Logistic and forwarding services in Brazil


Capital City


National languages

Real (BRL)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 2’246 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 11’172

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 2’227 Mio,

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 845 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Brazil

Switzerland and Brazil maintain close and varied bilateral relations. They hold regular political exchanges and have strong business ties.

Economic cooperation

Brazil is Switzerland’s biggest trading partner in Latin America. In 2015 Switzerland imported CHF 1.43 billion worth of goods, mainly gold, coffee and unwrought aluminium, and exported CHF 2.04 billion worth of pharmaceuticals, chemical products and machinery. At the end of 2014, Swiss investments in Brazil stood at CHF 13.6 billion, and Swiss companies employed 68,484 people in the country.


Business language

Portuguese, English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency: Cruzeiro Real (R$) = 100 centavos
ISO code: BRL

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

Responsibility for the monitoring and processing of foreign trade lies with the electronic recording system SISCOMEX (Sistema Integrado do Comércio Exterior). A “Licença de Importação” (L.I.) is required for most imports. This licence can be obtained form the banks, which are also entitled to carry out foreign currency transactions.
The licences are also issued by these banks. The Licença de Importação (L.I.) must indicate the name and address of the manufacturer and the exporter (even if these are identical). Special authorisations are required for the following goods: drugs, weapons, nuclear material, blood bags, certain herbicides and pesticides, used machines, vehicles, wine, saccharine, other artificial sweeteners, chemical and pharmaceutical products and foods.
The import of used cars is prohibited, and the import of used replacement parts, machines and tyres has been made significantly more difficult.
There is a simplified import procedure for packages up to 500 USD. No Licença de Importação (L.I.) is required. The validity of the Licença de Importação (L.I.) is 60 days, in special cases this may be longer. The goods must be on board the ship or airplane before the licence expires. They may not, however, be loaded before the licence is issued.
The date on the bill of loading or the air consignment note must be before the expiry of the licence. The exporter should confirm with the importer in writing in good time stating whether a licence is required and a pro forma invoice has to be submitted. Only the original of the pro forma invoice will be accepted.
For goods which still have to be manufactured, the pro forma invoice must include the following clause: “Material fabricado sob encomenda. Prazo de entrega …”. The FOB value must be given on the pro forma invoice, with the domestic freight, special packaging and costs for the documents requested by the Brazilian authorities included in the FOB value must be listed. The following must also be indicated: name and address of the representative in Brazil and the amount of commission due to him. The amount of commission can also be indicated separately. This information is not required, however, if a document can be submitted showing the type of goods and the amount of commission. If no representative is engaged, this must be expressly declared.
“Câmara de Comércio Exterior” (CAMEX) has reduced the import duties for various IT products and machines which are not manufactured in Brazil from 16% or 14% down to 2% since March 2015. The decrease in customs duties entered into force on 06/03/2015 and apply until 31/12/2015 (IT products) and 30/06/2015 (predominantly machines and equipment). Responsibility for legalisation lies with the competent general consulate or the embassy and is only required at the importer’s request.
Standard VAT rate: 17%-19%

Terms of payment and tenders

Deliveries against irrevocable and confirmed letters of credit are advisable. Deliveries documents against payment are standard in the case of known commercial relationships. In the case of the debt collection of documents, the costs are often charged to the exporter

Designations of origin

Designations of origin on goods are only to be taken into account if the goods could possibly be confused with Brazilian goods.


Each package (including individual packages) must be labelled with a consecutive number. There are special labelling regulations for foods and medicinal preparations. The competent authorities can provide more information about this.


Seaworthy packaging.
Ask the freight forwarder for information about the labelling regulations for boxes. The packaging marking regulations must be complied with precisely. The marking of packages can be made up of letters, figures and reference numbers of at least 8 cm. Where possible do not use hay and straw as packaging materials as otherwise health certificates are required.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value. All samples with a commercial value require a commercial invoice, even if these are free of charge. The commercial invoices should include the note “samples without commercial value” or “amostra sem cobertura cambial”. A security totalling the value of the import duties must be provided for fair and exhibition goods for temporary import.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Note: in the case of ship or air transports and in particular in the case of goods which are delivered as part of government contracts or under beneficial conditions, the means of transport (ship or airplane) must fly a Swiss or Brazilian flag. (Source: Cacex, Comunicado No. 80/16 – ask the freight forwarder).

Standard and

a) Commercial invoices, 2 copies, in Portuguese (printed forms or standard company invoices), dated and signed by the manufacturer, CIC certification only required if this is expressly requested by the recipient. CICs (chambers of industry and commerce) or freight forwarders can provide information about the very specialised provisions on the preparation of the commercial invoices. Commercial invoices can include the following declaration: “Confirmamos que os preços indicados nesta factura são os effectivos preços de venda das mercadorias, correspondendo aos preços usuais mercado mundial, e que as mercadorias são de origem da Suiza. Confirmamos que somos exportadores e não agentes de compra do comprador brasileiro”.

b) Packing list (signed)

c) No certificates of origin if the goods being delivered are european. The origin and provenance of non-UE goods must be clearly indicated in the certificate of origin and certified by the consulate. A certificate of origin should be included for wine, grape juice and other juices, spirits and wine vinegar, In addition to this, a combined analysis certificate and certificate of origin from a competent institute is required for this group of goods.

d) Import licence (Guia de importação) if required.

e) Bills of lading, 5 copies, prepared in Portuguese, Spanish or English where possible, the import licence number must be given, in the case of “order” a notify address must be given, uncertified.

f) The freight costs must be indicated in numbers and letters in the loading documents (bills of lading, air consignment notes, commercial invoices). Any deviations from this will lead to difficulties.

g) Postal packages up to 20 kg: 1 foreign dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in Portuguese/English/French.