Includes information on average tariff rates and types that U.S. firms should be aware of when exporting to the market.
Last Published: 7/5/2017

Imports are subject to a number of taxes and fees in Brazil, which are usually paid during the customs clearance process. There are three taxes that account for the bulk of import costs: the Import Duty (II), the Industrialized Product tax (IPI) and the Merchandise and Service Circulation tax (ICMS). In addition to these taxes, several smaller taxes and fees apply to imports. Note that most taxes are calculated on a cumulative basis.
Brazil and its Southern Common Market (Mercosul) partners, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay implemented the Mercosul Common External Tariff (CET) on January 1, 1995. Venezuela became a full member of Mercosul in 2012. Each country maintains a separate exceptions list of items for tariffs.

In 1995 Brazil implemented the Mercosul Common Nomenclature, known as the NCM (Nomenclatura Comum do Mercosul), consistent with the Harmonized System (HS) for tariff classification.
The Brazilian Government established a computerized information system to monitor imports and to facilitate customs clearance known as the Foreign Trade Integrated System (SISCOMEX). SISCOMEX has facilitated and reduced the amount of paperwork previously required for importing into Brazil. Brazilian importers must be registered in the Foreign Trade Secretariat’s (SECEX’s) Export and Import Registry and receive a password given by Customs to operate the SISCOMEX. The SISCOMEX online registry creates electronic import documents and transmits information to a central computer. More information is available at their website.
Import duty (abbreviated in Portuguese as II) is a federally-mandated product-specific tax levied on a CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) basis. In most cases, Brazilian import duty rates range from 10 percent to 35 percent MDIC publishes a complete list of NCM products and their tariff rates on its website.
Brazil’s customs regime does allow for ex tariff imports (ex tarifário) of foreign and U.S. manufactured goods under some circumstances. When there is no similar equipment being manufactured locally, an importer can seek import duty waivers to reduce import costs. This tax reduction is called ‘ex tariff’ or ‘ex tarifário’. The ex-tariff regulation consists of a temporary reduction on import duties of capital goods, information technology and telecommunications (BIT), as written in the Mercosur Common External Tariff (TEC), when there is no domestic equivalent production. The Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) coordinates ex tariff program which can only be requested by local companies with import / export registration with Customs. Generally, if this status is granted, the import tariff can be temporarily lowered to 2 percent for up to two years. To qualify, U.S. exporters or their legal representatives must submit a technical application to the Ministry of Trade for review.
Industrialized Product Tax (IPI)
The IPI is a federal tax levied on most domestic and imported manufactured products. It is assessed at the point of sale by the manufacturer or processor in the case of domestically produced goods, and at the point of customs clearance in the case of imports. As part of the federal government’s efforts to support local producers, IPI rates between imported and domestically produced goods within the same product category may differ. The IPI tax is not considered a cost for the importer, since the value is credited back to the importer. Specifically, when the product is sold to the end user, the importer debits the IPI cost.
The Government of Brazil levies the IPI rate by determining how essential the product may be for the Brazilian end-user. Generally, the IPI tax rate ranges from 0 percent to 15 percent In the case of imports, the tax is charged on the product's CIF value plus import duty. A product’s IPI rate is directly proportional to its import tariff rate. As with value-added taxes in Europe, IPI taxes on products that pass through several stages of processing are reduced to compensate for IPI taxes paid at each stage. Brazilian exports are exempt from the IPI tax. Brazilian Customs publishes the complete list of NCM products and their IPI tariffs at Brazil Government website or on the PDF.
Merchandise and Service Circulation Tax (ICMS)
The ICMS is a state government value-added tax applicable to both imports and domestic products. The ICMS tax on imports is assessed ad valorem on the CIF value, plus import duty, plus IPI. Although importers have to pay the ICMS to clear the imported product through Customs, it is not necessarily a cost item for the importer because the paid value represents a credit to the importer. When the product is sold to the end user, the importer debits the ICMS, which is included in the final price of the product and is paid by the end user.
Effectively, the tax is paid only on the value-added; the tax is generally passed on to the buyer since it is included in the price charged for the merchandise. The ICMS tax due to the state government is based upon taxes collected on sales by a company, minus the taxes paid in purchasing raw materials and intermediate goods. The ICMS tax is levied on both intrastate and interstate transactions and is assessed on every transfer or movement of merchandise. The rate varies among states: in the State of São Paulo, the rate varies from seven percent to 18 percent. On interstate movements, the tax will be assessed at the rate applicable to the destination state. Some sectors of the economy, such as mining, electricity, liquid fuels and natural gas can be exempt from the ICMS tax. Most Brazilian exports are exempted.

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Brazil Tariff Rate Quotas Import Duties