While all eyes are turning to Brazil for this year’s Summer Olympics, wine makers and distributors are increasingly looking to this South American country as a possible growth market. Although consumption of wine by Brazilians generally trails that of beer and other alcoholic beverages, some experts predict that total national consumption will exceed 370 million litres by the year 2020. These projections are supported by a growing middle class and an interest in food and beverages from around the world.
However, gaining access to Brazil’s growing wine market is no easy matter for wine producers and distributors. That’s because of the complex process imposed by government agencies on the importation and sale of wine in that country. In this brief article, we’ll provide an overview of the current regulatory process for wine imports.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) have regulatory authority over domestic and imported plant and plant-derived products, including wine and distilled spirits. Through its various agencies and departments, MAPA enforces Brazilian law regarding the registration, compliance and labelling of beverages, as well as inspection of imports at points of entry into the country.
The goal of the regulatory scheme applicable to wine in Brazil is to prevent risks to human health. For importers and distributors of wine, this is achieved by requiring submission of a variety of documentation to customs officials at the point of entry. This documentation includes a “pro-forma” invoice that specifies product information, form of payment and method of transportation, and a “commercial” invoice which includes detailed information about both the exporter and the importer, brand and quantities of the wine being imported, and payment conditions.
In addition to these documents, importers must also supply a certificate of origin and a certificate of analysis regarding the product being imported. In cases where a wine’s alcohol content is greater than 14 per cent, the importer must also submit a certificate of typicity, which substantiates the agricultural basis for the higher alcohol content.
The certificate of origin, the certificate of analysis and the certificate of typicity (if applicable) must be issued by one of the agencies accredited by MAPA to issue such certificates. The issuance of these certificates is based on independent testing and analysis conducted by the accredited agency.
Under Brazilian law, all wine products must be labelled with the following information:
- Brand name
- Type of product
- Net contents, in metric units
- Importer’s name, address and corporate identification number
- Producer’s or manufacturer’s name and address
- MAPA Registration number of importer
- Country of origin
- Percentage of alcohol by volume
- List of ingredients
- Lot identification code
- Information on proper storage
- Declarations regarding the presence of gluten and other allergens
- For wines with alcohol content greater than 13 per cent, the statement “avoid excessive consumption of alcohol”
The above information must be provided in Portuguese. If the original labelling is in a language other than Portuguese, it is permissible to apply a sticker over or near the original label with the required information.
Import taxes and tariffs
Wine imports are subject to a 27 per cent duty for bottles of two litres or less in size, and a duty of 20 per cent for bottles over two litres. In addition, there are a number of additional tariffs that are calculated as a percentage of initial duty tax. These taxes and tariffs, which must be paid upon importation, can quickly increase the retail price of imported wine in Brazil.
In general, producers and distributors seeking to export wine into Brazil, are advised to partner with an experience importer or other third-party based in Brazil well in advance of any planned shipments. This is because an import license must be obtained prior to the receipt and approval of any imported product by customs officials in Brazil. Equally important, an experienced agent can help to streamline the importation process, allowing an importer to bring their products to market with fewer delays.
TÜV SÜD Brazil has been accredited by MAPA to issue certificates of origin, certificates of analysis and certificates of typicity to wine producers and distributors. Our testing facilities and experience personnel can verify that wine and other beverage products are consistent with stated claims and that they are in compliance with all applicable identity and quality standards.