What is the best way to ship goods to Brazil ?
If you landed on this page, it is probably because you’re about to do an import or export between China and Brazil.
On this purpose, it is the perfect page to find valuable English information about this subject. No matter if you’re new in the international trade field, or you’re a well-rounded global player, this page is containing all the information that you need to implement a freight process between the two continents. We’re detailing all the issue about the goods and cargos, without regarding the type of goods you’re aiming. From a tiny parcel fitting a carton, to dozens of cubic meters requiring several containers, we’re explaining all you need to know on the topic here. Our decade of experience in international trades and our numerous clients in Brazil enabled us to sum up what is frequently asked, and the issue that are existing when trading between the two countries. We will provide you also interesting links and advices to put your trades on a next level.
For your freight between Asia and South America, SINO Shipping is the partner you need. Almost everything can be asked, in terms of air, sea freight and trucking for all kind of items, even if they are hazardous or perishable.
First, we’ll discuss the different freight methods linking China to Brazil. Afterwards, the customs clearing process will be fully explained. Finally a quick review of the diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries will be made.
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Customs clearance in Brazil
Both China and Brazil are members of the BRICS. The two countries are cooperating in numerous fields, and investments are flowing between them. But no FTA or Trade in Goods agreement are still existing or planned between them. This said, it will be very difficult for you to be exempted of duties and taxes when you’re importing Chinese products into Brazil. Also, you must ensure yourself that all the documents required for your import are provided, if you don’t want your shipment being blocked in customs. Depending on the goods you’re importing, a huge amount of paperwork can be asked by the Brazilian customs. We can take in charge the entire process for you, if you are not skilled to do it.
First of all, be aware that without an authorization from the Brazilian government, you cannot perform international trade. To be allowed, you must obtain a Radar License, that will give you access to the Siscomex electronical interface.
The Siscomex platform
Siscomex is the Foreign Trade Integrated System, functioning electronically. You will be able to find all the needed documents for the import on Siscomex.
Thanks to this web platform, you can communicate with all the different governmental agencies involved in your import process on the same place. You can share with them information, instructions and documents about your cargo.
As explained above, the importer must register at the Siscomex to be able to do any international trades. To reach the Siscomex one of the two Radar licenses must be obtained. It is issued by the Brazilian Federal Revenue, that will provide it within two weeks.
Radar Pessoa Jurídica (RPJ)
The “Radar Pessoa Juridica”, is a License granted to legal entities such as enterprises. A financial analysis of the enterprise will determine which one of the three existing RPJ will be issued.
- The Limited Radar issued for enterprises with a financial capacity inferior than 150.000 USD.
- The Unlimited Radar issued for enterprises with a financial capacity superior than 150.000 USD.
- The Express Radar issued for the NGOs, public enterprises or companies using the Express customs clearance.
Radar Pessoa Física (RPF)
This License is not issued to companies but to persons that wants to import goods for professional purpose (if they are farmers, craftsman…) or for own use. It is not granted for commercial purpose, so the products cannot be sold.
The Import Declaration
You can fill it electronically via Siscomex, before the clearance of your shipment. The document is detailing all the commercial information, the applicable taxes and the currencies exchange rates. It is one of the most important documents.
The Simplified Import Declaration (DSI)
It is used to ease the process, when your goods are valuing less than 3.000 USD. It is also used for donated goods and temporary admissions.
The Import Declaration Excerpt
It is a document frequently asked by customs during the clearance of your goods. It resumes the important data written on the Import Declaration and the Simplified Declaration.
The Import License (if needed)
If necessary, the Import License can be issued by the specific authority in charge of the type of goods that are aimed to be imported. Actually, 15 government agencies are able to grant an import License. We are detailing the six principal agencies that you may have to deal with to obtain this document below.
The IL is providing commercial and financial details on the import process and the goods to be imported, also it informs about:
- The importer
- The exporter
- The country of origin
- The place of arrival and goods’ clearance
- The supplier or manufacturer
- The type of taxation and tax classification
- Net and gross weight and quantity
- Precise description of the products
- The total price
- The Incoterms
- The payment method
Like the DSI, the Simplified Import License is simplifying the import procedure if the goods you’re trying to import are valuing less than 3,000 USD.
The Import License Excerpt is resuming the important data written on the Import License or in the Simplified Import License.
Six major government agencies for an Import License
The Anvisa is the government department responsible of the Health and Quality. All the import of medicines, cosmetics, health and food products needs to meet their requirements, because if not, the health of their users may be endangered. Your goods will undergo two screenings of the Anvisa, to be allowed to enter the Brazilian market.
- Prior to the import process, they will analyse samples
- During the customs clearance, they will find out if the goods are still corresponding
Also, raw material or bulk products, requires a shipment authorization from the Anvisa before being shipped, by applying for a Request for Authorization of Lading Abroad.
The power of action of the Anvisa is very large, and a blocking of your goods in customs may happen faster than you think. So, take the time to be fully in accordance with their requirements.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, the MAPA, is ruling the import of products with animal or vegetal origin. Companies that are importing this type of goods, like natural cosmetics, must register by obtaining an Import License from the MAPA. To register, you must provide the following documents to the Federal Inspection Service (SIF):
- A duplicate of the Articles of Association
- A duplicate of the CNPJ Card
- The Registration Form of your enterprise
- The Importer Declaration of Adequate Conditions for Goods Storage
The SIF Inspector will watch if your products are legal, if they respect the Brazilian sanitary standards, and if the palette or wooden box carrying your goods were correctly fumigated.
The Inmetro is the Government Authority responsible to analyse the quality of goods. Most of the time, your products need to be certified by Inmetro to enter the Brazilian market. To obtain this certificate, two solutions are in your hands:
- Reach a foreign agency or laboratory that is acknowledged by Inmetro
- Reach directly Inmetro to test samples of your goods prior to your import
Also, a special license will be asked by Inmetro to import them, it is the “Declaration of Release for Import of Products”.
IBAMA is the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources. It acts under the governance of the Ministry of Environment and is protecting and watching the sustainable exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
Anatel is the National Agency of Telecommunications. It is managing and promoting the telecommunication activities in Brazil.
ANP is the National Agency of Oil and Natural Gas. It is the government agency ruling petroleum and gas related activities. It acts under the governance of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The Certificate of Origin (CO)
The Certificate of Origin should come on top of the list when it comes of international trades documents. It is an official document, delivered by a government or a notary public, witnessing that the goods traded were obtained or manufactured in a country and precise area.
The Bill of Lading (BL) or Airway Bill
When you’re trading goods internationally, the Bill of Lading is an essential, like the Certificate of Origin. The CO testifies of the identity of your goods, while the BL is witnessing of the identity and information of your cargo, the payment from the importer to the carrier, and the issuance of the LC (Letter of Credit). The Airway Bill is the exact same document as the BL but is issued in case of an air cargo.
Here are all the details about the cargo contained in a Bill of Lading:
1 = Shipper
2 = Consignee
3 = Notify party
4 = Vessel No.
5 = Port of loading / discharge
6 = Place of receipt / delivery
7 = Containers No.
8 = Goods description
9 = Net weight
10 = Dimensions / volume
The Commercial Invoice
Customs will verify if the goods contained in your shipment are following your declaration with this document.
The commercial invoice must give all the information below, to be well-received by customs:
- Identity of exporter and importer
- Invoice number
- Precise description of the products
- Total and unit price in USD
- HS code
- Net and gross weight and quantity
- Total FOB value
- Total freight price
In case of various products, the packing list is necessary to provide to customs. It should detail the HS code of the goods you’re transferring.
The Proof of Import
It is granted by customs officials on the last step of the customs clearing process, after that all the import documents have been evaluated. It is officialising the nationalization of your items in Brazil.
Other Documents Required for Customs Clearance
- The prescription of the Practitioner, in case of medicines imported by individuals
- DARF to testify of the payoff of the duties
- All other claimed documents, to meet precise legal requirements for the acceptance of your shipment
- The MSDS document, if the goods are hazardous
Like the majority of the countries, Brazil is employing the Harmonized System (HS) of Tariff Nomenclature, to attribute an identification number to traded goods. It’s a framework of numbers and letters, that is attributing a unique combination to each product. The combination is called a HS code. As a part of the MERCOSUR, the south American Free Trade Area, Brazil is also using the NCM (Mercosul Common Nomenclature) which consists in a complementary number of the HS code to identify goods.
The diagram below is explaining the meaning of a HS code:
After finding out the HS code of your goods, you can determine the duties and taxes applicable to your shipment with this calculation scheme:
In Brazil, there are 5 taxes that you will be dutiable when you’re importing goods from overseas. The taxes you will pay are based on the CIF value of your items.
- The Import duties (II): CIF Value
- The Tax on Industrialised Products (IPI): ((1+II) x CIF)
- 2 Social Contributions, the PIS and the COFINS: (1 + ICMS x (II + IPI x (1 + II)))) / ((1 – PIS – COFINS) x (1 – ICMS)) x CIF)
- The Value Added Sales Tax (ICMS): CIF + Cost IPI + Cost COFINS + Cost PIS + Other Costs
By diminishing the CIF Value of your shipment
Because most of the taxes you will pay are based on the CIF value of your items, you must reduce it at the maximum.
Decreasing the Import duties by doing the final assembly of your components in Brazil
To sum up the idea, products that needs to be assembled or to undergo further transformations in Brazil before being sold are usually more lightly taxed than end products. To benefit of this situation, we advise you to study if the assembly of your products in Brazil will be more profitable than importing it ready to sell.
Decreasing the Import Duties, if your products are not existing on the Brazilian market
If your goods are still not available in Brazil, the “Ex-tarifario” policy is shorting from 2% the import duties that should apply on your goods.
For benefiting of this scheme, you must ask a certificate for non-similar products in Brazil. It normally takes a month for you to obtain it.
Then you must ask the “Ex-tarifario” to the Secretary of Production Development. You must provide them with the information concerning you or your company, details and purposes of the products, the import volume, and the goal of this import. It will take 5 months at the most for your request to be treated.
The Federal Revenue Service is the agency responsible of the goods clearance in Brazil. With the documents provided, the FRS will determine which taxes and clearing procedure will suit to your goods. Here is an overview of the different types of customs clearance procedures when importing in Brazil.
Definitive Customs Clearance
This process is implemented for all the Brazilian companies that are importing products from overseas. The goods are considered as owned by the Brazilian importer when entering the territory. This process allows all the legal procedures to be implemented before the reception of the goods by the importer.
Non-Definitive Customs Clearance
This clearance procedure is occurring when the goods imported are not aiming to stay in the country for a long period of time. So, they are still owned by the exporter during their staying in Brazil. The time of their staying is already defined before they come.
If the goods are entering the territory for non-commercial purposes, they will be tax exempted and no fees will be charged too. If the goods are entering the country for commercial purpose, the duties and taxes will be charged proportionally to the staying time of the items.
Customs Clearance in Advance
This process is occurring when the goods must be cleared and received by the importer asap, because they are perishable, or other valuable reason. In these conditions, all the import file is checked before the arriving of the products in Brazil.
The common point between all the procedures is the step-by-step progress of the clearance, which is usually the same. We’re going to detail it next.
Step-by-step clearing process
As detailed above, all importers in Brazil must first ask for a Radar License to be able to register themselves in Siscomex.
If there is a need for a special authorization provided from a government agency, the importer must demand an Import License or a Simplified Import License. Afterwards, the shipment process to Brazil can begin.
The Importer must pay the Import Duty, IPI, PIS, COFINS, ICMS and the applicable taxes to the Federal Revenue, before the arrival of the goods. It is the necessary condition for customs to begin clearance.
After the start of the cargo transfer and before the clearing of the goods, the importer must fill in the Import Declaration or the Simplified Import Declaration through Siscomex.
When the customs clearance is beginning, the Excerpt of the Import Declaration and the Excerpt of the Import License (if necessary), must be provided to the customs officer.
Then, the same officer will issue the Proof of Import, witnessing of the nationalization of the goods.
Customs contact in China
Customs contact in Brazil
The shipment will be released from custody after the bank transfer being made to the exporter. When the transferred money is received by the exporter, he shall send the commercial invoice and the export order.
The BRICS, motor of their cooperation
The BRICS is the economic organization where our two countries are belonging, with India, Russia and South Africa. This organization is aiming to boost cooperation and trades between the emerging markets. Brazil is providing 20% of the collective budget, while China is providing 40%.
Chinese investments in Brazil are largely augmenting, going from the offshore petroleum activities to the development of the railways. Most of the Brazilian goods imported to China are agricultural or natural resources, while in the other way it’s heavy equipment and manufactured products. Brazil and China also established a currency agreement worth of more than 40 billion of USD, of Reais and Yuan. It aimed to avoid the use of US Dollars for transactions between the two countries. Because China is self-sufficient in terms of money and investments, Brazil investments are not required and presents on the Chinese territory.
According to the World Bank’s statistics, China is the first largest partners of Brazil in terms of imports, and the second in terms of exports. In 2016, Chinese goods represented 17% of the goods imported into Brazil, which was corresponding to 23 billion of USD in value. 19% of the goods exported from Brazil where destined to the Chinese market, which is corresponding in value of 35 billion of USD. On the other side, Brazil is the 7th import partner and the 23rd export partner of China, with 1% of the Chinese imports.
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Brazil is the fifth biggest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, China and the USA. It is forming the biggest part of the south American continent and owns half of the continent’s population. Because of its great population and its tremendous territory rich in natural resources, Brazil has the potential to become one of the biggest economies of the world in the next 20 years. Its long coastline, measuring around 7,500 kms is giving to Brazil a major interface on the Atlantic Sea. A lot of major ports of south America are in Brazil, helping the country to export its great agricultural and technological products. 90 % of the goods and products traded in Brazil are transiting via maritime freight.
Major ports of Brazil
Port of Santos – SP
The Port of Santos is the busiest port in Brazil, and in South America. It’s a strategic port because it supplies the city and the region of São Paulo, which is the biggest economic area of the country. Almost 30 % of the Brazilian foreign trades are flowing through Santos. Half of the GDP of Brazil is produced in the São Paulo State.
The major products exported from Santos are:
- Agricultural products: Soy beans, coffee, meat, sugar, Alcohol, corn, fruit juices
- Industrial products: Oil and petroleum products, vehicles, Steel and Iron
The main products imported in Santos are: Caustic soda, salt, phosphate, sulfur, coal, aeronautical and vehicle part
Port of Vitória – ES
The port of Vitoria is one of the fastest growing port of the country. This is explained by the offshore oil and gas industry located nearby. Also, it is in the top three of the busiest Brazilian ports in terms of cargo value.
The major products exported from Vitoria are:
- Agricultural products: Wood, tea, coffee
- Industrial products: Oil and petroleum products, ores, steel and iron, marble, nickel, vehicles
The main products imported in Vitoria are: Home appliances, cereals, vehicles, fertilizers
Port of Paranaguá – PR
Paranagua is the largest Brazilian port for the exportations of Brazilian grains like soybean and corn, and other agricultural products like ethanol. It is taking in charge grains coming from all the states of the country, and from neighbour countries also.
The major products exported from Paranagua are:
- Agricultural products: Soy, corn, meat, sugar, wood, ethanol.
- Industrial products: Vehicles
The main products imported in Paranagua are: Fertilzers, Oil and petroleum products, cereals, salt, vehicle components
Port of Rio Grande – RS
It is the most recent and the less congested port of the Country. Serving also other countries, it is one of the major ports of the southern part of south America. It is also an important port for the exports of soy beans.
The major products exported from Rio Grande are:
- Agricultural products: Soy, cereals, tobacco, meat, rice, wood
- Industrial products: Furniture, paper, petroleum products
The main products imported in Rio Grande are: Fertilzers, Oil and petroleum products, automobile components, chemical products
Port of Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Located on the eastern side of the second biggest city of the country, the port of Rio de Janeiro is one of the main spots of entrance and exit for the second biggest economical area of the country. It explains why it is in the top 5 busiest ports of the country.
The major products exported from Rio de Janeiro are:
- Industrial products: Steel and Iron, paper, petroleum products, vehicle components, chemicals, plastics and paper
The main products imported in Rio de Janeiro are: Cereals, vehicles, chemical products…
Port of Itaguai – RJ
Situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro and close from the city, it is mainly used to export the products coming from the largest mining territory of the country, Minas Gerais.
The major products exported from Itaguai are:
- Industrial products: Steel and iron
The main products imported in Itaguai are: Coal, aluminium, petroleum products…
Port of Itajaí – SC
Port of Itajai is one of the busiest ports of the Santa Catarina State, and the biggest of the country for the export of reefer containers.
The major products exported from Itajai are:
- Agricultural products: wood, sugar, tobacco, frozen meat
- Industrial products: paper, iron products
The main products imported in Itajai are: Textiles, chemical products, motors, cereals
Port of São Sebastião – SP
São Sebastião is important, because it is backing up the port of Santos in the aim of serving the São Paulo industrial region in resources. A Petrobras terminal is present there to manage oil imports. It is one of the major ports for the handling of bulk cargos.
The major products exported from São Sebastião are:
- Agricultural products: livestock (beef, sheeps…)
- Industrial products: petroleum products, vehicle components
The main products imported in São Sebastião are: Iron and steel products, sulfur products, cereals, general cargos
Sea freight transit times
Here are the usual transit times, for a China-Brazil cargo:
|Itaqui||Vitoria||Rio de Janeiro||Santos||Itajai|
|Tianjin||40 days||42 days||42 days||42 days||42 days|
|Dalian||39 days||42 days||42 days||42 days||42 days|
|Shanghai / Ningbo||39 days||40 days||40 days||40 days||40 days|
Guangzhou /Hong Kong
|41 days||37 days||37 days||38 days||38 days|
|Qingdao||40 days||41 days||41 days||41 days||41 days|
*Please note that those transit times are just indicative timing between China and Brazil
Sea freight rates
*Despite its long transit times, sea freight is a well-used method to transfer Chinese products to Brazil
It is explained by the two major benefits provided by this solution: huge quantities of products can be shipped at very affordable costs. If you have to ship several cargos regularly, it will be your best deal from far.
As detailed before, SINO Shipping will implement tailor-made freight services for all kind of items, without regarding the volume! We’re ultra-flexible to perfectly suit all your requirements.
In spite of its wide area, only 14 International Airports are connecting Brazil to the rest of the world. On the other side, China is owning around 60 International Airports, that are managing the most intense world cargo traffic. Cathay Pacific Airways, a Hong Kong based cargo airline has codeshare agreements with LATAM Airlines Brazil. They are the only cargo airlines that are linking Brazil to China (via Hong Kong) directly. Most of the other international cargo airlines are doing stops in the USA before joining Brazil, when they come from China.
Air freight transit times
On door-to-door, 1 day is required for your shipment to transit to Brazil, when departing from China by cargo plane. To receive your items at your address, around ten days are required, when transfering them via a regular air freight. With a courier air freight (express), 6 days on average are necessary to provide the same transport performance.
Air freight rates
*The price of your air freight will be calculated based on the chargeable weight of your items.
Two methods are necessary to sort it out, the first is the gross weight, and the second is the volumetric weight. The biggest weight value will be the one kept, to quote your freight.
*The quoting process is different for courier services. Your shipment will be charged with this volumetric weight ratio: 200 Kgs = 1 cubic meter.
*If your address is not close to a Brazilian port or airport, you can request our trucking services for door-to-door deliveries.
SINO Shipping is proud to propose the most complete trucking services in Brazil, thanks to our great network. No matter where you are, there is always a way to reach you. We’re present in every multimodal platform of the airports and ports in Brazil, to keep your items flowing, from sea or air to wheels.
The risk side of a freight is always a hot topic. A vessel or plane wreckage, terrible weather or malice leading to a theft are possibilities that shouldn’t be ignored. SINO Shipping partnered only with the most trustful insurers in the business, to provide extra coverage of your goods. When you subscribe, if damages are affecting your goods, you will be fully refunded.
Depending on the type of products you are shipping, you will be charged 1 to 3% of the shipment + transport value.
Play it safe, if a supply shortage can be lethal to your company. A further security on your cargo should be always welcomed!
Why choose us ?
SINO Shipping, we understand perfectly the needs of our customers and establish a win-win collaboration with them.
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