Departure to Rio de Janeiro

Customs and import to Rio de Janeiro

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When passing through customs, there are two lines: "Nothing to Declare" and "Goods to Declare". Those that go through the "Nothing to Declare" line can still be selected to pass their bags through X-Ray and/or have the bags physically searched. While in the non-declared line, a light will turn green and the traveller can pass without inspection. If the light turns red, the traveller has been randomly selected for inspection.

Goods to be declared

  • Goods which exceed the amount of $500,00
  • Money in excess of US$10,000.00 (in cash, checks or travellers checks) or the equivalent in any other foreign denomination
  • Passengers carrying prescription drugs should arrive with a valid prescription issued by a physician and a receipt of purchase issued by the drugstore
  • Items that will remain temporarily in Brazil, whose unit value are over three thousand Reais or the equivalent in a foreign currency, when the traveller is a foreign citizen
  • Pets, plants, seeds, food, prescription drugs, fire arms, weapons and munitions. These items will be retained and only liberated after inspection by the competent agency

Temporary Imports

Travellers who bring goods into Brazil for a short time and will take them out of the country must present a DBA. A bank guarantee may be required by Customs authorities, whenever it is deemed by them that the nature, value or amounts of goods are not compatible with the purposes of the travellers stay in the country.

Duty Free

    Duty Free refers to items that are eligible to be brought into the country without tax or inspection. This includes:
  • Personal belongings, such as apparel, toiletries and other strictly personal items
  • Books, leaflets and periodicals
  • Newly purchased foreign goods worth a total of US$500.00


Plants and pets (dogs, cats, and birds) may enter Brazil only upon presentation of the following documents, duly authenticated by the Consular Service:

  1. Phitosanitary certificate (for plants) issued by the competent local authority;
  2. International Health Certificate (IHC) for pets. IHC's are completed by an APHIS-accredited veterinarian who certifies the pet's health status, conducts tests and records test results for the individual pet being exported.
  3. Rabies vaccination

Sanitary and phitosanitary certificates must certify that up to 40 days prior to boarding, no contagious disease had been detected in the place of origin. Admittance of animals other than dogs, cats and pet birds require prior approval by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.

Prohibited Goods

  • Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, cigarettes and similar products when brought by a traveller aged less than eighteen years old;
  • Controlled substances, narcotics or drugs;
  • Hidden items with the intention to avoid inspection.
  • Used motor vehicles and vessels (new vehicles are not exempt and will be taxed in full.)

Payment of Customs

The payment of customs duties precedes the property release and will be done by means of the Documento de Arrecadação Federal,, a DARF form. This can be done in any Brazilian bank including (when available) ATM machines.

In locations where the banking system does not offer conditions of payment upon arrival, the taxable items will be retained by the Customs Authority, by means of Property Retention and Guard Form (Termo de Retencao e Guarda dos Bens). This form will be filed out by the customs officers in charge of the customs procedures and a copy of this document will be given to the traveller.

The property release will occur after the traveller provides the Retention and Guard of the Property Form and the DARF.

Note to American travellers: The United States began fingerprinting Brazilian visitors and Brazil, in turn, began its own fingerprint program for U.S. visitors. This was a clunky process that caused long delays in the past, but it is now a fairly seamless process of a digital reading of a single thumb print.

Update 29/05/2010


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