Temporary Import of Goods to Brazil
This article will walk through the steps of how to temporarily import goods to expositions, fairs and congresses.
There are several reasons why goods can be temporarily imported to Brazil without paying import duties; the most common and easiest are the goods intended for expositions, fairs and congresses.
If you are planning to temporarily import goods to be repaired or to be assembled, we recommend you to contact a customs broker for more information. Although no import taxes are covered for this type of temporary import, the costs involved can be very high, due to high handling costs and time-consuming procedures.
Choose a Freight Company
Shipments via Courier are not recommended. According to the Brazilian laws, courier services are used for the remittance of documents only. All large international transport companies use local customs brokers to clear the goods into Brazil.
There are many customs brokers in Brazil and working directly with a trusted Brazilian broker can save you both time and unpleasant surprises.
Step 1: Locate a Consignee
In order to ship and complete the customs clearance of your products into Brazil, you will need to locate a consignee.
Most transport companies and customs brokers that work with events on a regular basis offer consignee services.
Never ship any product to your own company name in Brazil with the address of the venue. It will be blocked by customs and returned.
Step 2: Prepare Documents
The following documents must be prepared in either English or Portuguese.
- Airway Bill / Bill of Lading / Truck Bill of Lading
- Packing List
- Copy of a document confirming the Participation on the Event
Your customs broker will most likely ask you to add some lines in Portuguese to the Airway Bill in order to speed up the customs clearance.
For products produced within one of the Mercosur's Member Countries, an Origin Certificate is required.
When transporting goods in wooden boxes, a Fumigation Certificate or Heat Treatment Certificate will be required, notarized by the Brazilian Consulate at origin.
The invoice and packing list need to be two different documents. The invoice has to include:
- Invoice number
- Place and Date of Dispatch
- Quantity shipped
- Full description of all items including brand, serial and part number
- Unit price: Every individual item in U.S. Dollars
- Total price
- Harmonized System code for each invoiced item
- Gross & Net Weight
- Total FOB Value
- Total Freight Charge
- Total Value
When completing the documents, be as specific as possible, do not declare freight “as agreed” or similar terms as Brazilian customs will not accept such information. Missing or faulty information can become costly. See section that covers fines.
The invoice and packing list must be issued on company letter headed paper, stamped and signed. Copies are not acceptable even with original signature.
Step 3: Obtain Approval from DECEX
When all the documents are ready, you should send them to your customs broker in order to get them approved by DECEX before the goods are embarked.
The goods should not be shipped before the necessary import approval is obtained from DECEX.
Step 4: Ship Goods to Consignee
The goods can be shipped to the consignee's address. Upon arrival in Brazil, the customs broker will have to present the DECEX approval for the customs in order to get the goods cleared for their destination.
If the goods are shipped by Air, the original set of documents must follow with the cargo while if they are shipped by Sea, the original set of documents must be sent by courier to the Brazilian customs broker.
Temporary imported goods to Brazil will only get permit to stay in the country for a limited period of time according to the length of the event and for a maximum of 5 years.
Step 5: Re-export Goods
The goods will have to be re-exported to the country of origin or any other country within other country as soon as the exposition, fair or congress is finished. Time Frame The time frame for custom clearance of temporally imported goods highly depends on how well connected your customs broker is with the local authority at the port or airport that your goods arrive at.
Normal time for custom clearance in São Paulo is:
- 14 – 21 days from arrival by air at Guarulhos / Viracopos
- 21 – 35 weeks from arrival by sea at Santos Port
Separate documentation must be issued for temporary import and permanent import without import duty. Permanent import normally includes promotional material, giveaways and other promotional literature.
Even though such products do not have a commercial value, you will have to declare the correct prices, as Customs may not agree with the declared value, causing delay and significant penalties.
It's strongly recommend not to ship any alcohol, beverages or food products as this will make the custom clearance process more complicated.
Selling Temporary Import Goods in Brazil
All products temporarily imported to Brazil must be returned to the origin. It's possible to return the product to Brazilian customs control for then selling the product to a licensed Brazilian importer.
It's very important that the goods physically return to the customs warehouse before the licensed Brazilian importer starts the nationalization process and pays all duties and taxes.
The import duties for shipments under the temporarily import scheme are only suspended and can become payable if the imported material fails to be re-exported for any reason whether by unauthorized sales, theft, destination or loss.
Brazilian customs do not tolerate any kind of mistakes (not even the small ones), and all documents should be double-checked before arriving in Brazil. To give an idea about fines, here is a short list of examples:
- Harmonized Code in the invoice does not match with the described good.
Fine: 10% on the CIF Value
- In case the real weight of the cargo and the weight stated on the documents vary in more than 5%.
Fine: USD 2 500
- Not presenting all the requested documents.
Fine: USD 2 500 per month
- Not attending Customs Requests within the time they stipulate for every request.
Fine: USD 2 500
- Omitting any kind of information about the cargo:
Fine: USD 2 500
- Not presenting a Packing List.
Fine: USD 250
- Any mistake on the invoice or any other document necessary to clear the cargo.
Fine: USD 100
- Number of volumes in the Packing List does not match the real quantity at the cargo arrival.
Fine: USD 100 per volume in the shipment
- In case of under or over evaluation of the price of goods declared on the invoice.
Fine: 100% of the difference will be charged as fine
- Shipping the cargo before the Customs Previous Shipping Authorization is issued.
Fine: 30% of the CIF value
Hand-Carry and Accompanied Luggage
Sending goods as Hand-Carry or as Accompanied Luggage is strongly not recommended, as Brazilian regulation understands that these are procedures to transport only personal belongings and not commercial goods.
The Brazilian legislation concerning accompanied luggage is restricted and rigorous, being exempt from tax for all the personal goods and products acquired by the passenger coming from abroad, up to the maximum value of USD 500.
If you have additional questions please feel free to use the contact form below the article.