Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Getting a Siscomex License

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Import licenses are a primordial step when planning on importing to Brazil and as they are issued through Siscomex, we decided to write an article about this instrument.


Brazil has a strong market that offers abundant business opportunities. However, before planning on exporting your products to the country, it is important to be familiar with the procedures adopted by Receita Federal.

The exported products must be in consonance with the administrative, customs and foreign exchange requirements adopted in Brazil. One of these requirements is to issue a Siscomex license.

It is important to say, however, that the Siscomex license is only the first step into the administrative flow in Brazilian Imports. If your imports are exempted of licensing, the next step is to give them the administrative treatment, then you must get an Import Declaration (DI) and, finally, go through customs dispatch.

If the imports are subject to licensing, before the DI you will need an Import License (LI), then you will need to authorize an agency and if it grants your shipping, you will then get an import declaration and finalize the customs dispatch.

Import License and Import Declaration

Before explaining what Siscomex is, it is important to give an introduction to the two documents elaborated through Siscomex: the import license (LI) and the import declaration (DI).

Basically, an import license is a document that authorizes the purchase of foreign goods. Through this document, the importer must provide information on the pertinent commercial, financial, currency exchange and fiscal nature of the intended operation.

The import declaration must contain the identification of who is placing the order, as well as the identification, classification, customs value and origin of the goods. It must be elaborated by the importer or their legal representative in Siscomex.

Siscomex charges a fee to cover costs in the utilization of the Integrated Foreign Trade System by the importer to register their import declaration. The amount charged varies according to the number of NCM classifications that are recorded on the import declaration. The average cost goes from BRL 40,00 to BRL 50,00 for each import declaration.


As a general rule, Brazilian imports are exempted from licensing and all the importers have to do is to get an Import Declaration at Siscomex, so that he can start all the customs clearance at the local unity of Receita Federal.

For some imports or special operations, that are subjected to a special control, the licensing may be automatic or not and take place before the shipping of the import abroad. Nowadays, the only operations subjected to automatic licensing are the drawback ones. Whatever the case is, the importer must consult Siscomex to check if the administrative treatment to which its operation is subordinated.

The import license gathers information related to the merchandise and to the operation in five files:

  • Basic Information file (related to the importer, country of origin and branches of the Receita Federal);
  • Supplier's file;
  • Merchandise file;
  • Negotiation file;
  • Complementary information file.

Siscomex is a computerized instrument through which the government controls Brazilian foreign trade. This tool aims to facilitate foreign trade operations, as it creates a single flow of information, decreasing the number of documents involved in these operations. It also reduces costs related to bureaucracy.

The access to Siscomex Importação happens through a connection with Serpro (Federal Service of Data Processing). Siscomex is where you will elaborate Automatic and non-automatic licensing (LI) and the Import Declaration (DI).

To operate Siscomex, the exporter, whether a private person or a legal entity, must be enabled through a password obtained through Receita Federal. This process will be executed through the applicant's requirement to one of the four modalities:

  • Ordinária: for legal entities who usually operate on the foreign trade;
  • Simplificada: to private people, including those who perform independent activities; legal entities; public or mixed economy companies; non-profit institutions;
  • Especial: for organizations directly related to public administration, autarchies and public institutions, international organizations and other extraterritorial institutions.
  • Restrita: only for consultation or for the rectification of customs declarations of legal entities or private people who had previously operated on the foreign trade and are not eligible for any of the previous modalities.

After checking which one of the options suits better your profile, you need to accredit a legal representative.

Accrediting a Legal Representative

In order to accredit a legal representative, you must enable a password to operate Siscomex and then you must accredit a representative to conduct the activities related to customs clearance.

The applicant can use the following methods to perform customs clearance activities:

  • Legal entities: through its directors, employees or a specially assigned civil servant in the case of an agency for public administration office, diplomatic mission or representation of an international organization;
  • Private people: personally;

It is important to remember that both private people and legal entities can opt for a customs broker.

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