Shipping To Brazil: Guide, Problems, Costs, Scams and Providers

If you have a friend or family in Brazil and tried to send them any type of product or product or package, you probably noticed that sometimes shipping something to the country isn’t that simple. Even for Brazilians, sometimes buying something from outside of the country can be extremely costly, especially now that Brazilian official currency (the Real) is unfortunately very devalued.

Shipping to Brazil is expensive because there are a lot of fees and taxes involved in the whole process, such as the Import Tax Rate and the Brazilian ICMs rate. These fees are usually higher than in most parts of the world, making it more expensive to ship to Brazil.

In this post, we are going to break down all the additional fees involved in the process of shipping something to Brazil, explaining how each of them contributes to making shipping to the country so much more expensive.

Why Is International Shipping So Expensive?

Before we get into the peculiarities of shipping to Brazil, we must understand the basic reasons why international shipping is expensive in general. Sometimes international shipping is so expensive that it becomes too costly to send something overseas. Here are five of the major reasons you usually have to shell out a lot of money shipping something internationally.

Fuel Charges (Boat/Plane)

Can you imagine how much fuel is necessary to ship something overseas? Not only is the package transported by airplane, but sometimes, the whole process also requires the assistance of trucks and boats, which all together increases the shipping price considerably.

In regards to plane shipping, the use of fuel is very substantial, and jet fuel specifically doesn’t exactly come cheap. Other than that, this type of delivery is usually pretty fast, so you are also paying for your parcel to be delivered much faster than it would if it was being transported by ship, for example.

Few Shipping Rates Options

Overall, shipping rates are determined based on two things:

  • the mileage that needs to be traveled in order for your package to be delivered
  • how your package is going to be delivered

When you ship something within your own country, there are usually several carrier companies that can make that delivery for you, so you end up having a lot of different options and budgets to choose from. Also, depending on how urgent you need that parcel to be delivered, that shipping fee can increase or decrease.

That doesn’t happen with international shipping, as you won’t have many options in regards to pricing. The whole international shipping process is somewhat expensive by itself, so you are pretty much stuck with either paying for the ratings they’ll charge or give up on shipping your parcel.

Bulk and Volume

Have you ever wondered why sometimes the shipping price can be more than twice (sometimes three times) the original price of your item? For example, I was looking to buy perfume online the other day in a US store, and the final shipping was over $75 for a $30 perfume.

That happens mainly because, as individuals, packages don’t get the volume discount they would get if you were buying in bulk. Think of it this way: it takes the same workforce and money to take one object or 50 items overseas, so a volume discount is given when making a bigger purchase.

So, for example, if you buy something with a couple of friends and split the international shipping rate, it will be much cheaper than if you were all making your own purchases individually. That mainly happens because the shipper also saves money in the process, as it will save on fuel and workforce while still profiting with the delivery.

Overhead Costs of Couriers

Overhead costs are expenses not directly related to the shipping itself but are part of the final bill. In general, they refer to the non-labor expenses required to ensure business continuity like accounting and legal fees, employee training, repairs, telephone bills, uniforms, etc.).

In regards to the shipping process, courier companies need both drivers and airplane pilots to make their deliveries, both of which need extensive training. In addition, when this employee is out making your delivery, he needs to be insured if something should happen, as well as having a salary and benefits. Now expand that thought to a company with hundreds of employees, and you get why these fees are so costly.

The amount of staffing and machinery necessary in order to ship your parcel to Brazil from anywhere in the world is one of the main reasons why international shipping is generally so expensive – Credit: Dreamstime – Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Aside from human resources, maintaining the land vehicles and airplanes in order is also very expensive. The machinery needs to be continuously checked on (by a specialized workforce) as well as cleaned. So aside from the drivers/pilots, there’s a whole team of people dedicated to keeping everything in check in the background.

As you can see, the entire process involves spending quite a bit of money to keep a courier business up and running, which is one of the main reasons why international shipping is so expensive.

More Steps Involved

When we think of local shipping, the whole process seems pretty simple, but there are already a lot of steps involved in making it work: your item is picked up, sorted in the delivery center, put on a truck, get shipped to another town (or city), get picked up by the delivery truck and you receive your parcel.

Now when we expand that on an international level, there are a lot more steps involved even before the item gets put on an airplane. There is a lot more moving around before the object gets shipped, as it goes through different delivery centers before being finally ready to be put on a plane.

All that moving around, of course, requires specific and trained human resources, as the parcels need to be handled with care so they won’t break or crumple. Nowadays, you can also check the full process by its tracking code, which means specialized software manages all the codes and a trained person supervising it. And that, as you already know, means more costs.

This is another reason why international shipping is so expensive, and there are few options in regards to how to make that delivery in comparison to domestic deliveries.

Parcel Final Weight

This is probably widely known, but the weight of the item you want to ship is going to impact the costs of the international delivery. And of course, the heavier the object, the more expensive the shipping will be.

And while you may wonder why the item weight affects international shipping more than domestic shipping since it’s done the same way, there is a very good reason for that. The cargo planes that are used to move that shipment around have very precise weight limits, as opposed to land trucks, for instance.

So, for example, if the object you want to send internationally weighs 500 pounds and the total weight that a cargo plane can carry is 20,000 pounds, your parcel represents 2,5% of the total weight. So that is going to impact the shipping costs for your item directly.

So unless you are able to pack your item more lightly (and only shipping light items), there not much you can do about that particular expense, unfortunately.

Why Is Shipping to Brazil Even More Expensive?

In order to understand why shipping to Brazil is expensive, we need to learn about how the importation process works in the country. And I say importation because even if someone sends you something from outside Brazil (without you actually making a purchase), that is already considered an importation according to Brazilian law, and hence, is bound to all inspection and taxes imposed by the Brazilian law Brazilian government.

Not only that, but the type of mail you’ll be sending/receiving also makes an impact not only on the shipping value you’ll be paying but also on the estimated delivery time. When someone usually sends something abroad, they go for the economic postal shipment alternative since express international shipping is much more expensive (especially when done by private shipping companies such as FedEx and DHJ, for instance.

While these may be hurdles you can work around, the taxing on imported products and goods is something that is unfortunately out of our hands, as those guidelines are submitted by the Brazilian government. So let’s try to understand how this taxing works in Brazil.

How Are Imported Goods Taxed in Brazil?

Exceptions aside (which we’ll check in further topics), all imported goods to Brazil are taxable, even when declared as gifts. The Receita Federal Brasileira (which is the Federal Revenue Service – think of it as the Brazilian IRS) is the institution responsible for supervising all incoming parcels that arrive in the country, and they have a random system of collecting samples for inspection.

This explains why some parcels are taxed when they arrive in the country, and some aren’t. I have bought several things from outside Brazil throughout my life and was always confused why some items were taxed, and some were not. However, after learning how the process works, I realized that the rule is for the item to be taxed, and if it wasn’t, it’s just a lucky exception.

What Is The Import Tax in Brazil?

The import tax in Brazil is a fee charged by the Receita Federal Brasileira (RFB) at the moment a product, or good enters Brazilian territory and goes through the RFB fiscalization at the distribution warehouse that received the product.

If the RFB analysis identifies that the product should be taxed, then the recipient of that good is notified (by either electronic or physical mail) of that, being informed of the total amount they should pay in order to retrieve it from the Correios (which is Brazil’s state-owned shipping company).

But it doesn’t always happen that way, and mistakes are made. Some products that shouldn’t be taxed are indeed taxed, while other goods that fit under the requirements for being taxed are not. Most Brazilian consumers have no idea of what their rights are in regards to appealing to the undue charge and generally comply with paying for the fee, unaware if they should or shouldn’t be taxed.

What Is The Import Tax Rate in Brazil?

The import tax rate in Brazil is calculated based on 60% of the product’s value, adding the shipping and insurance costs, as established by the Receita Federal Brasileira. Therefore, the taxing amount cannot exceed 60% of the value of the product or the total amount of US$ 3.000,00.

To do the right math, you need to take the original value of the product (based on the original currency it was bought in), add the shipping and insurance rates, make the conversion to BRL R$ (Brazilian Reais) and only then apply the tax rate.

For example: if you bought a laptop that’s worth USD 700 + USD 50 (for shipping) + USD 15 (for insurance), you have USD 775 for the total purchase. Based on today’s exchange rate (USD 1.00 = BRL 5,47), we would get BRL 4.239,25 for the total amount in Reais.

Therefore, this product will be taxed in BRL 2,543.55 (which represents 60% of the product’s value), and the total amount spent on the purchase would be BRL 6782,80 (BRL 4.239,25 for the product price and BRL 2.543,55 for the import tax rate).

It’s also important to highlight that the calculation considers the total value of the purchase, including shipment and insurance fees (which are optional). So if your parcel has more than one product, the tax rate will be calculated considering the total value of the parcel, regardless of the number of items or their individual prices.

Correios is the public entity in Brazil responsible for delivering good to citizens from both domestic and international nature – Credit: WikiCommons | Laczkowski

Think you already figured out why is it so expensive to ship something to Brazil? Think again!

What Other Fees Are Charged For Shipping Something to Brazil?

Yes, there are still more fees that are charged in the country. The ICMS (Imposto Sobre Circulação de Mercadorias e Serviços – which loosely translates to “Distribution of Goods and Services Tax) is another fee that could be collected while shipping something to Brazil or purchasing goods/services from outside the country.

The ICMS aliquot varies from state to state in Brazil (some states are not charged with this fee), and it is updated from time to time with no further notice. The ICMS aliquot is 17% in most Brazilian states, like Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, for example, but others (like Minas Gerais) charge 18% for ICMS.

But wait, we’re not done yet! On top of that, if your product does indeed get taxed, you’ll also need to pay BRL 15,00 (USD 2.47) for Correio’s postal dispatch. This fee is not included while calculating the taxes and is only added after all the rates are done and calculated.

Example: taking from our last situation, we reached a total amount of BRL 6782,80 for that laptop, remember? If we were to calculate the ICMS aliquot (let’s say we’re shipping this to someone in Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais), we would get BRL 1.220,90.

Adding it all up, we’d have:

BRL 6782,80 for the product + BRL 1.220,90 for the ICMS + BRL 15,00 (for the Correios dispatch) = a whopping 8.018,70 as the total expenditure for receiving that laptop in Brazil (USD 1.466).
Considering that the product’s original value was USD 700, you’d be paying twice the initial value just in taxes.

With all that taxing and money spending, you must be thinking…

Are There Any Exemptions in Import Rates in Brazil?

The direct answer is yes, but there is some confusion regarding this topic. There are two contrasting Brazilian legal texts that speak on this subject:

Law-Decree N. 1.804, from September 3rd, 1980, states in item 2 that goods contained in shipments worth up to USD 100.00 (or the equivalent in other currencies) are exempted from import rates when the object is destined to an individual. It also states that only the recipient is required to be an individual (and not a legal person or company).

On the other hand, Ordinance MF 156 from June 24th, 1999, states in article 1 that goods worth up to USD 50.00 are exempted from import rates if the item is destined to an individual and sent by another individual (not a legal person or company).

But which one of them is valid? Well, in theory, Law-Decree N. 1.804 is the one you should refer to, as the passage is established by law. But often, the Brazilian Receita Federal tries to charge importing rates by using the excuse that the sender is not an individual, which many people oblige due to not knowing their rights.

International Shipping to Brazil FAQ

How to Appeal to Incorrect Billing

Let’s say you are currently living in Brazil and get sent a package from your home country (or you make a purchase on an international website), and you get billed when you shouldn’t have been. There are two different ways to sort out this issue:

With ID Correios

If you are registered with idCorreios, the Correios’ import platform, you will see in the ‘My Imports’ section the charge will be visible with the detailed values. If any numbers are not correct, you can ask for a review of the amount, and the correct billing will be reissued.

If a fine is charged, be aware that it is described in Item 703 of Decree 6759/09, which speaks on the case the declared price is different from the actual value of the product. If you do not agree with the fine, just send the invoice, order number, or any document provided by the seller that proves that the declared value is correct.

Without ID Correios

If you are not registered in the system, you must go to the Correios branch informed in the withdrawal notice that was sent to your residence advising that your purchase was taxed, also bearing proof that your product is tax-free (or that the fees should be lower).

This proof can be a copy of the credit card invoice, order number, order confirmation email, and even screenshots of the website where the product was purchased. They must also be delivered together with a request for review, as these documents will be attached by the Correios and forwarded to the Receita Federal. The whole process takes 15 to 30 days to approve or deny the request.

If the Receita Federal denies any of your requests and you still want to fight for your rights, it is possible to file a lawsuit in the Special Federal Court (Juizado Especial Federal).

There is a small chance that the request will be dismissed. However, if this happens, it is still possible to make a statement to the Federal Public Ministry, gathering all the documents of the process and informing the disrespect to Decree-Law No. 1,804, which implies the crime of excessive exaction.

It is worth mentioning that no request or action requires the presence of a lawyer, given the value of the request, and since hiring such a professional would make the action unfeasible, the fee is insignificant compared to hiring a lawyer.

It is also very important to always act within the deadline established by the Correios in regards to the removal of the product. This way, you will avoid the collection of fines and storage fees. You can also pay for the informed fees and then change the review requirement, asking for a refund of the total amount paid.

Can I Appeal to Goods Delivered by Couriers?

Unfortunately, no. You can only appeal to tax collection when the product is delivered by the Correios.

If your item was delivered by couriers such as DHL and FedEx, for example, the import tax is already included in the total amount at the time of purchase (sometimes it is charged after delivery), and it is paid by the company in charge of delivery at the time the product is received in Brazil. As the tax is paid by an intermediary party, you cannot ask for a refund.

Even though it means spending a little bit more, in these cases, there is a guarantee that the product will be delivered to your home without having to worry about having to go to a post office, fill out a lot of paperwork or even deal with the bureaucracy of the entire fee review process, something that many people who shop at Amazon prefer for example.

However, it is also worth noting that couriers almost always pay ICMS in Brazil, regardless of their state, which increases the total amount to be paid at the time of purchase or upon arrival of the order.

Does the Import Tax Rate Applies to Anything?

No, there are some types of products that are completely exempted from paying for import tax rates, such as:

  • Books, magazines, newspapers and alikes, in addition to the paper destined to produce them;
  • Medications destined to individuals, upon proof of medical prescription (we will see more on this on another topic);
  • Fabric samples or color scales with no comercial value

There is an ongoing discussion on whether cultural items such as music and movies (and even games) should also be exempted from paying for import tax fees, but there is still no inclusion of such in the aforementioned list.

After calculating all the tariffs, duties, and ratings involved in shipping something to Brazil, you may realize why it is so expensive to ship anything to the country – Credit: Dreamstime |  Andrey Popov

Calculating Brazilian Import Taxes

Although there is a percentage indicated, the Brazilian Receita Federal usually tends to apply standard rates on imported goods, depending on the category of the product. This means, for example, that cell phones of different price ranges generally receive a “standard” rate of up to BRL 250.00 (US 45.00 instead of the 60% of the total value that we exemplified earlier in the post.

There is no way of telling what value will be applied to each product, so it would be interesting to research and consult with people who frequently import products from the same category you want to import. This way, you will have more accurate information that applies to your case.

If you are planning on importing something, keep in mind that:

  • In the best case scenario, you won’t be taxed;
  • You will most likely be taxed with standard rates;
  • In the worst case scenario, you will be taxed with 60% of the total value of the product + ICMS

Count on being charged with the standard rate amount when making your purchase, but also know how much you would have to pay in the worst-case scenario, which is of being charged 60% of the total amount + ICMS. That way, you won’t be caught off guard.

Common Shipping Scams

The Brazilian Receita Federal does not charge any amount in cash or account debit to clear orders through customs. If you have received this information or someone is being asked to pick up orders, please report it to the Federal Police in Brazil.

This scam usually starts through social networks, with fake profiles posing as foreigners or foreigners in good financial conditions and with prestigious and stable jobs. In some cases, scammers send messages with false contact information from Receita Federal inspectors.

Do not fall for the scam; all customs collections and charges are made through DARF (an official document issued by Receita Federal for collecting taxes).

Contacting Correios or Receita Federal

If you still need to talk to Correios, you can try to reach them on the following phone numbers:

  • 3003 0100 for capitals and metropolitan regions in Brazil
  • 0800 725 7282 for other cities in Brazil
  • 0800 725 0100 for suggestion and complaints

To reach the Receita Federal headquarters is far more difficult as they do not provide phone numbers or addresses for their offices where you can solve these issues in person. Furthermore, the communication with Receita Federal is often intermediated by the courier or postal service (Correios), and therefore, to have direct access to them is virtually impossible.

However, you can try to formalize a complaint via the Finance Ministry Ombudsman, which also handles issues related to Receita Federal. The Ombudsman contacts are:

  • Phone number 0800 702 1111, Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM
  • Completing the form online on the Finance Ministry Ombudsman website

Please note that these telephone numbers may not be working if you are calling from a number outside Brazil, and they do not provide specialized service in English.

Shipping to Brazil from the US

Brazil is the largest country in South America in terms of both area and population. With over 200 million people and a growing e-commerce industry, Brazil has a great and very attractive market to help expand e-commerce businesses.

The country’s middle class is growing each year exponentially, spending more and more money on online purchases. So if you have a business idea you consider it could break out in Brazil, the time to put your plans into motion is now!

Unfortunately, shipping anything to Brazil could be (aside from time-consuming) costly, especially if you are running a small or mid-sized business. So we decided to put together a small guide on everything you need to know about shipping your goods to Brazil, including the main popular carriers that act in the county, estimated delivery dates, and other rules and regulations you should be aware of.

How To Ship My Own Product To Brazil

So, let’s say you have your own brand of soap products, for example. Brazil is big on cosmetics and is a great market for you to expand on. But to ship your product to the country, there are a few things you should know about:

Step 1: Registering Your Item in Siscomex

One of the main things you must know is how the process of exporting to Brazil works. I know it may seem simple, but if you want to do it right, there are some steps you must take before advertising your product. According to the Department of Trade Promotion and Investment of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first step to do that is registering your product on Siscomex.

Siscomex (Integrated System of Foreign Trade) is a platform created by the Brazilian government to collect and integrate every piece of information in regard to commercial operations in the country. You will be able to register the item according to its tariff classification in Brazil.

After submitting, the request will be analyzed (as it needs to follow the rules and guidelines), and if it is viable, it will be accepted, and you’ll be able to export to Brazil. That also allows the government to be aware of all the agents that have active participation in exporting and importing in the country.

Step 2: Getting Your Documentation Together

Now that your product is registered in Siscomex and has been approved, it is time to gather all the documents necessary to send your item to Brazil. So here are the main documents you’ll need to have ready to export to Brazil:

  • Proforma Invoice – a document in which the price, international purchase and sale conditions (Incoterm), payment conditions, freight, and insurance prices are settled
  • the Bill of Lading (B/L) in case of entry by sea, Airway Bill (AWB) in case of entry by air, or Road Transport Bill (CRT) in case of entry by land border
  • Packing List – a list delivered by the exporter to the carrier containing the description, quantity, brands, numbers and models of the goods that are being transported
  • Certificate of Origin – an official document that attests that the product listed therein has met certain criteria to be considered as originating in a particular country
  • Inspection Certificate (only in case the Brazilian buyer requires it)
  • International Cargo Insurance

Step 3 – Sending the Documentation To The Importer

The final step is to send all the documentation of the operation listed above to the Brazilian importer, which must be registered in the Customs Acting Tracking System (RADAR), managed by the Brazilian Receita Federal in compliance with its customs authority functions.

Only then your item is going to be shipped, and all the banking procedures regarding the exchange contract will begin. In order for you to manage and be able to keep up with every stage of the process, you must be registered in Siscomex, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to do that.

Then you will need to pay for the taxes and duties involved in the process, your item will go through customs verification (as they need to be physically verified as well as having its documentation approved), and finally, your item will be released in Brazil.

Main US Carriers That Ship To Brazil

Now that we got all the documentation out of the way, it is time to start thinking about the best way in which you will be shipping your goods to Brazil.

There are many carriers that can ship to Brazil from the US, with USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL being the most popular and used ones. They’re reliable and can get your packages to Brazil within a matter of days, having partnerships with many companies which can help reduce shipping costs.

Here are the prices and estimated delivery time to ship a 2kg (4,4 pounds) object:

CarrierServicePriceDelivery Time
USPSPriority Mail Express International around $ 473 – 5 business days
USPSPriority Mail Internationalaround $ 336 – 10 business days
USPSFirst-Class International Servicearound $ 1511 – 20 business days
UPSWorldwide Expeditedaround $ 692 – 5 business days
UPSWorldwide Saveraround $ 546 – 10 business days
FedExInternational Priorityaround $ 713 – 5 business days
FedExInternational Economy around $ 556 – 10 business days
DHLInternational Expressaround $ 633 – 6 business days 


USPS is probably the most economical option in comparison to other carrier services. That is because USPS only charges a flat rate for shipping your item (depending on the mail type and final weight), while other major carrier companies include other fees.

On the downside, your parcel may take a little longer to get to Brazil, as the economical shipping option takes more time to be transferred. Aside from that, another drawback is in regards to the tracking number provided by the USPS, which can no longer be traced after arriving in Brazil.

That happens because once the parcel arrives in the country, it becomes the Correios’ responsibility, and a new tracking code is generated to keep control of the shipment while in Brazilian territory. Unfortunately, the Correios system is not integrated with USPS, so it may take a while for you to get the new tracking number. Also, this could represent a little delay due to customs clearance.

Best USPS International Shipping Options
  • Priority Mail Express International 
  • Priority Mail International
  • First-Class International Service

When Should You Ship With USPS?
  • when you want the lowest shipping cost 
  • when you don’t need the item to be delivered in a hurry


UPS is another big shipping company that will be able to ship your goods to Brazil, as they have a large logistics network in the country. The main advantage of UPS is the fact that after picking up your item from US storage, they are able to ship and deliver the goods in just a matter of days.

That, of course, has a bit of impact on the shipping fees, so expect to pay a bit more than you would with USPS (especially if the total weight of your parcel exceeds over 10 pounds).

Another benefit of choosing UPS as your shipping carrier is the fact that their tracking system also works in Brazil, so you won’t have to worry about your tracking number being changed by Correios. That also means that there won’t be as many delays in regards to customs clearance, so you can rest easy that your parcel will be delivered within the estimated time.

Best UPS International Shipping Options
  • Worldwide Expedited
  • Worldwide Saver

When Should You Ship With UPS
  • when you don’t want to lose your package tracking number
  • when you want your parcel to be delivered faster (and when you are willing and able to pay for it)


FedEx is another great option for shipping your goods to Brazil, being one of the main competitors for UPS in terms of estimated delivery time and shipping rates. In other words, both companies provide a very good service if you are willing to shell out a little more in order to ship your item to Brazil within a matter of days.

But if your parcel is over 10 pounds or you don’t exactly have a hurry about getting the item to Brazil, maybe USPS could be a better solution.

Best FedEx International Shipping Options
  • International Priority
  • International Economy

When Should You Ship With FedEx
  • when you don’t want to lose your package tracking number
  • when you want your parcel to be delivered faster (and when you are willing and able to pay for it)


DHL definitely feels like the best of both worlds, as they are able to deliver your parcel in a similar timeframe as FedEx and UPS, but with a slightly cheaper shipping rate, being somewhat competitive to USPS. But depending on what type of item you are sending to Brazil, there could be some extra fees.

When Should You Ship With DHL
  • when you don’t want to lose your package tracking number
  • when you want your parcel to be delivered faster (and when you are willing and able to pay for it)
  • when you want affordable shipping cost

Common Tariffs and Import Taxes

As we have been stressing throughout this article, import fees and duties can be slightly higher in Brazil than in various other places in the world. So looking from a commercial point of view, sometimes it could be unprofitable to export to Brazil, depending on what you are going to ship.

Import duty fees

In sum, import duty is basically tax collected on imports and some exports by a country’s customs authorities to raise state revenues. These fees can be anywhere from 10% to 35%. In regards to import duties in Brazil, here is what you could be looking at paying:

ProductDuty Rate
Electronics0% – 20%
Toys and Children Products14% – 35%
Kitchen Utensils14%
Accessories & Jewelry0% – 18%
Apparel and Textiles26% – 35%
Sport & Fitness20%
Beauty products18%

Items You Are Forbidden To Ship to Brazil

Like in many other countries, there are restrictions on what you are able to ship to Brazil. For example, the following items are not permitted to be shipped to Brazil (among others):

  • Banknotes; currency notes; paper money; securities payable to bearer; and traveler’s checks.
  • Coins; manufactured and unmanufactured platinum, gold, and silver; precious stones; jewels; expensive jewelry; and other valuable articles.
  • Commercial samples that promote tobacco products or smoking-related merchandise.
  • Commercial shipments that contain cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, loose and packaged tobacco, pipes, and other smoking devices
  • Items whose fragility (due either to nature or inadequate packing) could cause harm to individuals or equipment.
  • Medicines whose formulas are not listed in the official pharmacopeias or not licensed by the Brazilian Department of Public Health.
  • Perishable infectious biological substances.
  • Perishable noninfectious biological substances.
  • Playing cards.
  • Poniards, stilettos, poniard blades; canes, umbrellas, or any other articles containing swords, daggers, or guns; handcuffs, and blackjacks.
  • Primary educational books not written in Portuguese.
  • Radioactive materials.
  • Regulation arms and munitions of Brazil and parts. Air guns. Reducing tubes and silencers for firearms.
  • Salted or smoked meat, and other foodstuffs of animal origin.
  • Seeds and seedlings of coffee, shrubs.
  • Used consumer goods

Chocolates are a great gift but may not be the best idea if you need to ship them from across the world. Brazilian warehouses may not be refrigerated enough to maintain this type of product intact – Credit: Dreamstime | Bjorn Hovdal

Restrictions in Shipping to Brazil

There are a few restrictions on shipping an item to Brazil. While each courier company carries its own rules and guidelines, here are the most common restrictions you may find:

  • Medicines – to ship a medicine to Brazil, you must attach the Brazilian doctor’s prescription. This prescription should be on a chemist’s form, containing the name, home address (or the doctor’s practice address), his registration number with the Brazilian National Medical Council (CRN). You could be requested to send in a Brazilian Portuguese translation of the prescription.

    In case the shipped medicine does not comply with these conditions, it will either be returned to the sender or it will be abandoned and treated as a undeliverable item.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – all artifical sweeteners (like sacchatine and stevia) require the permission to be shipped from the Brazilian Department of Public Health for importation.
  • Seeds – all types of seed require prior approval from the Brazilian Agriculture Department (Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento – MAPA) in order to be approved for shipping. You can make the request for approval here.
  • Gourmet Items – if you are sending gourmet items, you are restricted to sending only non-perishable goods. That means that cheeses, fruits, chocolates and cakes are not advised to be sent to Brazil, as they could melt and/or spoil due to the fact that many warehouses in Brazil lack proper airconditioning.
  • Easily Breakable Items – if you want to send fragile items containing glass or other delicate objects, then you will need to wrap them very carefully so they withstand the whole trip to Brazil. Be aware that the heavy wrapping may be opened by Brazilian Customs if they feel like the object should be further inspected.

And that was it for our post on shipping to Brazil! Although the country has already made a lot of progress in regards to international shipping operations (believe me, it used to be harder!), there is still a long way to go until we are able to import without spending so much extra money.

While you are here, I think we might interest you with these:

Can I Open An Account Before Even Getting To Brazil? – Thinking about moving to Brazil and wants to get started on sorting your life there before even arriving? Click here to know all about opening a Brazilian bank account online!

Moving To Brazil With My Pet: How To Take Them – Moving to Brazil and won’t leave your best friend behind? We wouldn’t expect any less! Click and find out all the steps on how to bring your pet with you to the country!

What is PIX: Brazil’s New Instant Payment System – At the end of 2020, Brazil has debuted a new online instant paying system that has been facilitating a lot of lives in the country. Click here to find out all about PIX!

Related Questions

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take in Brazil?

It can take from 1 to 15 days in order for your parcel to be cleared from customs in Brazil. Upon arrival, the parcel and its documentation must be analyzed by Receita Federal (the equivalent of the US IRS). Then, depending on which courier channel the item is coming from, it could take a couple more days to generate a new Brazilian tracking code for the item.

Do Customs Open Every Package in Brazil?

No, customs do not open every package in Brazil unless they have a good reason. Instead, every package is put through a scanner or an x-ray machine to verify that the items you are shipping match your customs forms. Also, if they notice that the item is not allowed to be shipped to the country, they will seize the parcel without you being able to retrieve it.

Cover Image: toy airplane and a parcel on the world map – Credit: ID 96792251 © Makidotvn

Bruno Reguffe

What's up, everyone! I'm Bruno, and I'm a nutritionist living in Rio de Janeiro. I've been a longtime friend of Ana's, and I'm excited to help her expand on all things Brazilian with y'all, as well as sharing some of our culture and a few personal experiences while living in the country!

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