Patrick Bruha

Patrick Bruha

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


How To Import Fish And Seafood To Brazil

Patrick Bruha

Patrick Bruha

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Despite Brazil having one of the largest coastlines in the world, a high percentage of more than 60% of the fish and seafood that is consumed in the country is imported. In this article, we will learn how to import fish and seafood to Brazil.

Fish and Seafood imports to Brazil

In 2013, Brazil’s import of fish and seafood was more than 383.000 tons, accounting for around USD 1,3 billion. When compared to 2012, this was a growth of 12,5% in volume and 15,1% in revenue. Brazil’s top imported product in this sector were fish fillets, responsible for USD 479 million in revenue in 2013.

More than 47 countries export fish and seafood to Brazil, although the top six were responsible for more than 90% in revenue. The top six exporters of fish and seafood to Brazil are:

  • Chile, exporting more than 81.000 tons, amounting to more than USD 500 million
  • China, exporting more than 92.000 tons, accounting for USD 236 million
  • Norway, exporting more than 26.000 tons, responsible for USD 149 million
  • Argentina, exporting more than 37.000 tons, amounting to USD 112 million
  • Vietnam, exporting more than 54.000 tons, accounting for nearly USD 110 million
  • Portugal, exporting more than 14.000 tons, responsible for USD 96 million

Authorities involved in imports of fish and seafood

Anvisa, which is the National Health Surveillance Agency in Brazil and MAPA, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply are all integrated with the Sistema Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, which is Portuguese for National System of Health Surveillance, SNVS. The SNVS is involved in the imports of perishable products, such as fish and seafood.

In addition to Anvisa and MAPA, Ministério da Pesca e Agricultura, which is Portuguese for Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture, MPA, is also involved in the import of these products.

Necessary documentation and procedures

Before importing any product to Brazil, the importer needs to be registered with Siscomex, which is the Brazilian Foreign Trade Integrated System, where all foreign trade operations are registered and tracked by the Receita Federal, the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service.

An Import Declaration is to be registered at Siscomex before the imported products are loaded abroad. In order to get an Import Declaration, the following documents need to be presented:

  • Original bill of lading
  • Original commercial invoice signed by the exporter
  • Packing list, if applicable

In addition to the documents mentioned above, the following documents must also be provided for customs clearance:

  • Requerimento para Fiscalização de Produtos Agropecuários - Formulário V, which is Portuguese for Application for Supervision of Agricultural Products - Form V
  • Original International Health Certificate, issued by the Official Veterinary Service from the country of origin. In case of live specimens, an International Animal Health Certificate is required
  • Copy of Certificate of Origin, duly sworn translated
  • Import License Extract or Simplified Import License Extract

Fish and seafood imports require a special Import License in order for the export to be authorized. The importer must register a Requerimento para Anuência de Importação with Siscomex, which is Portuguese for Application for Approval of Import, at the Federal Superintendency of Agriculture, SFA/MAPA.

The Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture, MPA, will then be responsible for issuing a Technical Note on the need of an Analysis of Risk of Import, in order to evaluate the sanitary risks and requirements of the entry of such products.

Certification of exporting company

In addition, in order to export animal products to Brazil, a prior recognition of equivalence in sanitary inspection services is necessary between the importing and the exporting countries. If necessary, a representative of MAPA will proceed to inspect the facilities of the exporting company.

When the country already exports such products to Brazil, it is necessary that a foreign authority from the exporting country informs that the producer complies with Brazilian sanitary requirements and is able to export such products to Brazil.

This official statement should be sent in Portuguese to the exporting company’s national embassy or directly to MAPA’s Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Affairs of the Secretariat of International Relations.