In Brazil, the Federal Revenue (RFB) performs the customs administration functions and is responsible for the control of vehicles, cargo and goods entering or leaving the country. The RFB registers the Customs declaration and processes the corresponding Customs clearance.
As Customs authority, the RFB also administers the taxes on foreign trade transactions and the trade defense measures (antidumping rights, safeguards and countervailing measures).
In some cases, the import operation shall also be subject to prior licensing by the international trade authority, which is performed by the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex). The exportation of some products may also depend on prior registration within Secex. In most cases, however, the registration and licensing are not necessary.
In many cases, import and export also depend on the prior approval (authorization) of other authorities from specific technical areas, such as public health, animal health and phytosanitary controls and public security, among others.
The controls performed by Secex and specialized authorities in the above areas take place before the customs clearance for both exports and imports.
In case of accompanied baggage, there are situations where travellers are not required to declare their belongings to Customs, but there are cases where the legislation imposes such an obligation for goods brought in the baggage from or shipped to abroad and, depending on the situation, the obligation to pay the import tax.
Among the traveller’s goods subject to the obligation to declare to Customs are also the carrying valuables (cash amounts) over R$ 10.000,00 (ten thousand Brazilian Reais) or the equivalent in other currencies.
For goods imported or exported via an international courier company, the obligation to declare the transaction to Customs relies on that company.
It should also be noted that in Brazil, in addition to federal taxes, the import of goods as cargo (and in some States also for the import of goods by way of a courier) is also subject to the Tax on Distribution of Goods and on Communications and Interstate and Intermunicipal Transportation Services (ICMS), which is a State of the Federation and Federal District tax.
For customs clearance of goods imported as cargo, it is necessary that the State or the Federal District Treasury issues a document called “Release Note for Foreign Goods” – GLME or exempts from such obligation. Without GLME or the exemption of its issuance, the Federal Revenue of Brazil (Customs Service) cannot authorize the delivery of the imported goods to its consignee. The arrangements for the issuance of this document must be accomplished by the importer before the State or the Federal District Treasury.
Source: Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB)
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