The Brazilian chemical industry is ranked among the ten biggest in the world. But even so, 19% of all the products imported by Brazil are chemicals. This article will show how to import chemical products to Brazil and what the scenario is for this activity.
Brazil is a big consumer of chemical products because some activities that have a high demand for these items are crucial parts of the Brazilian economy. Some examples are agriculture, which widely uses chemicals in fertilizers, and mining.
The import, export and manufacturing of most chemical products in Brazil is supervised by Abiquim, acronym for Brazilian Association of the Chemical Industry. It is mainly responsible for trades involving chemicals with industrial uses, such as resins, organic and inorganic compounds.
Another important entity is Associquim, an acronym for Brazilian Association of Distributors of Chemical and Petrochemical Products. This association establishes the bridge between producers and distributors, and also has an important role in negotiations around the foreign trade of chemical products.
In 2012, chemical products were responsible for net sales of USD 71.2 billion. This amount is superior to the others presented by similar sectors, such as the Brazilian pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
According to information from Abiquim, Brazil imported USD 43.1 billion in 2012, approximately USD 28 billion more than what was exported by the country. This deficit has grown year after year since 1991, with rare exceptions, growing around 6% in comparison to 2011.
The first quarter of 2014, though, was considered discouraging by the sector. The local production of chemical products suffered a decrease of 4.8% when compared to the same period of 2013. This resulted in more importations, presenting a growth of 2.8% in the first three months of 2014.
Importers of chemical products need to follow basic measures and recommendations, that are applied basically for any category of foreign products that are willing to be sold in Brazil.
In addition, there are some specific measures that must be taken by companies importing to Brazil. These measures vary according to each product category. If items have any components that might be used in the making of drugs, for example, authorizations from the Federal police will be necessary. Others may require permits from the Ministry of the Environment, Anvisa or Ministry of Agriculture.
These authorizations must be requested directly to the responsible bodies. Associquim might also be contacted by companies to make sure what permits will be needed, according to the president of Associquim, Rubens Mendrano. He states that, in average, all licenses and authorizations require 60 to 90 days to be conceded.
Most Imported Products
According to recent data from Abiquim and the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, the most imported chemical products in 2012 were:
- Potassium Chloride
- Ammonium dihydrogen phosphate
- Medicine without compounds like Tiapride or DNase
- Other fungicides
- Terephthalic Acid
These products represented almost a quarter of all the chemical products imported in 2012. Some of them, like Potassium Chloride, Urea and Ammonium derivatives, are used in the making of fertilizers, being responsible for a great part of the imports.