Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


What’s really the time in Brazil?

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Due to its wide longitudinal extension, Brazil has got four different time zones. Learn in this article what they are and what are the particularities of time in Brazil.

Time zones

A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. They were created in 1884 in a meeting in the city of Washington on which 24 countries participated. At the occasion, 24 four time zones were created taking into account how long Earth takes to make a complete turn around its own axis.

The meridian of Greenwich would be the initial mark (0º) and as one moves from east or west, the time zone changes. Taking into account that the Earth spins from west to east, the time zone increases towards the east and decreases towards the west.

The Brazilian territory has three different time zones, all located west from Greenwich. There used to be four different time zones in Brazil, but since 2008, Acre and the western area of Amazonas state were included in UTC -4.

Time Zones in Brazil

These are the three current Brazilian time zones:

UTC – 2

Including Brazilian islands and territories, UTC-2 is where Atol das Rocas, Fernando de Noronha, São Pedro and São Paulo, and Trindade e Martim Vaz are located. The difference from the meridian of Greenwich is of -2 hours.

UTC – 3

Considered to be the official Brazilian time, UTC-3 is called “Horário de Brasília” (Brasília time), UTC-3 includes:

  • Distrito Federal;
  • Paraná;
  • Santa Catarina;
  • Rio Grande do Sul;
  • São Paulo;
  • Rio de Janeiro;
  • Espírito Santo;
  • Minas Gerais;
  • Amapá;
  • Pará;
  • Maranhão;
  • Tocantins;
  • Goiás;
  • Piauí;
  • Ceará;
  • Rio Grande do Norte;
  • Paraíba;
  • Pernambuco;
  • Alagoas;
  • Bahia;
  • Sergipe;
  • Goiás

The difference from the meridian of Greenwich is of -3 hours.

UTC – 4

Includes six Brazilian states, being them:

  • Mato Grosso;
  • Mato Grosso do Sul;
  • Amazonas;
  • Rondônia;
  • Acre;
  • Roraima.

The difference from the meridian of Greenwich is of -4 hours.

Daylight saving time in Brazil

Some higher latitude countries use daylight saving time for part of the year. This is the case of Brazil. Adopted for the first time in 1931, daylight saving time in Brazil has changed several times until it reached the current format, dating from 2003.

Currently daylight saving is adopted in the South, Southeast and Central-west regions of Brazil, and also in Tocantins state, that although belonging to the Northern region of Brazil, has adopted the regime in 2012 due to the high consume of electricity. Since 2008, the regime starts in the third Sunday of October and goes until the third Sunday of February, unless it coincides with Carnaval. In this case, the daylight saving is extended for one more week.

This is the list of the states in which the daylight saving system has been adopted:

Important: as daylight saving is not applied to all Brazilian states, be aware that business hours will differ among the states, so take this into account when scheduling a meeting, for example.