How to Import into Brazil

How to Import into Brazil

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Up to 1990 Brazil was a closed market for imports. Since then the import volumes have increased year after year. Besides the Central Bank (Bacen), the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade (Secretaria de Comércio Exterior, SECEX, MDIC), and the Brazilian Customs (Secretaria da Receita Federal – SRF), there are other agencies such as the Health Control Agency (ANVISA), the Federal Police, and the Ministry of Agriculture, which become involved in the import process depending on the type and fiscal classification of the product. Although there is an integrated computing system called Siscomex, which manages and registers all information related to foreign trade operations, the great number of laws, decrees and regulatory instructions makes importing products into the Brazilian market still a complex task.

It is worth pointing out that certain procedures should be adopted even before shipping the merchandise or before making the purchase or placing the order with the vendor as certain goods requires licenses even before their shipment. The importer or the entity ordering the product must register its fiscal and financial capacity at Siscomex, in a System called RADAR.

The import licenses are obtained from SECEX, which checks the conditions stated in the Proforma Invoice. The license issued by SECEX determines the Customs tax treatment, as well as the currency exchange treatment given by Bacen.

At the time of nationalization several documents and actions are required, actions that take place in the course of the customs forwarding process (despacho aduaneiro).

Once a customs clearance declaration has been filed, the goods will proceed through the customs clearing process. In Brazil, in addition to the registration of the customs declaration, goods are subject to the import parameters defined by the fiscal channels (green, yellow, red and gray). The Customs Broker will be notified, through the Siscomex, when the goods have been released. The proof of release is the Import Certificate (CI), printed through Siscomex by the importer.

There are three import models, which are:

  • Import on Own Account (Importação Própria);
  • Import by order of Third Parties (Importação por Encomenda);
  • Import on behalf of Third Parties. (Importação por Conta e Ordem de Terceiros).

The importer should be able to follow amendments to laws and regulations, in view of the great number of amendments that usually occur.

An operating error could be quite costly and it is imperative to bear in mind that Brazil is a country with continental dimensions and, therefore, logistic planning is very important for better and more effective market distribution.

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