Return of imported goods: is it possible?

Importing is an efficient way for companies to maintain their stock levels under better commercial conditions than those found in the domestic market.

In addition to replacing inputs, imports are also useful as they open up the possibility of accessing products only found in other parts of the world.

But what about when the much-desired import happens, and you realize that the product didn’t arrive in the conditions you expected or is not the same thing that was negotiated?

Is it possible to return imported goods?

In today’s text we will see that it is possible, yes, but there are criteria and procedures for each of the applicable situations.

In what scenarios can a devolution occur?

As a rule, Brazilian legislation determines procedures for return in three (3) different situations.

Let’s go into the hypotheses and know what to do in each of them.

Defect perceived after nationalization.

In this case, after carrying out the formal import of the goods, your company carried out all the customs processing, collected the taxes and obtained an import declaration as well, thus nationalizing the goods after clearance.

However, after analyzing the product, it is noticed that it has a defect and it is necessary, then, to return it for replacement of a new one or repair.

What to do?

The first step is to notify the exporter about the defect and negotiate the return of the defective item and the shipment of a new one for replacement.

It is important to note that there will be costs to carry out the return export and the new import, make sure that the supplier will bear the costs arising from this defect.

Another important information is that, as the taxes have already been collected at the time of nationalization, new taxes will not be levied on the new importation to be carried out, for that it will be necessary to issue a specific Import License in this type of situation.

Legal proceeding

For the return of defective imported goods, the steps and customs requirements are as follows:

Ø  Presentation of a Technical Report issued by an approved institution attesting the material defect.

Ø  It is first necessary to complete the return of the defective merchandise and then import the item that will replace it.

Ø  The Import License number that will be used in the importation of the new merchandise must be linked to the Export Registration.

Ø  It is necessary to respect the limit period of 90 days from the date of import clearance for the return of the goods to be requested. This period may be extended in some specific situations; therefore, it is necessary to present a plausible justification and a contract of guarantee.

Defect perceived before nationalization.

After the arrival of the goods in Brazil, the importer realizes, even before the nationalization of the cargo and payment of all taxes, that the product sent is wrong or has a defect visibly clear, in which case it is possible to request the return of the goods.

What to do?

The first action is to contact the exporter again and inform him about the wrong shipment or defect on the product.

In addition, it is important to organize all documents referring to the product and the return justification to be presented.

Legal proceeding

After informing the exporter about the return, the procedure to be followed is as follows:

Ø  Submit the formal return request to the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service.

Ø  Arrange for documents relating to the importation of the product to be returned (Cargo Bill, Packing List, Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Origin etc.).

Ø  After analysis by the Federal Revenue, the return may be subject to partial or total verification of the goods.

Ø  Upon authorization, the return export must be carried out within 30 days, listing the export in “Return before DUIMP”.

Import via courier de-characterization

In the case of an import of a small or low value-added product that was dispatched to the destination via courier, there’s the possibility of Brazilian Federal Revenue Service understands that the product needs to be imported through the formal import procedures and demands its return to origin.

What to do?

In this specific case, the Federal Revenue is the one who usually decides about the destination of the cargo, including its return.

The big tip of what to do is, prior to the import to be carried out, study in details the parameters required by Customs to classify the import as express (via courier).

Legal proceeding

The Federal Revenue is entitled, in these cases of mischaracterization of express shipment, to decide destining the goods to:

Ø  Return to the exporter.

Ø  Be destructed.

Ø  Go through formal import clearance procedure.

If your company, or you as an individual, wishes to keep the cargo before returning it, it is necessary to present the intention to carry out the formal import, pay all taxes and fees involved, and then carry out the nationalization of the goods.

Legal Basis

All the procedures mentioned here are based in the legal texts listed below:

Defect perceived after nationalization:

Ministry of Finance Ordinance No. 150/1982

Defect perceived before nationalization:

Ministry of Finance Ordinance No. 306/95.

Import via courier de-characterization:

Brazilian Federal Revenue Service Normative Instruction No. 1475/2014, Article 37, item III.


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