By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As of Monday, August 27th, all international mail arriving in Brazil through the Correios (Post Office) will be subject to the collection of a R$15 postal fee, further complicating lives of foreigners in Brazil receiving items from abroad.
In recent years, a fee was only charged for items taxed by the Internal Revenue Service. “But with the increase in imports, the company needed to inject more resources into the operation to maintain the service standard,” the Post Office said in a statement.
According to the Correios postal service, the amount charged, of R$15, is four times lower than the average practiced by other logistic operators to carry out similar procedures.
The mail service fee, however, should not be confused with taxes or freight. According to the Post Office, the service refers to customs support activities carried out by the postal operator, such as the receipt of objects and inspection by X-ray, formalization of importation into the IRS system (when applicable).
Other disclaimers are for the treatment of non-conformities (forbidden objects, dangerous goods or with specific requirements), collection and transfer of taxes to the IRS (when there is taxation) and the provision of information to the importer for clearance of the consignment via the Internet, among others.
British expatriate living in Rio, Thomas Robinson was very surprised, “That’s not fair or reasonable, I already wait sometimes up to eight months plus to get international mail and for some companies that could end up actually being a significant extra cost.”
Adding, “I can’t see how that could be based on any international standard? Where in the world do you pay to receive mail? Unless this is a customs thing and that’s instead of paying tax on imports like a blanket R$15 tax for packages regardless of value, but R$15 to get a postcard from my grandmother?”
Another expatriate living in Rio for years, Ben Lonsdale, shared, “It’s bloody absurd. It’s just money grabbing by the government surely, rather than run an efficient postal service they just squeeze money where they can. The government is still of the mindset to take what it can for the benefit of the politicians, rather than working for the best interests of the population in Brazil.”
According to Agencia Brasil, recipients awaiting overseas mail must access the item tracking system and make payment for the postal service through a ticket boleto or credit card. The delivery period of the item, according to the service contracted at the time of purchase, starts to count from the date of confirmation of payment.
Information and guidelines on import procedures are available on the Post Office website. There is an English and Spanish language version of the site for tracking packages.
Correction: This article has been modified since originally published on Wednesday, August 29th, to clarify the fee applies to all ‘items’, not just parcels, and we understand that to include letters as well.