Importation of goods as cargo in Brazil
In this type of import, the exporter delivers the cargo to an international carrier which transports it to a port, airport or border point in Brazil.
At the bonded port, airport or border point, the cargo is unloaded and delivered by the international carrier to a depositary – usually the company that manages the airport, port or port cargo terminal. It is also possible the removal of cargo to a dry port located in the secondary zone.
As a general rule, in land borders, dry ports are located in the primary zone. Then, the consignee of the goods (usually, the final importer) is informed by a cargo agent (the representative of the international carrier in Brazil) that its cargo was unloaded, handing him the corresponding “bill of lading”, a document which allows the importer to claim it legally before the Customs and the depositary (the port, airport or dry port operator company that stores the goods pending its customs clearance procedures).
Upon receiving the cargo, the management company of the port, airport, port terminal or of the land border precinct shall inform Customs on the cargo presence. This information is electronically provided in the Integrated Foreign Trade System (Siscomex).
Once the cargo presence is informed and in possession of the relevant bill of lading, falls to the importer (or its representative) to initiate the customs procedure to clear and release the goods. Such procedure is called “import customs clearance”
The formal Customs declaration referred to in the previous paragraph is called “Import Declaration” (DI) or “Simplified Import Declaration” (DSI). In addition to the electronic format, there is also the DSI in paper form, of limited use, for which uses are also explained in this section.
It is also worth remembering that the goods subject to sanitary controls and other specialized inspection (such as plants and their parts, animals, medical and pharmaceutical products, arms and ammunition) can only be designated in a DI after the consent from the their own control agency. This consent is formalized and manifested in the form of Import License (LI) or Simplified Import License (LSI), in the case that the clearance is performed by DSI. Both licenses are reported and processed in Siscomex, except for the clearance processed in DSI paper, where the consents can be formalized in the very DSI form.
The authorities may take action only after the lodgment of the declaration by the importer at Siscomex (directly or by means of a representative) or the delivery of the DSI form. It should be noted, therefore, that the Customs takes action only after the importer or its representative lodges a DI or DSI, also remembering that in Brazil the importer must lodge the import declaration within a period of ninety (90) days from the date of unloading.
Thereafter, the merchandise is considered legally abandoned and subject to the penalty of loss. Within that period, the Customs cannot assume any intention of the importer (which can even arrange for returning the goods abroad or their destruction) and, either, take action to promote the withdrawal from the Customs warehouse where it is located.
The importer, its agent (employee or manager) or a customs agency with a specific mandate is legitimated to perform the import customs clearance. In Brazil, anyone with managerial powers or the employee with a specific mandate for customs clearance, can act as agent of the importing entity. In either case, the agent or the customs broker must be qualified by the Customs.
An importer may accredit for the activities related to Customs clearance, more than one person, at any of the above categories, with unlimited quantities.
To carry out the import customs clearance, in addition to the corresponding DI or DSI, are also required:
- The bill of lading or substitute document , according to the Customs legislation;
- Power of attorney of the customs broker or his agent, if applicable; and
- Proof of the contractual relationship for the provision of logistics services, if the importer is the very logistics operator.
- Commercial invoice.
The goods may be cleared after the completion of the Customs clearance. However, the delivery shall also depend on the presentation, by the importer or his representative, of the corresponding Release Note for Foreign Goods (GLME) issued by the State Department of Treasury.
Once the GLME is presented, the goods may be released to the importer, emphasizing, however, that the non-payment of cargo storage and handling costs may give rise to retention by the depositary. About this retention, it should be noted that the Federal Revenue (Customs Service) has no interference.
Source: Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB)