Many international companies want to export their goods to Brazil, but are not aware of how to start or what is needed in terms of rules and good practices. So, we have listed the Do´s and Dont´s of importing processes in the country to answer some of the most frequent questions.
1 – Check importer limit for Import Radar license and Consenting Bodies
Many beginners and even accustomed importers forget to check the import limit granted by their Radar License and also if the product or company needs any special registration, license in consenting bodies bodies (Anvisa, MAPA, etc).
In these cases, the goods often arrive in Brazil and the importer is unable to release the cargo, generating high storage costs and, in some cases, the loss of the goods.
As a reminder, there are three RADAR limits:
RADAR limitado 50 (also called Express): in this modality, the declarant of goods may carry out import operations, in each consecutive period of 6 (six) months, up to the limit of US$ 50,000.00 (fifty thousand United States dollars), or the equivalent in another currency;
RADAR limitado 150 (limited 150): in this modality, the declarant of goods may carry out import operations, in each consecutive period of 6 (six) months, up to the limit of US$ 150,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars), or the equivalent in another currency;
RADAR ilimitado (unlimited): The declarant of goods, whose estimated financial capacity to carry out import operations, in each consecutive period of 6 months exceeds US$ 150,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars), will be qualified in the Unlimited modality and not will be subject to operating limits, whether for import or export.
2 – Shipment of cargo without notifying the importer
In some cases, exporters ship the cargo and do not notify the importer, or do not send a copy of the bill of lading (BL, AWB, CRT) so that the importer can verify the data, follow the arrival, redirect the container to a terminal with negotiated table.
This type of situation can generate costs in the correction of documents, correction of information in the Federal Revenue systems (Mantra, Siscarga*) and high costs of storage in the Primary Zone of the port/airport terminal while waiting for the correction of information for release of the process.
* Siscarga is the abbreviation for Siscomex Carga, a control system in Brazilian Foreign Trade that is responsible for the movement of cargo, containers and vessels that move through the entire Brazilian waterway structure.
3 – NCM verification and pre-shipment LI need
NCM stands for Common Nomenclature of Mercosur and is the customs nomenclature used in Brazil to enable authorities to classify products categories. This is the equivalent of Harmonized Commodity and Coding System (HS) used worldwide.
We often come across inaccurate classification of the imported goods, because in some cases, the exporter informs an HS Code that is incompatible with the NCM adopted in Brazil, which can generate problems and fines regarding the lack of an import license prior to shipment, or even at clearance, rectification of the Import Declaration (DI) for reclassification of the goods.
In Brazil, it is mandatory to include the NCM in the BL and Siscarga (only the first 04 digits) before the arrival of the cargo in Brazil, and when not correctly informed, there is a need to correct the BL, Siscarga and the extra correction costs charged by shipowners and freight forwarders.
4 – Origin of the goods
Another important point that often causes problems in clearance is the origin of the goods.
The Receita Federal (RF) requires that it be informed in the documents and in the import declaration:
• Country of origin (País de origem), which we can define as: the place of production/manufacturing of the goods;
• Country of purchase (País de aquisição), which we can define as: the place where the supplier/seller is domiciled;
• Country of provenance (País de procedência), which we can define as: the place where the goods were for shipment at the time of purchase
5 – Error in issuing documents
The point of much concern for importers is regarding the issuance of documents and the mandatory information that must be included in the documents.
According to the RF, the invoice must contain the following information (art. 557 of the Customs Regulation):
• full name and address of the exporter;
• full name and address of the importer;
• specification of the goods in Portuguese or in the official language of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or, if in another language, accompanied by a translation into Portuguese, at the discretion of the customs authority, containing the proper and commercial names, indicating the elements essential for their perfect identification. The official languages of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are English, French and Spanish;
• brand, numbering and, if any, reference number of the volumes;
• quantity and type of volumes;
• gross weight of volumes;
• net weight of volumes;
• country of origin;
• country of purchase;
• country of provenance;
• unitary and total price of each type of merchandise and, if any, the amount and nature of reductions and discounts granted to the importer;
• freight and other expenses related to the goods specified on the invoice;
• terms and currency of payment; and
• term of sale condition (INCOTERM).
6 – Use of wooden packaging and pallets
Another critical point in imports is the use of wooden packaging and pallets, as they must be treated in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures nº 15 (ISPM15), and must present, in legible form, the stamp of the ISPM 15 /IPCC mark.
In the case of wooden packages and pallets, without the proper treatment and respective stamp, the exporter is obliged to return the cargo, or if possible, separate the packaging from the cargo, and arrange for the export of only the wood to the country of origin, having to bear all the costs of the operation.
7 – Incoterm DDP – DELIVERED DUTY PAID is not possible
As the foreign seller does not have legal conditions to provide clearance for the entry of goods into the country, because they are no able to get an import license RADAR without Brazilian entity, this term cannot be used in Brazilian imports, and the DPU or DAP must be chosen in the case of preference for a condition disciplined by the ICC .
However, be aware that it is not recommended for exporters to use this kind of incoterm and to limit themselves to liability up to the port or airport of destination (CIF, CPT).
Indeed, customs procedures can be long in Brazil and will be totally out of the exporter’s control. The latter could then, in the case of a DAP or DPU incoterm, assume very high storage costs without being able to do anything about it.