Anderson Neves

Anderson Neves


Customs Clearance in Brazil

Anderson Neves

Anderson Neves


In this article we’ll give you relevant information about what is important to observe and to plan for a safe import process into Brazil as well as the legal requirements applied.

How to get it started?

In Brazil it is very important to proceed with a previous analysis of the legal requirements applied to the specific product you intend to import. First of all, one must identify accordingly the HS Code (known in Brazil as NCM) which is the number for customs classification of goods and commodities. Differently from other countries, in Brazil you must be very precise and correct in order to avoid penalties or misunderstanding with local customs officials.

With the HS code in hands, you must look for a local reliable customs broker who is licensed to access the Brazilian customs system, known as Siscomex. Based on the NCM number, this system will provide the related import duties and taxes and most importantly: if there is any special requirement for the specific product.

Getting an import license

Most products are not subject to an import license; however, some goods are subject to registration of this import license previously to the arrival at the local port, airport of frontier. In general, the import license shall be approved by a government department. The are many organizations involved in this process: Anvisa for health and pharmaceutical products; the Agricultural Ministry (MAPA) for foods and beverage; INMETRO to control product quality for, etc.

In general, it is necessary to proceed with registration and other formalities in these departments and the support from a reliable customs broker is very important. Don’t hesitate to question and consult several customs broker in order to be sure that the instructions are clear and correct.

Taxes involved

The second step to plan your imports into Brazil is to make a forecast of all involved duties, taxes and local charges (clearance fee, port/airport charges, handling, etc).

Here is a general summary for these expenses:

Import duties and taxes: once the cargo has arrived in Brazil, the customs broker will register the import declaration and must pay the duties and taxes at sight, prior to the release of the goods. The duties/taxes are calculated over the CIF value of the cargo and in general are:

  • Imposto de Importação (Import Duty)
  • IPI
  • PIS

Once again, it is necessary to consult your reliable customs broker, who is the professional able to make the correct calculation.

Port, airport and warehousing charges

With the CIF value and duties calculation, it is necessary to consider the local port and airport charges. These charges may have a considerable variation based on air or sea cargo, LCL/FCL cargo, size/weight/dimension, location (which port and/or airport). Here are some examples:

  • Deconsolidation
  • BL Fee
  • Capatazias (THC)
  • Siscarga (AMS)
  • ISPS Charge (Terminal Security)
  • Delivery Fee (document release)
  • Handling
  • Collect Fee

Note that fees mentioned above are mostly charged by the Freight Forwarders, Carriers and NVOCCs.

  • Warehousing
  • Inspection
  • Handling
  • ISPS Code (Secutiry Fee)
  • Cargo weighting
  • Cargo Registration

Note that the fees mentioned above are mostly charged by the port terminal and by the bonded warehouse.

It is strongly recommended to request quotations from several Forwarders and Terminals (prior to the dispatch of the goods) and check carefully the mentioned fees, as they change a lot.

Also, you have to consider the customs clearance and Siscomex fees, as well as other charges in case your product is subject to an import license.

Finally, you must take care to prepare the paperwork correctly. The standard set of documents must contain:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill

Others documents such as an origin certificate and an analysis certificate may be required based on the NCM requirements.