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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
Foreign exporters and Brazilian importers must register with the Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX), a branch of the Ministry of Industrial Development and Commerce (MDIC). Companies seeking to import goods into Brazil must obtain a RADAR licence. The RADAR licence grants a password to access the Brazilian Integrated Foreign Trade System (SISCOMEX). The SISCOMEX is an electronic integrated trade documentation system designed by the Brazilian Government to control and monitor the Brazilian Foreign Trade. The RADAR licence can be limited, unlimited or express depdening on the amount of imported goods. Licence applications must be submitted to tax autorities and the type of licence is determined after a review of the financial capacities of the company. Other documents are necessary for custom clearance: the commercial invoice, incoterms, bill of lading and cargo manifest ,certificate of origin, import declaration and proof of import. Depending on the product, Brazilian authorities may require more documentation.

Import costs include the Import Duty (II), the Merchandise and Service Circulation tax (ICMS) and the Brazilian Federal Value-Added Tax on Manufactured Products (IPI). Import duty is a federal product-specific tax levied on a CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) basis. Rates usually vary between 10% and 35%. The IPI is a tax levied on finished products (whether foreign or domestic), resulting from some sort of industrial process. The IPI is not considered a cost for the importer, since the value is credited back to the importer. IPI rates range between 0% and 15%. The ICMS is the VAT levied by states and applies to the legal, physical, or economic circulation of goods, whether imported or not, the services of transportation and telecommunications. Although importers have to pay the ICMS to clear the imported product through Customs, it is not necessarily a cost item for the importer because the paid value represents a credit to the importer. ICMS rates vary from one state to another: in the State of São Paulo, the rate varies from 7-18 percent. Certain industries may qualify for a ICMS tax exemption.
Other minor taxes that apply to imports:

  • PIS-Import and COFINS-Import are both federal contributions levied on the entrance of foreign goods into Brazilian territory.
  • Freight Surcharge for Renewal of the Brazilian Merchant Marine (Adicional ao Frete para Renovação da Marinha Mercante – AFRMM) is a fee charged to support the development of merchant marine and shipping construction.

In order to attract investments, some Brazilian states grant tax incentives, consisting of total or partial reductions of ICMS on imports, which minimize tax costs of foreign trade operations.
For more information, please visit the website of Brazilian Tax Authority.

Specific Import Procedures
It is necessary to obtain a specific agreement from the ministry concerned for the following products: beverages, pharmaceutical or veterinary products, arms and munitions, as well as many cosmetics, rare metals, radioactive products or those which can damage the environment, and petroleum and all its derivatives. The Ministry of Health regulates all products that may affect the human body, including pharmaceuticals, vitamins, cosmetics and medical equipment/devices. Such product can only be imported and sold in Brazil if the foreign company establishes a local Brazilian manufacturing unit or local office, or if the foreign company appoints a Brazilian distributor who is authorised by the Brazilian authorities to import and distribute medical products.
The import of several types of meat is prohibited. The Brazilian requirements for the importation of animal products are defined by article 486 of Decree no. 9,013, dated March 29, 2017.
Importing Samples
For the import, export and re-export of commercial samples the ATA (Temporary Admission) carnet can be used. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and that it may not be sold.

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls.


Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs threshold (from which tariffs are required)
No duty and ICMS are levied on imports where the CIF value is below USD 50.
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
13.46 %, which is within the average for emerging countries. You can find more information here.
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Agricultural products, fermented liqueurs, IT and telecommunications equipment.
Preferential Rates
Member of MERCOSUR (Mercado Comun del Sur : Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay). Customs duties between member countries were theoretically abolished in 1994, but with many exceptions, according to the "adaptation regime" (Regime de adecuaçao): capital goods, information technologies, telecommunications sector, automobiles, sugar sector.
The Mercosur Common External Tariff (CET) does not concern all products: only 75% of the tariff lines benefit from a single tariff. Moreover, there are a certain number of sensitive products according to the country (about 300 for Brazil) which are also exempted from this single tariff.
The CET was completely in place in 2006, with the following structure:
- 0% to 14% for capital goods;
- 16% to 20% for textiles, articles of clothing, consumer goods;
- 10% to 15% for metallurgy;
- 12% to 16% for agricultural products and the information processing and telecommunications sectors.

The countries apply the recommendations of the central institution more or less, according to their economic situation. It should also be noted that re-exporting within Mercosur does not entitle you to an exemption from duties: so if you export a product to Brazil, to sell it on to Argentina, you will pay Brazilian duty and then Argentine duty.
There are various Customs agreements, either between Mercosur and other countries (EU, Chile and Bolivia), or bilaterally between Brazil and other countries (Chile, Andean Pact). Brazil launched in May 2013 a system of consultation of the agreements on tariff preferences signed by the country named CAPTA.

Customs Classification
Brazil applies the Mercosur Common Nomenclature (NCM) is used to comply with the Harmonised Customs system.
Method of Calculation of Duties
Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods. Be careful, there are a certain number of minimum prices applied by Brazilian Customs for the calculation of duties.
Most of the taxes are calculated on a cumulative basis.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
Import payments can be made in various ways, with a contingent financed by the Exporter (Supplier Credit) or by the importer, by means of financial institutions in Brazil or abroad (Buyer Credit).
The simplest and most common used methods are: advance payment, documentary collection, documentary credit, and open account.
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)
There are three taxes that account for the bulk of import costs:

  • the Import Duty (abbreviated in Portuguese as II),
  • the Industrialized Product tax (IPI)
  • the Merchandise and Service Circulation tax (ICMS).

In addition to these taxes, several smaller taxes and fees apply to imports. PIS-Import and COFINS-Import are both federal contributions levied on the entrance of foreign goods into Brazilian territory. Freight Surcharge for Renewal of the Brazilian Merchant Marine (AFRMM) is a fee charged to support the development of merchant marine and shipping construction.


List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes.

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Latest Update: July 2024