There are specific tax exemptions for entities and individuals that import assets destined for scientific and technological research in Brazil. They are shown in this article.
The procedures for importing goods destined for scientific and technological research in Brazil have been simplified in 2007 by the Ministries of Science and Technology, of Finance, of Health, and of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
The government established a tax reduction for importation of machines, equipment, and instruments, as well as their parts and spare parts, accessories, raw materials, and intermediate products, in case they are destined for this purpose. These assets are exempt from the following taxes:
The reduction is only valid for the imports made by CNPq or Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, the national council of scientific and technological research, or non-profit entities that coordinate or perform scientific and technological research programs, in case they are accredited by CNPq. Federal, state, and municipal public entities, if accredited in CNPq, can also benefit from this exemption.
Before the Import
To import the goods destined for scientific and technological purpose, it's necessary:
- to be accredited or make an accreditation to CNPq
- to register in SISCOMEX, in case the amount of goods imported is greater than USD 10,000
- to check if the product imported need any other authorization from entities like Anvisa, Vigiagro, the Federal Police, the Brazilian Army, and others.
After that, it's necessary that the importer requires a proforma invoice from the exporter. This document must contain, at least, the following data:
- exporter's name, address, telephone number, and banking data
- name of the representative in Brazil, in case there is one, with name, address, telephone number, banking data, amount of commission to be paid, or a declaration of its nonexistence
- complete description of the products that will be imported (by item)
- amount to be imported (by item)
- net weight (by item)
- country of origin of the goods
- port of embarkation
- type of payment requested by the exporter
- term of forecast for the embark of the goods
- validity period of the invoice
- other expenses.
With the proforma invoice in hands, it's necessary to choose the import agent, which will provide the other necessary information for the import. The import agent may be the import team of the institution, a company of customs clearance; the Importa Fácil Ciência, of the Brazilian Correios, or a Courier company.
For Individuals - Importa Fácil
Scientists and researchers, as individuals, have been able to benefit from a similar exemption through Importa Fácil, a program for easy import of science.
The program Importa Fácil was created to accredit scientists and researchers in CNPq, authorising them to have the fiscal and administrative benefits that were only allowed for institutions.
Who Can Apply
All researchers that have the title of doctor or an equivalent scientific/technological profile - which correspond to:
- publication of complete articles, book chapters, and books
- human resources formation (supervision of masters and doctors projects)
- coordination of research projects
- scientific, technical and artistic production (patents, softwares, products, processes, techniques, exhibitions, etc.).
The main benefits of the registration in Importa Fácil are:
- the exemption of the import duty (II) and the industrialized products tax (IPI)
- the discharge of the Exame de Similaridade, the similarity exam, which only allowed the importation of assets that didn’t have a similar production in Brazil
- the increase of the limit for the application of the simplified regime from USD 3,000 to USD 10,000, not only when licensing, but also in the customs clearance for import.
Imports that exceed the amount of USD 10,000 are also exempt from the taxes, but must be made in the normal import regime.
The national council of finance politics, known as Conselho Nacional de Política Fazendária or CONFAZ, allowed the concession of ICMS exemption for the import of goods that are destined for scientific research, made by accredited researchers and under a project approved by CNPq.
The ICMS exemption is defined by the Treasury Offices of each state. CNPq attests not only the researcher accreditation and the approval of the research project, but also the concession of the import license LI or LSI.
CNPq doesn't establish an amount of import quotas for individuals, whose imports must be deduced directly from the annual global quota of USD 500 million, fixed by the Ministry of Finance. For entities, there is a quota of USD published monthly in the Federal Official Gazette, the Diário Oficial da União.