Brazil: New Regulation for Indirect Imports

A new regulation expands the concept of indirect imports while increasing the risk for importers.

On the last day of business in 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (RFB) of Brazil published the Normative Instruction RFB Nr. 1.861 / 2018 which consolidates the regulations for indirect import modalities, specifically import by invoice and import by order.


New Regulation

If the importer sells the imported goods to a specific purchaser, the new regulations prescribe that “activities of installation, packaging or repackaging of the imported goods” are defined as import by order.

If the imported good has been industrialized by the importer, this also counts as an indirect import, if the industrialization process includes activities of installation, packing or repacking.

This issue has already caused conflict between the RFB and importers leading to numerous infringements because of allegedly illegitimate import restrictions on direct imports (“own account”). Until now, companies have allegedly falsely classified imports as indirect imports which caused numerous criminal cases.

So far, no consolidating position of the jurisprudence has been offered.



It is important to keep in mind that sanctions for falsely conducted import processes for direct and indirect modalities are very high.

Usually, the tax authorities claim that importers who falsely declare direct import as indirect imports are part of a fraudulent scheme trying to hide the purchaser of the goods in order to avoid custom controls and tax payments.

Civil law consequences in case of breaches are the appropriation of the goods as well as a 10% penalty of the total value of the goods. This penalty is based on the illegal lending of the company`s name to a third party for import purposes. Furthermore, criminal proceedings are possible.

While the legislation in theory requires proof of the importers` fraudulent intent, this requirement has been strongly relativized in practice.

Based on these changes, companies are advised to examine their import process in order to avoid costly mistakes.


These regulatory changes could affect your business with view to customizing or support of your ERP/SAP system. Please contact us to learn about possible necessary reactions to the changes – we are happy to assist you!