How to import from China to Brazil? (10 steps)
Step 1, Identify the products you want to import
• Pick Products You Know
It is better if you know your products. This will enable you to only import quality products. Ideally what you import is the one has high margins and good sales. If you are a distributor, wholesaler, or even retailers, this will be easy.
Here the tips: please check the sales turnover of the recent 12 months, and find the top 10 sells and profits products, which made-in-China. With this list, you can choose and start importing directly from China and paying a cheap price.
Moreover, you can import from China with your own brand. And this can be done in two ways: one way is just changing their logo to yours; the other way is changing not only the logo but also the packing and product design. Maybe the cost is a little more to import products with the way you want, I believe it deserves. Invest in your own brand; you will have a return in the future.
• Choose Unique/Customized product, not common Items
For example: products with designs, hot sale style in Mercadolibre/AliExpress, which you can sell at a high price. Pay attention that the hot-selling styles mentioned here are divided into two situations: On the one hand, the hot-selling style of your own country, if it is at the initial stage, then you can catch the opportunity to try it. Once already reached to the price war stage, you are not necessary to choose this item. On the other hand, the best-selling styles in other countries, then you should consider whether it is suitable for sale in your country.
• Go with High-Value or Small Size Products
Suggestion: Fashion accessories, consumer electronics, watches, etc.
• Choose semi-finished products instead of finished
This is specifically for anti-dumping products: because of the high-value tax, some products are almost impossible to import. For example, do you want to import women's shoes from China?? OK, forget about it, it will be much more expensive than directly procure in Brazil (some lady shoes can be imported, like lady rain boots, indoor slippers, snow boots….) If we choose the shoes upper, the shoes decoration/accessories or the heel imported from China, there is no problem at all.
Step 2, Get the price list of the products from China supplier
These days, most of the Chinese exporters can speak good English. So, language is not a barrier if you are looking to import from China. Just keep in touch with them on email or live chat. Let's first familiar with some main INCOTERMS (International Rules for the Interpretation of Trade Terms):
1. EXW - Ex Works " factory, named place "
It means that when the seller delivers the goods to the buyer at the place or at another designated place (such as a workshop, factory or warehouse), the delivery is completed, and the seller does not go through the export customs clearance or load the goods on any means of transportation.
2. FOB - Free on Board
It is one of the most commonly used trade terms in international trade. The buyer is responsible for dispatching the ship to pick up the goods. The seller will responsible for customs clearance of goods, load the goods on the ship designated by the buyer within the specified port of shipment and time, and notify the buyer in time. When the goods are loaded onto the designated ship at the port of shipment, the risk is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
3. C&F - Cost and Freight (FOB cost + Freight fee)
Here notice that the buyer need to buy marine insurance. Because if there are any damages to the goods while shipping, the seller is not responsible.
4. CIF - Cost, Insurance, and Freight (FOB cost + Freight fee + Insurance fee)
Now, let's move on how to find a China supplier for your products?
There are three ways you can find the best supplier for your business, the first one is which I most recommend, especially for newbies.
1, Find China supplier from Internet
With the emergence and development of the Internet, the way we make business has also changed. We can find Chinese suppliers through a website like Alibaba, Made-in-China, etc., enter the products you want to import, (note: enter in English), then search for Alibaba, you will find the Chinese supplier you want.
For example, we want to find the lady belts supplier from Alibaba website
a) Open the Alibaba website as following: www.alibaba.com
b) At the products area, put “lady belts”, then click “search”
c) You can see many different products and suppliers, you can also FILTER RESULTS BY: supplier types, supplier location….
d) Find the products which you like, click the blue button to contact supplier, and download the Trade Manager APP, you can talk to them directly, notice that there is 11 hours difference between China and Brazil. So, sometimes they will not be online if is not at China working time (normally online time from 9 am to 5 pm at China, that is Brazil time 8 pm to 4 am), you can leave a message to them.
Important: When you get quotation list from China supplier, which should include: the photo, description(the detail of products), FOB price, composition of products, HS code, MOQ, Payment terms, delivery time, packing information, weight, carton size. (if factory already export to Brazil, they can provide the NCM (Mercosur Common Nomenclature) to you, otherwise, they can only provide HS code for your reference, you need to check the NCM at Brazil side)
2. Participate in the fair.
Go directly to China, participate in the Canton Fair, or visit related factories.
If you are not familiar with Canton fair, please click my following article
2019 Canton Fair：Complete Guide
3. Visit the wholesale center in China.
There are several wholesale centers, such as Guangzhou Wholesale Market, Shenzhen Electronics Market, and Foshan Furniture Market.
Know how to find wholesale suppliers in China, please click my article:
How to Find Wholesale Suppliers in China?
Step 3, Classification of your goods, Know about the Import Duties, Taxes and Shipping cost
Many people say that Brazil's import tax is very complicated, even many Brazilians are confused. But don’t worry, I will tell you the easiest way. Through the NCM, you can know the product taxes of which you want to import.
No matter your China supplier provide NCM to you or not, if you are first-time import some particular product from China, you should check with your professional importers at Brazil.
The following taxes will apply when importing any goods to Brazil:
• IMPORT TAX - II (Impostode Importação )
• THE FEDERAL VALUE-ADDED TAX (VAT) - IPI (Impostos sobre Produtos Industrializados)
• Federal Contribution: PIS and COFINS
• THE STATE VAT - ICMS
ICMS is a state specific tax that is dependent on the destination state in Brazil (If you are not sure about the ICMS rate, I suggest to use the general rate for the state of São Paulo, which is 18%.)
Here the Link of IRS website, from here, you can check the taxes of the product:
Basically, the final cost of the products includes: the value of the product (FOB Price) +insurance + freight + taxes +import expenses. (You can check with shipping company or Importer directly if you are not familiar with insurance & freight fee.)
Suppose we want import PU lady belts, the NCM is 3926.2000, Total CIF price is $10.000 equal to R$39.344, the freight fee is $500=R$1.967,20 (Calculation Base is CIF value of your product, that is FOB price + Freight Cost + Insurance) and here we get the result as follows:
For calculating the ICMS, we need also add the following additional costs:
Siscomex Document fee of BRL 40
AFRMM (25% of freight value) of BRL 492
ICMS =18%*(CIF Price+ II+ IPI+PIS+CONFINS+SISCOMEX+AFRMM)= R$9.773,20
So, the final total cost of the lady belts is R$S 64.068,78
See, it is very easy to calculate the related cost, right? According to most of my Brazil customers’ experience, they import products from China to Brazil, normally will pay an additional cost of 60% to 80% of China's FOB price.
Now, let's take a look at the import model of most of our Brazilian customers, normally with two models:
1) IMPORT ON OWN ACCOUNT
The importer looks for suppliers, imports the goods, paying the applicable taxes, responsible for all logistics procedures directly. Under this model, the importer is the owner of the goods. On the Bill of lading, the Consignee and Notify party is the same, as following (In order to protect our customer's information, I hide some main information 🙂
2) IMPORT ON BEHALF OF THIRD PARTIES
In this model, a purchaser looks for a trading company to import the goods on behalf of buyer, the purchaser contact with China supplier, make purchase order and the importer only provide the service of import (such as NCM no. checking, tax inquiry, making advance payments for taxes, vessel arrangement, customs clearance, etc.. All related to imports.)
The bill of lading/airway bill consigned to the importer, but the ownership belongs to purchaser/buyer who pays the operation. On the Bill of lading, you can see that the Consignee and Notify party is totally different, as following:
Step 4, sample provide and checking
After completing the above three steps, we start the China procurement journey.
You definitely don't want to receive products that are different from your expectations, right? You need real samples to judge the quality of the product instead of the photo.
OK, ask your satisfied potential suppliers provide samples and send an express to you (choose moderately priced, reliable suppliers - according to the price list, and your communication with China supplier, choose at least two suppliers to send samples).
At most time, China suppliers will send their samples to you for free, and you just need to pay the freight fee (normally will send out by express, like FedEx/ DHL/TNT...). When you receive the sample, you can check the quality, compare with different suppliers, or make the lab test.
If you are satisfied with the quality and price and detail, then you can move on, otherwise you need to talk to factory improve the quality, or change the detail according to your request, and remake sample.
Step 5, Make Purchase Order and Payment
After you discussing everything well (like price, payment terms, MOQ, Delivery time and so on) with your potential China supplier, you can first to make a trial order, trial order means small quantity order, maybe just to match the supplier's MOQ, or even less than MOQ.
Through the test/trial order, you can know-how is the real situation of this China supplier, such as whether the delivery is timely, whether the communication is smooth, and whether the quality of the production is good?
- Proforma Invoice: This document is issued by the exporter to the importer (China supplier provide to Brazil importer,) in order to formalize the international negotiation process.
Before this document, everything is considered as negotiation, after the Proforma Invoice, can already consider as a real import. Proforma Invoice includes all the information and details of your requirement, the factory will produce the products according to this agreement, and you will make payment.
- Payment: Normally the China suppliers will ask for payment terms as 30% in advance, 70% balance before shipment.
Important: Do not organize payment for the products with foreign money directly to the foreign exporter. All payments for Brazil imports must be made through an exchange agreement.
The payment must be made by the bank account of the importing company or by an exchange broker officially accredited at the Central Bank. The exchange rate used is the official exchange rate.
It is necessary to know that China banks use BIC/SWIFT codes for international transfers, and Brazilian banks work with IBAN, the International Bank Account Number, codes which are most commonly used in America and Europe.
Step 6, production follow-up
When you get here, do you feel that the import progress is almost finished? Just need to wait for goods ship from Brazil to the destination port? No... Things are far from simple.
Here is a real and sad case: In 2017, a Brazilian brand-customer wants purchased trolley case. He gave the order to a Brazilian middleman who occasionally came to China.
This person found the cheapest supplier at the Canton Fair, and then began to place orders to make production; the original delivery date is 45 days after the deposit. When the delivery date was coming, the customer asked the situation, the factory finally told that because they have calculated the wrong price at the Canton Fair, they have not found some cheaper alternative materials, so there was no production.
Sounds incredible, right? No more than this, anything can go wrong at any time. So, what should we do now?
Discuss the delivery date before making the purchase order, and ask China supplier to send a production schedule to you then make the payment.
According to the schedule, you should ask them to send you emails with pictures or video to prove.
For example, which raw materials arrive at the factory, cut the material, on-line production, etc....You can master all the relevant progress. Once have any problems during production, you can communicate with each other instantly.
Step 7, Quality control
This step is ignored by many importers when they import from China. But I think this step is indispensable and very important. The production is not the same as the samples which you received, like wrong raw materials or poor-quality products, these may happen.
You are in Brazil which is far away from China; it becomes quite difficult for checking the quality. But don't need to worry, you have three option, you can choose according to your business type:
1, You come to China inspection the goods
2, Hire an inspector which located in China, who will help you inspect the goods according to your requirement. Normally will charge about $350 per day.
3, Find a sourcing company in China, which can help you not only quality control, but also the whole process of import in China, normally charged according to your order amount.
Step 8, goods shipment
From China to Brazil, products will mostly ship out by sea or by air, by air: normally need about one week; by sea: about 45 days, the most economical way.
At the third step, we already contact the shipping company to know the related shipping cost, you already choose/have a shipping company or an importer who will help you book the vessel/airline and arrange the shipment according to the shipping date.
After your production is finished and the quality checking is confirmed, if you purchased small quantity goods which ship out by air or by LCL (less than one container, by sea), factory need send the goods to forwarder's designated warehouse, after forwarder will arrange to load your goods inside the container.
If you have purchased an entire container, factory will take an empty container to the factory, after they will load, close and seal the container and send the container to the departure port. see the picture as following:
***Shipping company: (we also called forwarder or cargo agent) in charge of receiving /collecting the cargo in China and delivering in Brazil.
Step 9, Document prepare
For normal goods import from China to Brazil, we need these three documents, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Bill of Lading (goods ship out by sea), Airway Bill (ship out by air), these documents must be prepared in English or Portuguese.
If the goods were packed in wooden boxes, you need to prepare a heat treatment certificate or fumigation certificate notarized by the Brazilian Consulate in China.
The commercial invoice must include:
Importer, Buyer, and exporter's full name and address
Invoice number and Date
The full description of products including Brand, Item No, Composition.
Unit price: in U.S. Dollars
Gross & Net Weight
Total FOB Value
Total Freight Charge
Country of Origin/Acquisition/Provenance
Payment terms and Trade terms
Bank information of exporter
***The CI and PL are done in two different documents. After printing, must be stamped and signed original, three-set in each, copy file is invalid. China supplier will send to you by express like FedEx/DHL.
Step 10, Customs clearance at Brazil
Now we come to the last step:
Any time after the goods have been shipped and before their customs clearance, the person in charge of the import process is required to complete the Import Declaration with Siscomex. When the ID is registered, you will pay the taxes.
Before the goods arrive in Brazil, the importer will have to pay the taxes to the Federal Revenue, including II, IPI, PIS, COFINS, and ICMS. After you making these payments and confirming with Federal Revenue, and also receive all the other documents from the importer, the customs clearance may be realized.
The customs clearance normally takes 5 to 10 days, after you can take the goods to your company.
Now you have already taken note of the steps on how to import from China as well, you need a manufacturing partner in China.
Bling Sourcing is a sourcing company that offers its assistance to people who wish to do business in China, especially for South American customers. Our company has long years of experience in doing so.
We can help you handle all things in China, from quoting a price, sample providing, production follow-up, quality checking to goods ship out, (with Step 2 and from Step 4 to 9).
We can represent your purchasing company in China and help you a lot by identifying qualified suppliers. We can work on your behalf, negotiate on your behalf, and look for business opportunities for you.
Should you have any question, please don't hesitate to email us now.