Export to Brazil - Getting into the market

Among advantages for British businesses considering doing business with Brazil are a stable political climate, growing consumerism and a similar culture and business approach to Europe. Brazil also has a solid, modern banking system, a growing workforce and a diverse economy.

Among challenges are a complex, high-tax system, high tariffs for some products, long journeys between major commercial centres, where cultures and practices can vary; a highly-complex regulatory system and, in some areas, a significant problem with organised crime.

Brazil is keen to secure more trade with the UK and there is significant potential for individual companies in a wide range of sectors including healthcare, mining, education, marine, food and drink and oil and gas.

Entering the Brazilian market can be very rewarding but it will require time, persistence and investment. Brazil places a lot of importance on personal contact so do not expect to make much headway by telephone and email. You should plan to visit the country several times before securing a deal and learning some common Portuguese phrases would help.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Brazil expanded significantly in the first decade of this century and more than doubled between 2005 and 2011 when British exports to Brazil rose by 150 per cent. In 2016, Jaguar Landrover launched a £240m manufacturing base near Rio, the UK’s first UK automotive facility in Latin America.

As the country emerges from recession, Brazil is also seeing a boom in e-commerce. Online purchases continue to grow by double-digit ratios. In the most recent UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper global study, Brazilian consumers ranked No. 1 in the world for overall satisfaction with online shopping.

They also lead in being prepared to make web purchases from international sellers and are willing to wait seven days for delivery when they’re paying, and 11 days for free delivery.

However the country has regulatory peculiarities and policy obstacles that add costs and time to digital trade and can trip up retailers that have not carried out proper research and preparation.

Brazil’s customs can also be challenging. Minor paperwork errors, or omissions, can trigger lengthy processing delays and there are also complex regulations with regard to consumer protection to intra-country transportation.

Exporters and importers are required to register with the country’s Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX) and comply with the Brazilian Customer Protection Code. The U.S. Department of Commerce has also warned that logistics are challenging because of the country’s transportation infrastructure.

Although corruption and contract fraud remain problems in the county, Brazil has undertaken a number of structural reforms since the 1990s. It has adopted a comprehensive Fiscal Responsibility Law, reduced many trade barriers and reformed its financial sector. But its tax and customs systems have yet to be overhauled.

That’s why the U.S. Department of Commerce encourages small-and medium-sized exporters to work with a reputable local partner – an agent or distributor - when developing new business in the Brazilian market.


Chamber International's partner, Brazil Business Hub, provides full support for UK companies interested in exploring Brazil.

Contact us for further details.


Download Intertek's Guide Brazil Market Access here.