Like many European eyewear companies, Pramaor is also looking to expand into the promising Brazilian market, in spite of the customs barriers that double the price of the finished product, with duties of 100 to 120 percent respectively on acetate and metal. Calculated on the wholesale price plus transportation costs, this is the rate applied to eyewear imported from Italy, France and Germany. In the case of Asian products, this duty is applied to the wholesale price, calculated at a minimum of €10 for a pair of acetate and €15 for metal. The aim is to stop Asian exporters from dumping eyewear at a declared cost of €2 a pair.
Many European producers get around the existing customs barriers by exporting semi-finished products – even branded items – which are then assembled in Brazil and sold with a Made in Brazil label. But the prestige of the Made in Italy label is an essential part of Pramaor's marketing message; the company's “all Italian, all titanium” slogan has been a great success, allowing the company to close the first half of 2011 with sales up by 40 percent, to a value of €2.8 million.
So, the solution adopted by Pramaor to compensate for the Brazilian customs duties has been a reduction in overall distribution costs. Pramaor will open an office in São Paulo, to be run by Roberto Visentin, one of the right-hand men of the company's owner and top manager, Nicola Del Din. The office will run a network of agents covering the entire country, thus eliminating the need for a costly distribution contract. This should make it possible to price the finished product at around €120 a pair, which is not much higher than that of similar products made in Brazil. The Made in Italy label will be an extra bonus.