Brazil - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers

Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2022-01-23

Brazil ranked 124 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report. (Note: in September 2021, the World Bank announced they are no longer releasing annual Ease of Doing Business Report rankings.)  Brazil can be a challenging market for doing business, partly due to a complicated regulatory environment. U.S. companies often mention duplicative, arbitrary, or sometimes discriminatory regulations as barriers to trade for U.S. products in Brazil.

U.S. companies also cite high tariffs, an uncertain customs system, high and unpredictable tax burdens, and an overburdened legal system as major hurdles to doing business in Brazil. U.S. exporters in highly regulated industries such as: medical devices, health, and safety products have a particularly challenging time navigating Brazilian rules and regulations. U.S. companies will increase their chances of success by working with Brazilian partners  and demonstrating their commitment to the Brazilian market. While U.S. companies have faced market access challenges in Brazil over the past several years, including high tariffs, local content requirements, and a “Buy Brazil” policy from a previous administration, the U.S. Government is working with the GOB to reduce non-tariff barriers, especially in the areas of trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, technical standards, and conformity assessment through several bilateral and multilateral fora.

On October 19, 2020, the United States and Brazil signed a protocol to the bilateral Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC) covering commitments in three areas:  trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and anti-corruption.  More information about these commitments can be found at:

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2020/october/united-states-and-brazil-update-agreement-trade-and-economic-cooperation-new-protocol-trade-rules

Brazil has recently taken some significant steps designed to ease regulatory burdens and implement good regulatory practices (GRPs). In 2019, Brazil passed the Regulatory Agencies Law and the Economic Freedom Law, which make certain GRPs, like public consultation requirements and the use of a regulatory impact analysis (RIA), legal requirements for all Brazilian regulating agencies. Brazil has also begun an extensive regulatory review and reduction effort under Decree 10.139 of 2019.

On June 30, 2020, Brazil published Decree 10.411, which implements the RIA established by the Economic Freedom and Regulatory Agencies laws. RIA requirements entered into force in Brazil on April 15, 2021 for the Ministry of Economy, regulatory agencies and Brazil’s National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO), and on October 14, 2021 for other federal administration bodies.

The Brazilian Foreign Trade Council (CAMEX) published Resolution 90 on December 7, 2018, establishing good practices for the preparation and review of regulatory measures affecting foreign trade. The resolution encourages the competent Brazilian regulatory bodies and entities to develop regulatory agendas, conduct RIAs, evaluate regulatory alternatives, use international standards, conduct transparent public consultations of a minimum of 60 days for all regulations with international trade effects, ensure all regulations comply with Brazil’s international trade commitments, notify regulations to the WTO via the inquiry point, use evidence-based decision making, coordinate with other relevant regulators to ensure coherence and compatibility with other regulations, and review and manage regulatory stock.

In addition, on October 30, 2018, the Brazilian Attorney General of the Union (AGU) published Ordinance 328 that encourages the AGU to review regulations to ensure that all established GRP requirements are met.

In March 2018, Casa Civil (the Brazilian Executive Branch) published a  RIA Guidelines and Elaboration Guide for Brazilian regulators to improve the implementation of regulations in Brazil. The guidelines’ text is aligned with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) standards with inputs from all of Brazil’s relevant federal regulatory agencies at the time, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Economy and INMETRO (https://www.tuvsud.com/en-us/services/product-certification/inmetro).  The Ministries of Finance and Planning have since been integrated into the Ministry of Economy.

The governments of the United States and Brazil continue to collaborate to share information and experiences about good regulatory practices to promote a regulatory environment that is transparent, consistent, and predictable. It has helped U.S. companies comply with Brazilian regulations, since Brazil has been more open to regularly consulting the private sector when developing new regulations. By implementing an improving regulatory policy, Brazil has been reducing regulatory burdens for U.S. exporters and increasing mutual understanding of U.S. and Brazilian regulatory systems to enable better promotion of bilateral commerce and investment.