General Concepts on Import and Export in Brazil – Part I
In Brazil, there are three main ways to conduct an importation or exportation, although some of them have restrictions on the type of good that can be the object of the operation or as to the purpose for which they are intended for.
The first way, on importation, corresponds to goods carried as cargo by an international shipping company from abroad to a port, airport or border point in Brazil or, on exportation, corresponds to goods transported as cargo by an international shipping company from a port, airport or border point in Brazil to abroad.
In the “cargo” way, on importation, the goods are delivered by the international carrier to the importer or the depositary on a port, airport or border point, and is under the responsibility of the importer to perform or hire all the procedural formalities to remove it from the landing location or border crossing area.
For “cargo” exportation, the goods are transported by the exporter or by a domestic carrier hired by the exporter, to a port, airport or border point in the country where the goods are submitted to exportation controls. Following the completion of the respective procedures, the goods can be delivered to an international carrier for the provision of transportation to abroad.
This way is known as “import under cargo condition” or “export under cargo condition” but, in general, when talking about “import” or “export” is simply talking about this type of operation.
The second manner is related to the good transported from abroad to the address of the importer in Brazil, or transported from Brazil to the address of the recipient abroad – here in Brazil we call it “door to door” import or export. The international carrier is also known as “international courier”.
In Brazil this method, when applied to international air transportation, is also known as “express delivery”. . It is worth noting that in Brazil does not exist the “door to door” in the waterway or land transportation way, except by means of operations performed by the Post and Telegraph Company (ECT).
And finally, the goods coming from or intended for abroad can enter or leave the country, together with the traveller’s baggage – we call it import or export as accompanied baggage.
Obviously a traveller’s baggage can also reach the country unaccompanied, before or after the arrival of its owner, but in this case such baggage is treated as “cargo”. The distinction between accompanied and unaccompanied luggage is that the first is carried in the traveller’s own vehicle or by the shipping company in accordance with the provisions of the transportation agreement of the traveller and in the same vehicle transporting the traveller, with no bill of lading to support it, but only a baggage tag related to the items transported in the basement or trunk of the vehicle, or no identification for the carry-on or hand luggage.
The baggage “imported as cargo” or “exported as cargo” shall always be identified by a bill of lading which is the document that warrants the consignee to claim it.
These three ways shall be presented in greater detail in this guide, together with the respective restrictions on the kind of goods and purposes to which they apply.
Regardless of the mode of import or export, it is worth mentioning that imported or exported goods must be submitted to Customs and, in most cases, shall be listed in the customs declaration which, depending on the way of import or export, shall be accomplished by the carrier or the importer/exporter.
Once the customs declaration is lodged, it shall be registered by the Customs and may be subject to Customs inspection, with or without physical examination of the imported goods. This procedure is performed by the Customs authority after the registration of the corresponding declaration and is called “Customs clearance”.
Source: Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB)