Frequently asked questions - FAQ

***DISCLAIMER***

The following content is for information purposes only. Laws and regulations are subject to change without notice.

***DISCLAIMER***

Traveling to Brazil
Temporary Admissions
Postal Imports
Moving to Brazil
Donations
Individual Tax Registry – CPF
Weapons and ammunitions
Taxation of Resident Aliens (Foreign Nationals)
Bringing money into Brazil

Traveling to Brazil

1 - What can a Traveler bring from abroad without paying Customs Duties?

The baggage carried by the traveler identified by the baggage ticket supplied by the carrier during the check in procedures and which consists of:

  • Clothes and other clothing items, hygiene items, makeup and footwear for own use, in quantity and quality compatible with the duration and the purpose of his/her permanence in Brazil;

  • Books and newspapers;

  • Other items whose overall values do not exceed the quota of exemption, which is currently in the amount of five hundred US dollars (air or maritime travel) or three hundred US dollars (land travel, river or lake crossing), or the equivalent in another foreign currency;

  • Other personal or professional used items, when clearly kept abroad for a period of time longer than a year.

Notice: The baggage sent by mail or shipped as general cargo, even if in the same vehicle used by the traveler, is subject to the payment of customs duties and does not have the right of exemption quota. The traveler is only excused from payment of customs duties in the case of clothes, used personal items, books, handbills and newspapers.

2- Duty-free Shopping

The payment of customs duties is not required in case of goods purchased at duty-free shop facilities, when, cumulatively:

    1. 24 units of alcoholic beverages (liquor), observed the maximum of 12 units per type of beverage.
    2. 20 foreign made cigarette packs.
    3. 25 units of cigars or similar products.
    4. 250g of pipe tobacco.
    5. 10 units of makeup items.
    6. 3 units of watches, toys, games, electric or electronic equipment

Notice: Goods bought at duty free shop facilities, located abroad or in any other Brazilian airport in Brazil different than the airport of arrival will be inspected by the Brazilian Customs Authority and will not be exempt of the customs duties payment.

3 - Taxation

The value exceeding the exemption quota will be subject to customs duties, calculated at a 50% rate. The goods’ value to be considered by the Customs Authority will be the one stated in the invoice or receipt of purchase. In case of absence or inaccuracy of these documents, the value will be calculated and established by the Customs Authority.

4 – What goods cannot be brought from abroad as baggage/personal items?

5 - Payment of Customs Duties

The payment of customs duties precedes the property release and will be done by means of the Documento de Arrecadação Federal - DARF form, in any Brazilian bank, including (when available) ATM type machines.

In locations where the banking system does not offer conditions of payment upon arrival, the taxable items will be retained by the Customs Authority, by means of Property Retention and Guard Form ( Termo de Retenção e Guarda dos Bens ) that will be filed out by the customs officers in charge of the customs procedures and a copy of this document will be given to the traveler.

The Property Retention and Guard Form contains information regarding the traveler and the property retained.

The property release will occur after the presentation by the traveler of his/her copy of the Retention and Guard of the Property Form and the Documento de Arrecadação Federal – DARF which is the document that proofs that the customs duties have being paid.

6 - Which goods are prohibited to be brought to Brazil from abroad?

Notice: To those items listed above the penalty seizure is applicable. Therefore, they will be apprehended by the Customs Authority and the traveler will be subject to prosecution.

7 - The right to apply to the exemption quota

Each traveler is only allowed to apply for an exemption quota one time every 30 days. The right to the exemption quota is personal and non transferable, not being admitted the addition or transference of quotas among different travelers, even if members of the same family.

8 - Military personal and foreign diplomats

Notice: The instructions contained in this handbill do not apply to the baggage of military personal (transported in military vehicle, aircraft or ship) and of crew members, when in journey of business or service, and to the luggage of foreign diplomats and similar personnel.

9 - Inspection of the Accompanied baggage

10 - Goods to be declared

The traveler should direct himself to the places indicated as "Goods to Declare" when bringing:

Notice 1: In order to use a cell phone in Brazil that was purchased abroad, the traveler must register it upon his entrance in Brazil. Even if a cell phone is included in the exemption quota its identification and inspection must be done by the customs officers.

11 – Plants and Pets

Plants and pets (dogs, cats, and birds) may enter Brazil only upon presentation of the following documents, duly authenticated by the Consular Service:

  1. Phitosanitary certificate (for plants) issued by the competent local authority;
  2. Sanitary certificate (for pets) issued by a veterinary and duly stamped by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or equivalent agency in any other country, dated within one week prior to pets' departure;
  3. Rabies vaccination, as applicable.

Sanitary and phitosanitary certificates must also certify that, up to 40 days prior to boarding, no contagious disease had been detected in the place of origin. Admittance of animals other than dogs, cats and pet birds require prior approval by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.

12 - Minors

Minors, accompanied or not, also the have right to apply to the exemption quotas and, when aged less than eighteen years old, will not be able to bring alcoholic beverages, tobacco, cigarettes and similar products.

In case of accompanied minors aged of less than sixteen years old the DBA will be made by the adult. When unaccompanied, the minor is excused of the DBA presentation, without damage to the regular customs procedures.

13 - Penalties

When the traveler presents a false or inaccurate DBA, fines of 50% will be applicable over the value exciding the exemption quota.

Notice: Choosing the sector "Nothing to Declare" when the traveler is carrying items subject to taxation will be considered equal to the presentation of a false DBA.

14 - Strayed and lost Baggage

In case of strayed baggage, the traveler should, upon arrival, request to the carrier that the occurrence be recorded and also contact the Customs Authority in order to register the fact and assure the right to the exemption quota.

15- Temporary admissions

The temporary admission regime allows for traveler’s baggage (goods for personal or professional use, including motor vehicles, filming cameras, notebooks and similar equipment, sports equipment) to enter Brazil for a specified period and with no duties (suspended taxation), provided these items are not to be sold or industrially processed in Brazil. Unaccompanied luggage must be covered by a cargo bill.

Customs clearance is done at the port of entrance, requiring a declaration (" Termo de Responsabilidade ") signed by the traveler (complete identification must be provided: full name, passport number, address, profession and travel itinerary in Brazil), by which he/she will take responsibility for removing the goods from Brazil, once he/she leaves the country.

An itemized list of the goods (complete description, including as applicable, motor number, make, year, model, serial number and manufacturer; quantity; value for customs purposes in US$ dollars) is required when applying for the temporary admission regime. If not in Portuguese, customs authorities may require to have the list translated into Portuguese by a Public Translator (" Tradutor Juramentado ").

The traveler must offer proof of his/her status as a resident of a foreign country (the document may be authenticated by the Consular Service) and of ownership of the goods.

When entering in Brazil by land coming from other South American bordering countries, the traveler must direct himself to the nearest Customs Authority Office ( Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil ) in order to register his vehicle as a Temporary Admission Item avoiding future delays during inspections made by law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Highway Patrol or the State Police. The Brazilian Customs regulation considers automatically submitted to this regime vehicles owned by non resident foreign travelers when on transit exclusively in the border area.

The temporary admission regime can also be submitted (with full suspension of customs duties goods) with the following destination:

Notice 1: When applying for the Temporary Admission Regime and before departure it would be recommended that the foreign company contact the Brazilian hosting company or institution in order to send all the necessary information as stated above including the date of arrival, carrier name and flight number. The Brazilian hosting company should then contact the Brazilian Custom Sector at the Port or Airport of arrival in order to expedite in advance the Customs Procedures before the arrival of the merchandise or equipment. The same procedure should also be taken by participants of fairs, exhibitions and expeditions.

Notice 2: When the goods imported as Temporary Admission items arrive in Brazil as part of the traveler’s baggage, it is recommended that the traveler have on his/her possession a letter stating his/her position in the company, the purpose of the visit and a pro-forma invoice of the merchandise or equipment.

Notice 3: When leaving the Brazilian territory, the goods entered as a Temporary Admission items should, before checking-in, be presented to the Brazilian customs office located at the port of departure in order to register this fact in the RFB’S control system.

Postal Imports

Import of goods using Mail, International Express Mail, including goods purchased using the Internet – Simplified Taxation Regime/ RTS (Regime de Tributação Simplificada)

I - This Regime applies to:

II - Maximum value of the goods to be imported :

Maximum amount of the good to be imported through this regime is US$ 3.000,00 (three thousand US dollars)

III - Taxation Rate :

The taxation rate is 60% (sixty per cent) over the price stated on the commercial invoice added of the transport and insurance costs if they were not included on the merchandise total price. In the case of the goods imported using the services of international express companies (Courier), it will be added a 18% State VAT (ICMS);

Notice: In the case of gifts, the taxable price will be the one declared by the sender as long as compatible with similar goods available on the market;

IV - Software import taxation

Software media are taxed on a 60% rate only if the media value is separately discriminated in the invoice.

Notice:

If the media value is not discriminate in the invoice the taxation will be imposed on the total value of the merchandise.

V - Exemptions

VI - Tax Payment

In the case of import using mail services, considering goods with total value up to US$ 500.00, the tax will be paid by the beneficiary when retrieving the merchandise in the Post Office without any Customs formality.

When the value of the goods received exceeds US$ 500.00, the beneficiary will have to present the Simplified Import Declaration — Declaração Simplificada de Importação (DSI).

When using international express companies, with door to door services (courier), the Tax will be collected by the courier company directly to the Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil - RFB. Therefore, when the beneficiary receives the international express order the tax charged will be included in the total amount due.

Moving to Brazil

I – In case of travelers that lived abroad for more than one year and are returning to live permanently in Brazil

After living abroad for a period of one year or more, which can be verified by passport, college degree, Deed of Lease, energy bill, bank current account, labor contract, etc there will be no customs duties charged on the following imported goods:

a) Clothes, hygiene, makeup and footwear items in quantity compatible with the period of the permanence abroad.

b) Furniture and other home and domestic items.

c) Tools, machines, devices and instruments needed on studies or to perform a profession.

d) Artistic, intellectual and other works produced by the traveler.

Notice: Upon traveler’s request the Consular Service may issue a Statement of Residence in a Foreign Country (Atestado de Residência)

II - Minors

III - In the case of unaccompanied baggage the customs proceedings are as follows:

In regards to preparing the cargo to shipment and filling out the DSI form, it is strongly recommended distributing the cargo in numbered boxes in order facilitate the Customs inspection in Brazil. Usually, a list of all cargo contents is required for insurance purposes. A copy of this list should be kept by the passenger for the purpose of customs clearance in Brazil.

Basically, the traveler will need the following documents to clear customs regarding unaccompanied baggage:

IV – Motor vehicles and vessels

The Brazilian customs regulation does not allow the import of used motor vehicles and vessels. New vehicles are not exempt and will be taxed in full.

Donations

I - Requirements for Custom Duties Exemption

Before the items to be donated are shipped to Brazil the following procedures must take place:

1. Importation Licensing

The importation of donated goods is subject to the Non Automatic Importation License – LI (Licença de Importação Não-Automática) and it has to be registered in the Foreign Trade Integrated System – SISCOMEX (Sistema Integrado de Comércio Exterior).

2. Used Goods

As long as the legal requirements are met it might be authorized the importation of used goods as donations when directly made by (the Union; States; Federal District; Municipalities; entities of public nature; educational, scientific and technological institutions and non-profit institutions or organizations) to fulfill exclusively their needs, without payment or commercial purposes.

3. Pro Forma Invoice

Immediately after the registration of the Non Automatic Importation License within the SISCOMEX the importing party must file the pro forma invoice with the Departamento de Operações de Comércio Exterior - DECEX (Department of Operations for Foreign Trade) of Secretaria de Comércio Exterior - SECEX (Secretariat of the Foreign Trade) of Ministério do Desenvolvimento Indústria e Comércio Exterior – MDIC (Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce). The pro forma invoice must state the commercial value of the imported items and a declaration that the items are for donation purpose only and that no payment are due. In the case that the shipment and/or insurance cost are of the responsibility of a Brazilian importer, or if the beneficiary is responsible for reimbursing the cost of shipment, this information must also be stated on the pro forma invoice and also on the LI form under the additional information item.

4. Customs clearance and tax exemption request

The customs clearance of the donated items will take place upon the registration of the Simplified Importation Declaration - DSI (Declaração Simplificada de Importação) at SISCOMEX. That is also when the interested party should request the tax exemption for the donated items.

5. Compatibility of nature, quality and quantity of the donated items

The interested party must present to the Customs Authority proper documentation attesting the compatibility in nature, quality and quantity of the donated items with the activities developed by the beneficiary. This documentation should be issue by one of the following agencies:

- Ministry of Heath (for hospital and health related items)
- Ministry of Education (for items imported by educational institutions)
- Ministry of Social Security and Welfare (for items imported by public institutions)

6. Values of the goods

In the cases that the value of the imported items exceed US$ 1,000.00 (one thousand US dollars), the interested party must also prepare a donation letter or equivalent document, issued by the exporting party, translated (if not in Portuguese) with the authentication of the Chamber of Commerce or of a Brazilian Consulate.

7. Letter

The donation must be formalized through a letter (must be typed):

INDIVIDUAL TAX REGISTRY – CPF

1 - I am a non-Brazilian citizen, why would I need a CPF (individual tax registry )?

The Brazilian Individual Taxpayer Registry (CPF) is mandatory for individuals residing abroad who own property or other assets in Brazil subject to public registration, including:

The registration can be done through our website. Fill out the Non-Resident Individual Form (Formulário para Pessoas Físicas Residentes no Exterior). Take it to the nearest Brazilian Consular Service, along with the necessary documents. Please check the website of the consulate with jurisdiction over your area for information on the documents required.

2 - How can a non-resident update his/her individual tax registry (CPF)?

A non-resident individual can update his/her taxpayer registry by using one of the three following options:

3 - I have a CPF number but I never received a CPF card in the mail. How can I obtain my CPF card?

The Brazilian Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil (Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil – RFB) does not mail CPF cards outside of Brazil. The CPF cards can only be obtained at Brazilian post office branches (agências dos Correios), or at branches of the Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) or the Banco do Brasil.

Therefore, the applicant who resides outside of Brazil can apply for a CPF number at the nearest Brazilian Consulate, but can only obtain the physical card in person at a branch of one of the distributing agencies in Brazil, or through the use of a power of attorney, allowing someone else to pick up the document on their behalf.

The Brazilian Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB) also has available on this website a form that can be used as proof of your application and registry for a CPF card. Please visit the “Issuance of Individual Taxpayer Registry (CPF) form for nonresidents” item in our website for further information, or contact the appropriate Brazilian consulate with jurisdiction over your area.

Weapons and ammunitions

1. In case of gun users visiting Brazil

This fact sheet sets out the main requirements under Brazil’s Decree 3665 of November 20 th , 2000 for non-residents who wish to bring a weapon into Brazil.

2. Classes of firearms and devices

There are two classes of firearms and devices for the purposes of Brazilian law:

3. Regulation for the Inspection of Controlled Products

Excerpt of Decree-Law 3665, November 20 th , 2000

(Translation of selected parts of the Brazilian legislation in force, with the sole purpose of assisting foreign nationals traveling to Brazil carrying firearms and/or ammunition)

Customs Clearance Procedures Regarding Firearms and Ammunition Brought In As Personal Property

Art. 218. Foreign travelers who enter the Brazil carrying firearms and ammunition, (including handguns and pressure guns fired by the action of gas or springs) are required to present them to customs officials. The arms will be kept at the proper facility and an official "retention document" will be issued. No further delay will occur regarding customs clearance of other checked personal luggage.

  1. The foreign national will, then, be required to submit two(2) copies of a formal request (please, refer to Appendix XXXVII ), addressed to the "Comandante da Região Militar – RM" (Brazilian Army Commander of the Military District) possessing jurisdiction over the geographical area in question, along with the passport (showing the date of entry in Brazil) and requesting customs clearance of the firearms and ammunition in question.
  2. Upon receipt of the document by the Commander, the proper inspection procedure will be issued.
  3. Once the inspection has been completed by the regional office of the "Serviço de Fiscalização de Produtos Controlados - SFPC/RM" (Controlled Products Inspection Service) the proper Customs official will be duly notified, via the "Guia de Desembaraço Alfandegário" (Customs Clearance Form). One copy of which will be the document needed by the owner to proceed to the appropriate office to secure a firearms registration, if so determined.
  4. The firearms and ammunitions for which no clearance has been granted, may be returned to the rightful owner, within a 6 months time frame following entry in the country should the owner leave the country by the same port of entry. They may also be exported back to the country of origin, within the same time frame, upon release of authorization granted by the "Diretoria de Fiscalização de Produtos Controlados – DFPC" (Inspection of Controlled Products Directorate). The return of the firearms and ammunition has to be formally requested by the owner.
  5. Customs clearance will only be granted once the interested party has presented the document issued by the "SFPC/RM"stating that no further registration is pending.
  6. Following the time frame as established in this Article, § 4 above, the firearms and ammunition not cleared by Customs, or that have not been requested by the owner, will be held at the "SFPC/RM" for future disposal.

Art. 219. In exceptional cases, whenever involving foreign missions duly authorized to conduct research upcountry, or foreign nationals on special missions, or by invitation of the government, or shooting competitions, or authorized hunting, clearance of firearms and ammunitions of a restricted nature may be granted.

Art. 220. The clearance granted by military officials, in accordance with this Chapter, does not release the interested party from the requirements brought forth by Customs officials; the aforementioned clearance attests only to the fact that the Brazilian Army is imposing no restrictions.

4. Permited Firearms

The Brazilian legislation classifies firearms in general in two categories : firearms of exclusive use by the Armed Forces and allowed firearms . According to the Brazilian legislation, the allowed firearms are as follows: 

APPENDIX XXXVII

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE FORM FOR ITEMS REGARDED AS LUGGAGE

To His Excellency Commander of the ____ Military District (Full Name) ......................, (citizenship) ..............., home address ..................................,bearer of passaport nr. ...................., issued at (city and state) ..................., on (date) .........,having brought from .......... (country), as checked luggage (or shipped luggage), by vessel (or by flight nr.) ..................., on (date) .................., the products under the control of the Army as listed below, request Your Excellency to grant customs clearance for the items as held at the luggage warehouse .........................................

- ITEMIZATION –

(List of the controlled products brought in as luggage)

Firearms:

Type (a):

Kind (b):

Quantity:

Caliber:

Brand:

Serial Number:

Country of manufacturing:

Number of barrels (c):

Sights (d):

Barrels (shotguns or rifles):

Ammunition:

Caliber:

Quantity:

The petitioner certifies that, as soon as the "Guia de Desembaraço Alfandegário" (Customs Clearance Form), is received he/she will have it registered at the "Secretaria de Segurança Pública" (Public Security Secretariat), and that within the next two(2) years he/she will not bring identical firearms into the country.

Under those terms,

Asks for granting

Place and date

________________________

Full Name

Remarks:

  1. Two(2) completed Customs Forms, filled out in Portuguese. There is no need to have them notarized. Forms can only be obtained at the Port of Entry .
  2. Unless the foreign national is in the process of obtaining permanent residency, he/she is required to maintain the arms in his/her possession, during the stay and to take them back upon leaving the country;
  3. procedures for completing the form:

(a) hunting, target practice, self-defense (hand held guns), etc.;

(b) shotgun, carbine, pistol, revolver, rifle, etc.;

(c) should a gun be a two(2)-barrel type, state whether they are lateral or overunder ; for guns with more than two(2) barrels, inform the caliber of each;

(d) inform whether the gun is equipped with rear sight or not and the elevation.

Taxation of Resident Aliens (Foreign Nationals)

Taxable Income

A resident alien's income is generally subject to tax in the same manner as a Brazilian citizen. If you are a resident alien, you must report all interest, dividends, wages, or other compensation for services, income from rental property or royalties, and other types of income on your Brazilian tax return ( Declaração de Ajuste Anual - DAA ). You must report these amounts whether they came from sources within or outside Brazil.

Tax Rates

Resident aliens are generally taxed in the same way as Brazilian citizens. This means that their worldwide income is subject to Brazilian tax and must be reported on their Brazilian tax return. Income of resident aliens is subject to the graduated tax rates that apply to Brazilian citizens. Resident aliens use the Tax Table and Tax Rate Schedules which apply to Brazilian citizens found in the instructions for the Brazilian tax return.

Filing Status

Resident aliens can use the same filing statuses available to Brazilian citizens. You can claim the same deductions allowed to Brazilian citizens if you are a resident alien for the entire tax year. In the Brazilian tax return are instructions for more information on how to claim your allowable deductions.

Deductions

Resident aliens can claim the same itemized deductions as Brazilian citizens. You can claim personal deductions and deductions for dependents according to the dependency rules for Brazilian citizens.

You can claim a deduction for each person who qualifies as a dependent according to the rules for Brazilian citizens. These deductions also include medical/dental expenses and education tuition fees.

If you do not itemize your deductions, you can claim the standard 20% deduction (limited up to a certain annual amount) for your particular filing status.

Tax Credits

Resident aliens generally claim tax credits and report tax payments, including withholding and foreign tax credit.

Note: If the individual alien does not have a permanent or working visa, the Brazilian Tax Code considers him/her a nonresident person for the first 183 days of each year of residency in Brazil and as a regular Brazilian tax-payer after the 184th day.

Note: According to the Brazilian Tax Code the Brazilian tax-payer or alien with or without a permanent visa after the 184th day residing in Brazil must offer to taxation all revenues received. After presenting all revenues received, one can, under certain rules and conditions, deduct income tax already paid abroad from the income tax to be paid in Brazil.

Forms and Due Date

Resident aliens should file the annual Income Tax Return Form . The due date for filing the return and paying any tax due is April 30.

You are also allowed to pay the tax due in installments of up to six months.

Bringing money into Brazil

I will be traveling to Brazil and plan to take money (i.e. in cash, checks and/or traveler’s checks) with me. What is the limit and will I have to pay taxes?

There is no limit on the amount of money a traveler (Brazilian citizen or foreign national) can bring into Brazil. If a traveler is carrying a total of R$ 10,000 (ten thousand reais) or more, whether in cash, checks or traveler’s check, in reais, dollars or other foreign currencies, it is required to declare this value upon entry into Brazil.

This declaration is only for registration purposes, not for taxation. This is done by filling out a Currency Carry-On Declaration Form. This form can be obtained from the airline or boat carrier transporting the passenger, as well as at the port of entry in Brazil. A copy of this form can also be obtained on this website.