation of the Real, Brazil’s currency.