Brazil is one of the more dynamic economies of Latin America. It contains a large and growing market and a growing technology sector that is becoming more attractive to international investors. For most of Brazil's history, the country has been closed to foreign trade. As a result, there are still many limits on importation and international trade in general and imports are still considered suspicious items.
Every foreign exporter must apply for an import license. This is based around the type of products being exported. The Trade Ministry analyzes all applications for imports into Brazil. The importer's information must be included in full, including the financial background of both the exporting and importing firm. Substantial disclosure forms must be made out in full and submitted to the Trade Ministry.
It is extremely important to classify goods coming into Brazil correctly. Exporters are issued identification codes relative to the class of goods being imported to the country. This is not the only means of identifying the product involved, but fines can be issued if the shipment is mislabeled. In general, fines are discerned through a percentage of the item's full customs value, normally 1 percent.
The certificate of origin is likely the most important document for importing to Brazil. This document contains the international or bilateral legal basis for the importation of the product, as well as identifying both the country and corporation of origin. This document, in short, is an abbreviated version of the trade deals under which the imported product is permitted into Brazil. In addition, each product sent to Brazil must contain its full technological description and/or ingredients. It must contain the unit price of each item, as well as the total amount of the worth of the shipment, including weight and size. In addition, the available payment options must be included in the shipment.
Brazilian imports have been made simpler through the development of the Siscomex system. This is an integrated computer program that tracks all imports and exports and is meant to facilitate trade. It reduces the amount of documents needed for normal trade relations. Each licensed importer is issued a password into the program that permits the firm to track, in real time, the movement of its products through the administrative machinery of Brazil. Without a Siscomex account, trade with Brazil can be very difficult.