Importing Products to Brazil: A Complete Guide

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Importing Products to Brazil

Planning to import products to Brazil? In this guide, we explain what you must know about import duties, taxes, product safety standards, labeling, licenses, and shipping to Brazil.

Import Taxes in Brazil

The tax system of Brazil is complex and has been subject to multiple changes during the past years. Currently, there are several kinds of taxes importers should be concerned about when importing products to Brazil.

The table below contains general information applicable to each of the taxes herein mentioned. Importers should read the payable tax instructions on the Brazilian Tax Authority’s official website or seek professional guidance from the concerned departments.

Import duties, VAT and other taxes

TypeCustoms Duty (II)  Value-added tax (ICMS)Value-added tax (IPI)
ScopeAll imported productsCirculation of goods, transportation and communication servicesIndustrialized goods, paid during import clearance by manufacturers/importers
Tax Rate Range10% – 35%Varies among Brazilian states (usually 17%-25% for imported goods)    0% – 330%
Average Tax Rate 10.73% (Excluded from agricultural products)18%    10%
Method of CalculationCIF value of the goodsDepends on the rule of individual stateAccording to the classification of the goods, based on the harmonized NCM Code
Tax PayerImportersEnd usersEnd users
Tax CollectorBrazilian Tax AuthorityState governmentFederal government
Customs threshold Not levied on imports with CIF value below $ 50Not levied on imports with CIF value below $ 50N/A
RemarkN/AState tax levied on the circulation of goods, transportation and communication services.Federal tax levied on most domestic and imported, manufactured products.

In addition to the above-mentioned taxes, Brazilian importers also need to pay PIS (Program of Social Integration) and COFINS (Contribution for the Financing of Social Security) taxes. Click here for more information.

Examples of the customs duties rates

Here are examples of different products’ imported duty rates to Brazil:

ProductDuty Rate
Toys and Children Products14%-35%
Kitchen Utensils14%
Accessories & Jewelry0%-18%
Apparel and Textiles26%-35%
Sport & Fitness20%
Beauty products18%

Brazil Product Regulations


INMETRO (the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization, and Industrial Quality) was created for the purpose of improving the quality and safety of products sold within the domestic Brazilian market.

Through its certification scheme, INMETRO regulates the standards for products and mandates that products must comply with it before marketed in Brazil.

There are two different types of Inmetro certification:

a. Voluntary Certifications (relevant for exporters from the US, EU, and other markets)

b. Compulsory Certifications (relevant for importers to the Brazilian market)

In this section, we mainly focus on the compulsory certification requirements for products that may present harm to a human’s health or to the environment. All products that require compulsory certification must be attested and labeled with the INMETRO mark before entering into the Brazilian market.

INMETRO products scope

The following is a non-exhaustive list of products that required to obtain compulsory certifications:

  • Safety helmets, including motorcycles helmets
  • Baby carts and cribs
  • Baby bottles and pacifiers
  • School supplies
  • Furniture
  • Metal and pressure cookware
  • Household appliances and similar devices
  • Toys
  • Electrical wires and cables
  • Led lighting
  • Medical devices

You can find a complete list on the INMETRO official website. Note that while the website offers an option to Google Translate most of the information, the official database seems to only be available in Brazilian Portuguese.

Here you find a list of covered products in the English language, although it’s not an official website and the list seems to be incomplete.

INMETRO certification procedure

In order to apply for the INMETRO, importers need to

a. Provide information regarding the company, manufacturer and product

b. Nominate a Legal Representative (Brazilian-based company)

The certification service will only start after the approval of the Legal Representative. Importers should do the following steps for certification application:

a. Hire a third-party lab-testing company to conduct product safety tests

b. Hire a quality control company to conduct factory inspection/assessment to ensure compliance of the manufacturer’s production

c. Submit the required technical documentation

Examples of INMETRO testing standards

  • NM300-2 Flammability
  • NM300-3 Migration of certain elements
  • NM300-4 Experimental chemistry sets
  • NM300-5 Chemistry sets other than experimental sets
  • NM300-6 Safety of electric toy


Some products are required to obtain an INMETRO Certification coercively and labeled with INMETRO mark before entering into the Brazilian market. For example, all electrical & electronic products must carry the INMETRO mark. The list includes:

  • Household appliances
  • Fans
  • Commercial electric ovens
  • IT Equipment
  • LED lighting


ANATEL stands for the National Telecommunication Agency Regulatory Authority of telecommunications, a public sector that regulates all telecommunication products in Brazil. It requires that telecommunication products must obtain Anatel certified before they can be used in Brazilian territory.

ANATEL products scope

All mobile and radio equipment products such as mobile phones, modems, radio broadcasting equipment, toys, system batteries, cables, connectors, and others.

ANATEL certification procedure

Similar to INMETRO, importers are required to submit associated documents and conduct lab tests and assessments for their products.

Also, for all imported telecommunications products intended for commercialization, the identification of the approval (ANATEL logo + ID number) must be completed before the product enters in Brazil, except for the cases and situations defined in the Operational Procedure.

ANATEL mark and warning labels

ANATEL requires both the product to be marked and to be labeled with a warning label concerning the users’ level of exposure to the radio-frequency released by the product.

Brazil Labeling Requirements

The Brazilian Customer Protection code requires labels of all the imported products to Brazil must provide the following information in Brazilian Portuguese:

  • Description of the product
  • Weight in the metric system standard
  • Composition of the product
  • Validity
  • Country of origin
  • Name and address of the importer
  • Any special warning on risks to health or security
  • Nutritional value (for foodstuff and beverages)

Special labeling requirements might be applicable to products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, beauty and hygienic preparations, foodstuff, and others. Importers of the above-mentioned products should consult professionals for more detailed information.

Customs procedures, licenses, and permits

Importing procedures of Brazilian customs can be complex and time-consuming, we strongly suggest importers obtain all the necessary eligible documents before sending samples or mass import to the Brazilian market.


Foreign and Brazilian importers must register with the Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX), a branch of the Ministry of Industrial Development and Commerce (MDIC).

Import License

When importing some categories of products, you are required to submit the import license. The import license is a document that contains information about the goods and the importer, country of origin, tax regime, currency exchange, and others.

The import license is usually valid for up to 60 days, starting from the date of shipment of the goods. Importers must bear in mind that, an import license cannot be extended once it expires, a new license application must then be made.

For textile products, the situation will even be tougher. Since the import license for textile products is only issued if the payment is carried out within 30 days following the date of the bill of lading, importers have to prove that they have effectively paid within the 30 days.


All importers must obtain a RADAR license before importing products to Brazil. There are three types of RADAR license, depending on the number of imported goods:

1.Limited radar license, which is usually applicable to smaller companies or by those that do not import on a frequent basis, with financial capacities lower than USD 150,000

2. Unlimited radar license, which is applicable to companies with a financial capacity of more than USD 150,000

3. Express radar license, which applies to some kinds of corporate bodies of various capital nature, you can consult the tax authority for details

License applications must be submitted to the tax authorities and the type of license is determined after a review of the financial capacities of the company.

The license is valid for 60 days from the date of shipment of the goods (sometimes from the date of the license application).

This period cannot be extended and, if it’s not sufficient, a new license application must then be made. The following is a recommended checklist of the required documents importers should prepare before the process of import:

  • Import Declaration
  • Simplified Import Declaration
  • Import Declaration ExcerptProof of ImportOriginal shipping documents, such as the bill of lading
  • An original commercial invoice (in English and Portuguese)
  • Packing list
  • Phytosanitary Certificate (for applicable products)
  • Health Certificate (for applicable products)

Prohibited imports

The following is a list of prohibited import items to Brazil:

  • Hazardous waste and other such materials
  • Used goods
  • Gambling devices
  • Goods and packages destined to children that replicate the shape of cigarettes or other similar tobacco products

Shipping from China to Brazil

There are more than 40 seaports spreading along the 8500 kilometers coastline of Brazil. Also, 90% of the country’s total exports and imports proceed via seaports.

Some of the important seaports of Brazil

  • Porto de Santos
  • Porto de Vitória
  • Porto de Paranaguá
  • Porto de Rio Grande
  • Porto de Rio de Janeiro
  • Porto de Itajaí
  • Porto de São Sebastião
  • Porto de Itaqui
  • Porto de Aratu

Shipping costs

The shipping costs from China to Brazil mainly depend on the following parameters:

  • Transportation Type (Sea / Air)
  • Shipment Type (FCL/ LCL/Express)
  • Incoterm (FOB / CIF / FCA / FAS)
  • Commodity Type
  • Transport Package (Carton / Pallet / Wooden Cases)
  • Weight, size, and shape of the cargo
  • Departure Harbor
  • Destination Harbor
  • Transit Time
  • Cargo Type
  • Carrier
  • Special shipping conditions such as heating or cooling

For the case of Brazil, a big concern for the high shipping cost comes from the bureaucracy. Besides regular import duties, importers might need to pay some extra fees upon the arrival of products to the ports, such as labor union fees, brokerage fees, port surcharges, and others.

Here a sample quotation calculated by World Freight Rates from Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro:

  • $881 – $974 for a 20’’ container (FCL)
  • $1,136 – $1,256 for a 40’’ container (FCL)

How long does it take to ship from China to Brazil?

Due to the long distance, the average shipping time (by sea) from China to Brazil could take up to 30-50 days.

Also, given to the complexity of the customs procedures, it is estimated that every ship that arrives in Brazil waits at least 5.5 days to have the goods delivered by the domestic agencies, whereas the world’s average is three days.

For airfreight, the shipping time is estimated to be within 14 days.

List of China to Brazil Freight Forwarders

In this section you can find a list of freight forwarder companies that are based in Brazil:

  • Hevile
  • Auscorp
  • DC Logistics Brasil
  • Falcon Shipping
  • MRM Logistics


Hevile was founded in 1997, operating as a freight forwarder and providing customs advisory services foreign trade businesses.

Other than offering traditional freight forwarding and logistics services, Hevile has some special services to meet the specific demands of the clients, such as consolidated shipments, which allows importers to share the space with other goods from other customers

They also offer AOG service, a specialized assistance 24/7 to meet the urgent demands when an aircraft faces technical problems during the transport, and transport insurance against all risks that may cause loss or damage to the transported goods.

Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Yes
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): Yes
  • Inland Truck Freight: Yes
  • Door-to-door service: Yes
  • Air Freight: Yes
  • Custom Clearance: Yes
  • Project Cargo: Yes
  • Packing: No
  • Warehousing: No
  • Amazon FBA: No
  • Supply Chain Management: No
  • Consultancy: Yes
Company Overview
  • Founded: 1997
  • Location: Rua Teófilo Otoni, N 15, Sala 812, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


AUSCORP, established in 2007, currently has more than 22 branch offices operating across Brazil.

The company provides full solutions for export and import, including freight forwarding and all further international door-to-door logistic support services.

As an international freight forwarding company, Auscorp operates in all ports, airports, and borders of Brazil, moving ocean, air and multimodal shipments from any origin to any destination in Brazil.

Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Yes
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): Yes
  • Inland Truck Freight: Yes
  • Door-to-door service: Yes
  • Air Freight: Yes
  • Custom Clearance: Yes
  • Project Cargo: Yes
  • Packing: No
  • Warehousing: Yes
  • Amazon FBA: No
  • Supply Chain Management: No
  • Consultancy: Yes
Company Overview
  • Founded: 2007
  • Location: General Osorio, 1005, Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil

DC Logistics Brasil

DC Logistics Brasil was established in 1994. The company offers global freight forwarding and logistics service, with proactive follow-up, flexibility to customer needs and online cargo monitoring tools.

Currently, the company has 12 branch offices operating throughout some of the most important cities of Brazil: Itajaí­ (SC), Curitiba (PR), São Paulo (SP), Manaus (AM), Porto Alegre (RS), Campinas (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Vitória (ES), Belo Horizonte (MG), Recife (PE), Salvador (BA) and Fortaleza (CE).

Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Yes
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): Yes
  • Inland Truck Freight: Yes
  • Door-to-door service: Yes
  • Air Freight: Yes
  • Custom Clearance: Yes
  • Project Cargo: Yes
  • Packing: No
  • Warehousing: Yes
  • Amazon FBA: No
  • Supply Chain Management: No
  • Consultancy: Yes
Company Overview
  • Founded: 1994
  • Location: Rua Azevedo de Macedo, 20, Conjunto 42, Bairro Vila Mariana, São Paulo, Brazil

Falcon Shipping

Founded in 2008, Falcon Shipping is a company specialized in freight forwarding services. Falcon Shipping offers a wide range of international logistics, distribution and shipping services.

The company is also involved in customs brokerage, vessel and aircraft chartering brokerage, door-to-door services, trucking, warehousing, export and import documents, as well as all other services covering the logistics and freight forwarding industries.

Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Yes
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): Yes
  • Inland Truck Freight: Yes
  • Door-to-door service: Yes
  • Air Freight: Yes
  • Custom Clearance: Yes
  • Project Cargo: Yes
  • Packing: No
  • Warehousing: No
  • Amazon FBA: No
  • Supply Chain Management: No
  • Consultancy: Yes
Company Overview
  • Founded: 2008
  • Location: Av De Pinedo, 528 – Sala 06 – Socorro, Brazil

MRM Logistics

Founded in 2004, MRM is a logistics company specialized in domestic and international shipping brokering by air, sea, and road, and customs consulting.

MRM provides custom made shipping plans for companies of all sizes and segments. The company has also promised to offer instant alert with all the details of the reservation, from the departure until the arrival at the final destination of the freight using the tracking systems.

Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Yes
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): Yes
  • Inland Truck Freight: Yes
  • Door-to-door service: No
  • Air Freight: Yes
  • Custom Clearance: Yes
  • Project Cargo: Yes
  • Packing: No
  • Warehousing: Yes
  • Amazon FBA: No
  • Supply Chain Management: No
  • Consultancy: Yes
Company Overview
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: 83, Visconde de Inhaúma Street, Floor 19 – Room 1701, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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