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Shipping to Brazil: Everything you need to know

Shipping internationally can be a difficult and intimidating experience, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Brazil is an increasingly popular destination, but it has its fair share of quirks and individual shipping requirements. This guide will illustrate the ease with which you can ship internationally, and provides several simple instructions to help ensure that you have no problems when shipping to Brazil.

How do I make sure that my parcel arrives in one piece?
Once you’ve decided on your goods, you will need to make sure that it arrives in good condition. International shipping isn’t a gentle process, and generally the responsibility for ensuring that the package arrives in good condition is the senders.
Many high volume shippers check that their goods are properly packaged by using the drop test, an industry term for dropping a parcel ten feet and making sure that the goods inside are intact afterwards. You won’t need to do this with your shipments, but it should give you an idea of how protective your packaging should be.
For most shipments, follow these steps:

  • Use a brand new, double corrugated box
    • You can use an older box if you’re sure that it’s in good condition, but age can hide defects that could lead to your goods being damaged
  • Wrap your goods in plenty of bubble wrap, or a similar protective material
  • Suspend the goods in your box and surround it in packaging material like polystyrene peanuts or packing paper – ideally they should be touching none of the exterior walls of the box
  • Tape it all up. Believe it or not, there’s a best process for taping up your box. To make sure that your box will survive the journey intact, you should tape the top seams of your box, giving a bit of extra care to the corners, then tape a cross over the top in a Union Flag pattern.

On arrival, it will have to pass through customs
One of the main challenges when it comes to shipping to Brazil is making sure that your goods clear customs without any difficulties. The key to doing so is proper paperwork, and ensuring that your forms are cleared in properly, comprehensively and, most importantly, clearly. By giving the customs officers as much information as possible, you help ensure that there are minimal delays in your parcel being cleared.

Brazilian customs has three separate stages of clearance, depending on the value of the goods that are being imported. The first tier, for low value goods, is when packages are worth between $1 and $999 – these are cleared without any formal entry, which means that duties and taxes aren’t applied and unless extra details or checks are required, they’re cleared very quickly.

Shipments that are worth $1000 to $2999 are cleared in courier mode, which means that again, taxes won’t be charged, but in this case import duties will be charged on your goods. Even so, the shipment should be cleared relatively quickly.

Any package worth more than $3000 have to pass through formal clearance. If this is the case, your package will have a high level of duties and taxes applied, and in some cases you will require a previously acquired import license. If you’re sending something with such high value, please get in touch with the Brazilian customs office before you ship to make sure that you don’t require any licences or permissions.

Don’t fall foul of restrictions
It’s important to remember that you can’t just send anything that you’d like. Every courier has a list of things that they’re not happy to carry, and it varies depending on where they are based and what they specialise in. For example, if you’re planning to send art then you would be better served in searching out a specialist courier, as many companies have artworks on their restricted items list. If you’re not sure what sort of things might appear on a typical list, have a look at ParcelHero’s Prohibited Items list.
In much the same way, many countries have restrictions about what can be brought into the country. These vary greatly depending on the country, so don’t assume that the courier specific list is comprehensive – be sure to check with your specific destination country. Brazil doesn’t have an easy to find list, so if you’re shipping something that you think might be problematic, get in touch with Brazilian customs to make sure that it won’t be stopped in customs before you send it off. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your carrier of choice to see if they have access to a list of Brazilian customs rules.

How long will it take to arrive?
When it comes to sending parcels across the planet, things are almost unrecognisable from just a few years ago. A parcel can leave the UK on a Monday afternoon and be on a desk in Rio de Janiero by Thursday. Of course, you have to pay for the privilege of fast movement of goods, but even economy shipments can cross the globe in as short a time as a week. When you’re sending to Brazil, all you need to do is decide whether speed or price is more important to you personally. If you prefer speed, Express shipping options will have your parcel in Brazil in 3-5 days, while Economy will take a little longer – often around 6-8 days.

Keegan is a Content Writer for ParcelHero and its family of brands. His specialties include offering country specific shipping advice and when he’s not crafting expert shipping guides, you’ll probably find his nose buried in a book.