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Brazil: Country Profile

Capital Population Official Language Currency Exchange Rate Time Zones Brasilia 201.1 million (Source: CIA) Portuguese Real Reals (BRL) per US dollar - 1.77
(2010) (Source: CIA)

Dialling Code Postcode Format Export Commodities

+55 99999 99999-999 Transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
(Source: CIA)

3 Zones: GMT -02:00, GMT -03:00, GMT -04:00 Daylight saving times operate third Sun Oct to third Sun in Feb for majority of GMT -03:00 time zone changes to GMT -02:00

Import Commodities

Machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
(Source: CIA)

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, 35 times bigger than the UK. It borders with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador. Because of its size, it spans three time zones. Brasilia and the southeast region, which form the economic centre, operate at GMT -03:00. Daylight Savings time, where the clock is put forward an hour, is observed in the majority of this region starting on the 3rd Sunday of October and usually ending on the 3rd Sunday of February. The North of the country is dominated by the Amazon River and jungles. In the agricultural south, German and Italian are still spoken alongside the major language of Portuguese. Tumucamaque National Park, created in 2002, is the worlds largest tropical forest park. Sao Paulo is Brazils largest city with 10.9 million people. Its one of the worlds largest metropolises and is twice the size of Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo is part of the southeast region of Brazil, which also includes Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. This is the economic hub of the country, home to 43% of the population occupying just 11% of the countrys land mass. The Brazilian economy represents half of Latin Americas GDP and is rated eighth in the world for GDP Purchasing Power Parity (Source CIA). Brazils membership of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) indicates its growing economic status and potential for further growth. This rapid economic growth should be of interest to every British exporter and importer.

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Brazil Fact Sheet

Gateways into the country: Number of Service Centres: DHL Zone: Delivery: Invoicing: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Viracopos 21 10 Door-to Door Service from DHL. No Third Parties. Exports and Imports are billed in Sterling in the UK.

Prohibited Items Specific to Brazil

Asbestos Cheques, cashier (NI) Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials Firearms or parts of Gambling devices Ivory Personal mail Pornography Postal envelopes Precious metals and stones
DHLs standard list of prohibited items also applies.

Transit Times
UK to Brazil Brazil to UK 2 to 4 Days 3 to 4 Days UK to Brazil - Example Transit Times Sao Paulo Rio de Janeiro Brasilia Vitoria Porto Alegre Recife 2 days 2 days 3 days 3 days 3 days 4 days

The majority of shipments sent with DHL are to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the economic centre of Brazil, and are covered by a 2 day transit time.


Customs requirements for Brazil can seem complex, but its just a matter of knowing whats expected of you and avoiding the common pitfalls. DHL can assist you with getting everything right. You can speak to your Account Manager or contact Customer Services on 0844 248 0844 for advice. DHL electronically transfers essential customs documentation during transit, obtaining customs approval for many shipments prior to their arrival in Brazil. It means that potential problems can often be highlighted and corrected during transit, speeding up the whole process.

Shipment Types
There are two types of shipments recognised by Brazilian authorities: Courier and Formal.
Courier (Informal Clearance) Formal

This is mainly used for documents and samples. customs require the original waybill and commercial invoice. A customs broker is not required. Import duty is 60% of customs value*; payment of ICMS tax (State tax) is also required, which is an average of 18% but varies according to state. Items that can be released as courier shipments are: Material imported to Brazil by legal entity with foreign exchange cover up to US$3,000* Items in quantity that do not characterise a sale Samples: Quantity sufficient only to get acquainted with the product, with customs value of up to US$3,000* (subject to the Customs Officers interpretation) Books, magazines and newspapers up to US$3.000,00* exported from Brazil by legal entity for resale

All other shipments must be cleared as a Formal Import; this must be stated on the waybill in the Goods Description field. customs require the original waybill (see Essential Waybill Information), original commercial invoice and packing list, both of which must be signed in blue ink. The commercial invoice should also include the terms of sale (Incoterms) and country of origin. A prior import license, with approval dated prior to shipping, is also required for certain products, such as alcoholic beverage and tobacco products. Prior import licenses are issued based on the classification of the product. Brazil operates a version of the Harmonized System (HS) commodity codes, the Mercosur Common Nomenclature (NCM). The appropriate NCM term can be determined at

Brazil Fact Sheet

The Brazilian International Trade Secretariat (SECEX) will confirm which products require a prior import license (Guia de Importa). DHL can also assist with this, please contact your Account Manager. Customs also require the receiver of the goods in Brazil to be registered with Brazilian Customs (RADAR). In addition it is a legal requirement to use a customs broker for customs clearance; this is a service DHL can provide. Shipments that can be cleared as Formal Imports are: Items for personal use Unaccompanied luggage Items with customs value over US$ 3,000* Donations to organisations registered with the government Material that requires prior import license. Clearance through the Formal mode can actually reduce customs charges, as the import duty is based on the classification of the goods, opposed to a flat rate of 60% in the Informal mode. DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) is not allowed for Formal Imports, the recipient must take responsibility for the customs charges.


Tax ID

All imports require the Tax ID of the recipient, which is similar to a company registration number. The term Tax ID will not necessarily be recognised in Brazil; the terms to use are: 1. Cadastro Nacional Pessoa Juridica (CNPJ) (Businesses) 2. Cadastro de Pessoa Fisica (CPF) (Private individuals) Shipments without this ID will be stopped by customs. If the Tax ID cannot be provided, then an accurate phone number for the recipient should be provided, and DHL will attempt to contact the recipient during transit.
Accurate and Precise Goods Descriptions

This code needs to be included under the goods description of the waybill and on the commercial invoice. Descriptions must be precise, accurate and detailed. This is particularly important for foodstuffs, chemicals and medicines.
Other Unusual Requirements

1. Commercial values must always be in US Dollars 2. Both waybill and commercial invoice must be typed and should be in English. If the waybill must be hand written, extreme care should be taken to ensure it is legible. DHLs shipping tools provide typed waybills; please contact your Account Manager for further information on shipping tools. It is strongly advised that only typed waybills are used when shipping to Brazil.

Brazil operates a version of the Harmonized System (HS) commodity codes, the Mercosur Common Nomenclature (NCM). The appropriate NCM term can be determined at

For further information For more information please visit or contact our Customer Service Team on 0844 248 0844

*Customs Value: value of goods + international freight + international insurance

Valid from: 02/2011 | Version: 01

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