sexta-feira, 30 de março de 2018

Land Border Duty Free stores now regulated in Brazil

As you can see in this link, Brazil has just published regulations allowing for the operation of Duty Free stores in the twin cities located in its dry borders. 

I have prepared this post to give you the inital pointers on the matter. 


In Brazil, duty free shops are set up as usual import/export companies. The  status of a "duty free shop' is attained after the company wins a call for bids organized by a port/airport. 

There is also a second kind of duty free shops, which has just been regulated, that can be located only at dry borders in cities bordering other countries. They are commonly located in the South of Brazil, near the Argentinian border, since there is a greater number of cities  and inhabitants there (the map shows it very clearly) . This kind of duty free shop depends on city regulations to be installed. 

In order to become an import/export company, the business must first incorporate in Brazil as a regular company. 

After incorporation, the company will obtain an import/export license (known as "Radar"). Any company can obtain an import license for small amounts of operation. i.e. 150,000.00 USD per year. 

For larger businesses, the company must upgrade to an unlimited import license. This depends on the company financial capability but usually demands a minimum equity of 400,000.00 USD. 


The new rule (INSTRUÇÃO NORMATIVA RFB Nº 1799, DE 16 DE MARÇO DE 2018) requires that border shops, among other things: 

a) should be installed in a municipality that already has city regulations allowing border stores;
a.1) should be installed in a municipality that has a unit of the Federal Revenue Service (this may exclude very small towns, specially in the North);
b) must have a minimum net worth of 2 million BRL (about 650K USD);
c) must have an electronic system controlling sales, and the system must be synchronized with the Federal Revenue Service;
d) must have camera surveillance in the store;

The company must incorporate in Brazil and fulfill the requirements first. Only after all requirements are fulfilled will the company be able to request the special regime of "duty free shop". 

I would suggest the following steps:

a) perform an initial survey of municipalities that have, or are about to issue, regulations allowing for border stores;
b) incorporate a company in Brazil with minimum equity of 2,5 millions BRL (800K USD);
c) remit the equity to Brazil;
d) obtain an import export license;
e) set up the systems required by the IRS (surveillance, electronic stock control, etc.)
f) finally, obtain the special tax regime for duty free stores and start operating. 

It all starts with an initial survey of cities, as  you can see. 

Companies must act fast in surveying the potential locations. The quickest ones will certainly have an advantage. 

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