Brazilian digital consumers are very keen on purchasing from international websites. In fact, nearly half of them have purchased at least once from a foreign website and 22% are regular buyers. However, when it comes to receiving physical goods shipped from another country, local consumers might experience frustrating delays. We have already mentioned the challenges merchants face with the cross border sales of physical goods to Brazil, including the need to train customer support staff to deal with complaints regarding the delays.
Nevertheless, the merchant is not at fault in this situation. In reality, the buyer holds the power to try and speed up the clearing process by presenting their complaint to the right element of the chain, frequently the Receita Federal, the Brazilian customs.
How to Present a Complaint to Brazilian Customs?
Reclame AQUI, the popular internet portal where consumers can complain about businesses, has thousands and thousands of complaints registered against Brazilian customs. The vast majority of them refer to the delays in the clearing process. However, as the Receita Federal is a public entity, the complaints must be registered on the official channel of the Treasury Department (Ministério da Fazenda).
In many cases, the lack of personnel and the huge amount of international parcels to be processed manually on a daily basis – over 200,000 – means consumers often have to wait up to 40 days to receive their purchases. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for delays to happen. When the buyer tracks the parcel and sees details that it is sitting at the Brazilian customs waiting for inspection, there is a way to present a complaint in the hopes of speeding up the clearing process. This is how it can be done (the instructions are also available in Portuguese, so feel free to share them whenever a buyer contacts your store regarding delivery delays):
- First of all, the consumer should access the website for the Ombudsman of the Treasury Department (Ouvidoria do Ministério da Fazenda).
- Once on the page, in the menu on the left, under “Ouvidoria”, click on the “Formas de Contato” option. Then scroll-down to “Registre sua mensagem” and click on the button.
- Now all you have left to do is write your complaint and send it.
On the same page from step 2, it is possible to choose the option “Consulte sua mensagem” to verify the status of your complaint. The answers can be received in less than 24 hours. However, bear in mind that the main intent of the complaint is to notify the public entity of the poor conditions of the services provided. It might speed up the clearing process. But if it does not, it will still help towards the implementation of a better and more agile service on the Receita Federal side.