Cynthia Fujikawa Nes

Cynthia Fujikawa Nes

The Brazil Business


Registering Import Licenses and Declaration with SISCOMEX

Cynthia Fujikawa Nes

Cynthia Fujikawa Nes

The Brazil Business


All international trading with Brazil, whether importing or exporting goods, needs to be registered with SISCOMEX. In this article we will explain what SISCOMEX is and what operations can be registered with SISCOMEX.


Sistema Integrado de Comércio Exterior better known as SISCOMEX, or Siscomex, is a system, which was originally created in 1992 that allows the government to have full supervision of international trading in Brazil. Through Siscomex the government can enforce current and new laws that are applicable to international trading.

As the country implemented new systems that were related to the import and export of goods in Brazil, Siscomex turned into a hub to integrate these different systems, and these are divided into the following categories:

  • Importação, for systems related to imports to Brazil
  • Exportação, gathering systems related to exports from Brazil
  • Cargas e Logistíca, for systems related to cargo and movement of imported and exported goods
  • Regimes Especiais, for systems linked to special regimes, like drawback and transit
  • Cadastro e Habilitação, for systems related to the registration and establishment of companies and individuals involved on the import and export processes
  • Visão Integrada, which consists of a system with an overview status of all operations across all systems

Most of the imports do not require an Import License, however this does not eliminate the need of an Import Declaration, which is the Declaração de Importação also known as DI.

In cases where the imports require an Import License, which is known in Portuguese as Licença de Importação or simply LI, this must be obtained from the authority responsible for the specific category of goods that are to be brought to Brazil. There are currently 15 regulatory agencies that may be involved in issuing the import licenses and the main ones can be found in the article “6 Regulatory Agencies in Brazil

Qualifications to register with SISCOMEX

Private individuals and companies must be registered with SISCOMEX in order to perform imports or exports when the operation requires a license from SISCOMEX. Except in the case of simplified imports. As said previously, import operations that are not eligible for the simplified import process will require the importer to be registered on the SISCOMEX system in order to obtain the permits and licenses. This registration with SISCOMEX, which allows for the company or individual to access the system, is also known as RADAR.

To operate Siscomex, the importer or exporter, whether a private person or a legal entity, must be enabled through a password obtained from the Receita Federal. This process will be executed through the applicant in one of the four modalities:

  • Ordinária: for legal entities who usually operate in foreign trade
  • Simplificada: for private individuals, including those who perform independent activities; legal entities; public or mixed economy companies and nonprofit institutions
  • Especial: for organisations directly related to public administration, autarkies and public institutions, international organisations and other extraterritorial institutions
  • Restrita: only for consultations or for the rectification of customs declarations of legal entities or private individuals who have previously engaged in foreign trade but are not eligible for any of the previous modalities

It is also necessary to register a legal representative for the company. In order to accredit this person, it is necessary to login to SISCOMEX and subsequently register an individual to conduct activities related to customs clearance. The applicant can use the following methods to perform customs clearance activities:

  • Legal entities: through its directors, employees or a specifically assigned individual in the case of an agency for public administration office, diplomatic mission or representation of an international organisation
  • Private individuals: personally

It is important to remember that both private individuals and legal entities can opt to use a customs broker.

If you want to learn more about what RADAR is and how to obtain it we recommend you read the articles “Introduction to Radar”, “How To Obtain A Limited Radar License” and if you are importing as a private individual, check the article “Radar Pessoa Física In A Nutshell”.

Import License

The import license is registered online by the importer with SISCOMEX and will contain both commercial and financial information about the goods to be imported to Brazil. There are 5 different forms to be completed, and you should have at least the following information available:

  • Name and full contact information of the importer, including CNPJ
  • Name and full contact information of the exporter, supplier or producer
  • Country of origin
  • Country where goods were acquired
  • NCM code
  • Weight
  • Currency
  • Currency hedge
  • Total customs
  • Incoterms
  • Detailed description of the goods, including information like model, name, brand, type, serial number (if applicable), etc
  • Taxation schemes
  • Payment terms

This document is often completed by the importer or their legal representative at Siscomex.

Import Declaration

Siscomex charges a fee to cover costs in the utilisation of the Integrated Foreign Trade System by the importer to register their import declaration. The amount charged varies according to the number of NCM classifications that are recorded on the import declaration, being BRL 29.50 per item. The cost per DI, import declaration, registration is BRL 185.

For some imports or special operations, that are subject to special controls, the licensing may or may not be automatic and take place before shipment abroad of the import. Nowadays, the only operations subject to automatic licensing are drawbacks. Whatever the case is, the importer must verify with Siscomex if the administrative treatment to which its operation is subordinated.

The import declaration is submitted through SISCOMEX and contains information related to the products and to the operation in five different files, which need to be submitted either in predefined TXT or XML formats:

  • Basic Information file (related to the importer, country of origin and branches of Receita Federal)
  • Supplier's file
  • Merchandise file
  • Negotiation file
  • Complementary information file

The access to Siscomex Importação happens through a connection with Serpro (Federal Service of Data Processing). Siscomex is where you will elaborate Automatic and non-automatic licensing (LI) and the Import Declaration (DI).