This article is for those who want to know more about importing cars, boats and other vehicles to Brazil from the USA. There are few steps that you can follow to make a purchase smooth and safe.

First, please notice that you can import cars to Brazil only for your own/personal use. As a result of the Brazilian government restrictions, it's only allowed to import new cars and cars that are more than 30 years old. There are some special rules if the vehicle is donated, inherited or belongs to diplomats.

For importing your car to Brazil you will have to interact with the following agencies:

  • Departamento Nacional de Trânsito (DENATRAN)
  • Departamento de Operações de Comércio Exterior (DECEX)
  • Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil (RFB)
  • Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA)
  • Sistema Integrado de Comércio Exterior (SISCOMEX)

At the beginning you will need to receive an import authorization form from SISCOMEX that is responsible for all foreign trade transactions that take place in Brazil. You will have to submit your personal documents and income reports, that will be verified and compared with the value of the vehicle you want to import. SISCOMEX will issue you an authorization within 30 days if everything is correct.

You can buy a car only after you receive an import authorization. The foreign exporter will have to issue a pro-forma invoice, that confirms your intention to buy a specific vehicle. This invoice should include information about the seller and buyer, the car characteristics and the total price, including the shipping costs.

After you get your proforma-invoice you will need to contact IBAMA, which will confirm that the vehicle meets the Brazilian environmental requirements and issue a special license.

Further, you need to receive an approval from DENATRAN that the car complies with the Brazilian laws for vehicles. With all the documents in hand, you can get back to SISCOMEX and the request for the formal Import License (LI), which will be reviewed and approved by DECEX.

The payment for the car should be arranged through an exchange agreement. You will have to go to a Brazilian bank authorized by “Banco Central” to make money transfers to the foreign exporter.

For customs clearance you need to pay duties and taxes, that include: harbor taxes, import duty, freight costs, IPI, ICMS, PIS, COFINS and other taxes. Please require the information on due payment amounts with the respective Brazilian authorities. The last thing you should also note, that after customs clearance you have to get license plates issued from DENATRAN*.


*Please take into consideration that we are not responsible for any information provided above as it may be changed. We highly recommend to check your government websites for more details.