Brazil has a complex tax system: it is the country with the second-highest tax collection, representing 33.5% of GDP in 2018, according to the Receita Federal. In total, Brazilians paid BRL 2.2 trillion in tax that year.
When it comes to import goods, taxes are also applied, and the product may become nearly twice as pricy for Brazilians. However, this does not prevent them from shopping online from foreign ecommerce businesses: eMarketer registered 23.1 million cross-border digital shoppers in 2018. In addition, the report also shows that 53% of customers in Brazil purchase from China.
In this article, we explain how parcels purchased in cross-border ecommerce stores are taxed in Brazil.
Import duties in Brazil for ecommerce purchases
When shopping online from cross-border ecommerce stores, a simplified model of taxation is applied to purchases between USD 50 and USD 3,000, meaning all product categories obey the same rules.
Purchases under USD 50
Products under the total value of USD 50 are not taxed in Brazil. This fact alone is something that has helped boost cross-border sales in the country, as parcels end up having a good cost-benefit for Brazilian customers.
It is important to note that the total value includes the parcel’s price, shipping costs, and insurance.
Purchases between USD 50 and USD 3,000
Import goods over USD 50 are subject to a simplified model of taxation, adding 60% to the parcel’s price. In addition, a state tax called ICMS – Imposto Sobre Ciruclação de Mercadorias e Serviços – may also be applied.
Purchases over USD 3,000
Purchases over USD 3,000 follow different taxation rules, and the simplified model is not applied. Today, Correios does not offer shipment clearance services for parcels over USD 3,000; in this case, the importer must make use of a customs broker.
Additional costs applied
In addition to taxes and shipping fees, there are a few other costs applied when importing goods to Brazil:
- IOF: The IOF – Imposto Sobre Operações Financeiras – is a tax of 6.38% for international financial transactions paid with credit cards;
- Despacho Postal: The despacho postal is a handling fee of BRL 15, applied by Correios for all imported goods. The customer must pay this fee directly to the post office, and, once the payment is confirmed, the delivery process is resumed. The fee may be paid online on the Correios website.
It is perfectly natural that consumers and merchants feel confused when it comes to taxation in Brazil. However, when purchasing online and importing with Correios, the customer is always notified about import duties and may pay for the taxes online.
Therefore, if you are buying from foreign websites, be sure to hold onto your tracking code so you can access Correios’ website and check if your product has been subject to taxation.
If you are a merchant selling cross-border into Brazil, be sure to always notify your customer about taxation and the processes applied when parcels are subject to import duties.