Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Brazil
By No owner — last modified Oct 04, 2016 03:27 PM

 Brazil - Formalities

Clearance

Formalities can be very time-consuming everywhere, although officials are generally polite and helpful. Start early as government offices close for lunch from 11:30 to 14:00. Normally yachts are not boarded and the captain has to go into town to find the various offices. The order of visits is important, as certain forms have to be taken from one office to another.

First go to the Immigration office (Police Federal) with all the crew and passports. They will issue the "Passe de Entrada de embarcação"  (Entry pass for a ship). Do not lose it as it will have to be returned when you leave that port.

Next, go to Customs (Receita Federal). They will issue a TECAT (Termo de concessao de admission temporaria).  This document gives you the right to enter your yacht without paying tax because you are transiting and not staying or running a business. Although the Receita Federal only needs to be visited on first entry and on exit from Brazil, it is likely that you will need to produce this document many times.

Then, the Health Authorities (Vigilancia Sanitaria)- with the compilation of everything plus vaccination docs if any.

Finally, visit the Port Captain (Capitania dos Portos) with all the forms and documentation previously produced. Here yet another form has to be filled in. This is a cruising permit (passe de saida) and will be issued at the port of entry by the Port Captain. This form is another 'do not loose' one as it will then be stamped at every port you enter.  If staying longer than 90 days, ensure that this permit is renewed in time. It is also particularly important to conform to the dress code at this office.

Remember, all the crew has to be present at these offices.

It is also a good idea to have a copy of the resolution which exempts non-commercial private yachts from needing a Health Certificate, as the Coast Guard and/or Health offices often still wish to see such a certificate. See Brazilian Health Controls for the full text(in Portuguese and English).

Some yachts have reported having to use a special officially approved agent (despachante), whom one is introduced to on arrival. The agent takes passports and ship's papers and does the entry formalities for a fee. This usually only applies to the first entry into the country and also depends on local officials. It is more likely to occur at a commercial port like Natal.

There are some ports where it is best for yachts to make their initial check in; Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Paranagua and Rio Grande. These harbours are used to yachts checking in, while other harbours are more used to ships which use an agent. This can cost between 500 & 1000R. Cruisers report that Angra dos Reis (South of Rio) or Capodelo (North of Recife) have the most friendly officials.

After having completed the initial clearance at a port of entry, it is necessary to obtain clearance to the next port, although is allowable to cruise and stop on the way. Request clearance to the next port with stops (con escala). At every major port en route, port authority and Federal Police offices must be visited. This is particularly important on entering a new state. This clearance is strictly enforced, and failure to do so can lead to on the spot fines of up to US$5000.

A new 2009 law requests that all yachts in transit not flying a Mercosul flag (i.e. one from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay or Uruguay) be registered with Customs and file a "Simplified Temporary Importation." This entails a "despachante" and at least 24 hours of waiting for documentation.

On leaving the country, all these officials (excluding Health), must be visited in the reverse order.

It is helpful to use the correct Portuguese names for officials and paperwork as it avoids confusion.

NOTE: Smart dress must be worn to visit official offices (no shorts, t-shirts or casual shirts are allowed). See Restrictions

US cruising boat SY Two Fish cleared into Brazil in October 2014. Their blog has excellent detail and a step by step guide. http://www.twofishcat.com/2014/10/02/brazilian-customs-border-patrol-and-police/

Last updated October 2016.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for six months from arrival date except Argentinians and Uruguayans, who only require a national identity card.

A 90 day visa is issued initially, which may be renewable on request for another 90 days (although this is not guaranteed) from the Federal Police on payment of a fee.

Note - Dec 2013: Noosite has received reports that some Federal Police officers are enforcing a 90 day stay only (in any 6 month period) where this is applied to Brazilians visiting the cruiser's home country. In these circumstances, the visitors are given only a day or two to leave Brazil.

To extend your visa, you go to the Policia Federal website section for Estrangeiros (currently only in Portuguese).  Print out a payslip, one per person, take them to the Banco de Brasil and make payment. Take the receipt with the usual passport/papers to Federal Police, along with “proof of funds” (bank or credit card statement).

A maximum of 90 days only (or 180 if an extension has been granted) per year may be spent in Brazil. It is important that the renewal is done before the visa expires, but be aware that the extension will be dated from the date of application for the extension and any time remaining on the original visa will be lost.

See also the Noonsite report Procedure to Request an Extension of Visa in Brazil for some very useful detailed instructions on how to do this at Salvador International Airport.

Visas are not required by nationals of some countries for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

Other nationalities, including Australian, US and Canadian citizens, need to obtain a visa before arrival.

See Consulate General website- updated Sept 2015 for the latest list.

Visas are normally only be valid for 90 days from the date of issue. US citizens may be able to obtain a five year multiple-entry visa in advance which is a good alternative if you plan to leave the yacht in Brazil and then return, but it appears it is not easy to obtain.

Important Notes for Yacht Crews

Visa regulations are designed for visitors arriving by air, and in some ports the authorities insist on everyone having a visa, even nationalities that are normally exempt.

According to the Brazilian Consul in Las Palmas, visas are no longer required by UK and US citizens arriving on their yachts, but the actual situation is not clear and Consulate in San Francisco contradicts this.
In June 2012 a cruiser reported that U.K. citizens arriving at Salvador in a U.K. registered yacht had no problem getting a visa on arrival.

If, therefore, there is any doubt, it is advisable for everyone arriving by yacht to obtain a visa in advance, but you must enter Brazil within 90 days of the visa being issued.

Another important point to note, is that if a delivery crew is used, the owner must be at the Port of Entry when the yacht arrives. Failure to do this might incur a heavy fine and other complications.

Cruisers report being given 72 hours to leave the country when arriving without a visa and having to pay an agent $600 for clearance papers.

It is mandatory to carry ID at ALL times in Brazil. If you are not carrying ID you may be arrested.

Last updated October 2016.

Brazil Government - Visa Section
For enquiries about visa requirements.

Customs

Firearms are retained by Customs, until authorisation for their possession is given by the military authorities. The firearms should then be registered with the police. In some places, such as Belem, firearms may be left on board.

Yachts are permitted to stay a maximum of 24 months. A letter of permission is required from the Port Captain and this is usually faxed to The Recita (Customs) who are responsible for enforcing the rule.

The amount of time permitted for crew remains the same as for other tourists (generally 90 days with 90 day extension).

If you want to take advantage of the "Temporary Absence Allowance for Yachts", read more about it in this Noonsite report from 2008.

Parts sent to a yacht via a carrier (e,g, Fedex, UPS) are subject to duty as the Authorities do not recognise that they represent a yacht in transit.

Last updated October 2016.

Health

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Brazil has been regarded as one of the most intensely affected areas. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

Dengue Fever: The number of dengue fever cases in Brazil has increased considerably since 2015, especially in the south-east and central-west. Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Brazil and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing.

Current Yellow fever vaccination certificates are required by those arriving from the following countries :- Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and French Guiana, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

Those who arrive either without a certificate or who have not been vaccinated will have to be vaccinated in Brazil, which is not always done under the most hygienic conditions.

In rural areas especially, there is the risk of malaria, dengue fever, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and yellow fever, so vaccination or prophylactic treatment is recommended.

Lunch and snacks are safest if freshly cooked and served hot. Always wash fruit and vegetables.

Swimming pools are chlorinated but Bilharzia is present along riverbanks so keep your footwear on.

In fresh water (i.e. in the Amazon) be aware of the danger of shoals of piranha fish. They are voracious!

Before filling up with water in Brazil, always make sure that you are using the correct water. Some water is only meant for wash-down and is not potable.

Last updated September 2016.

Documents

It is mandatory to carry ID at ALL times in Brazil. If you are not carrying ID you may be arrested.

It is not advisable to carry your passport other than for official business and a photocopy does not last and does not look 'official'.
One suggestion is to have a colour scan or copy made of the photo page of your passport and the front cover. Have this reduced to slightly larger than a standard business card. Place the two images back to back and have them laminated. You now have a very official looking, waterproof ID card that will last years. It is common to be asked for ID/Passport when making a credit card purchase.

Fees

Overtime is charged for clearance outside of office hours on weekdays, and all day on weekends. There are harbour fees and light dues.

On Fernando de Noronha, anchoring and environmental fees are also payable. See the Fernando de Noronha port page for details.

Restrictions

As with ALL official places in Brazil, the wearing of slacks is mandatory and arriving in shorts or bermudas is likely to entail have access refused. It is also advisable to a wear a reasonably plain collared polo shirt or simliar.

A boat may only be occupied or moved if the owner is on board.

Pets

Dogs, cats and birds can enter Brazil only on presentation of of the following documents, duly authenticated by the Consular Service:

- A sanitory certificate (for pets) issued by a veterinarian and must be endorsed by Veterinary Services (APHIS/VS) and legalized at a Brazilian Consulate.

- It must be dated within one week prior to pets' departure. Sanitary Certificate must also certify that, up to 40 days prior to boarding, no contagious disease had been detected in place of origin.

- The animal must be inoculated against rabies and have a current rabies vaccination certificate. - Admittance of animals other than dogs, cats and birds require prior approval by the Ministry of Agriculture. There are no quarantine period on arrival in Brazil.

- Pets are not permitted to land on Fernando de Noronha.

See this Brazilian Government website for the full details.

Share |
Brazil
Fernando de Noronha
Northern coast
Eastern coast (north of Rio de Janeiro)
Southern Brazil
Profile
Facts
Security
Weather
Main Ports
Formalities
Clearance
Immigration
Customs
Health
Documents
Fees
Restrictions
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
Pets
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Money
Communications
Transport
Diplomatic Missions
Events
Emergencies
Publications
Links
Update History
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Related Reports
Report Icon

Brazil, Cabedelo: Armed Robbery at Jacaré Marina - July 2017 (30 Aug 2017)

Report Icon

Heading to the Malvinas/Falklands - Applying for "Permiso" (14 Jul 2017)

Brazil: Angra dos Reis to Florianapolis

Brazil: Angra dos Reis to Florianapolis (05 Jul 2017)

Brazil, Cabedelo & Jacare: Detailed Description of Clearing In

Brazil, Cabedelo & Jacare: Detailed Description of Clearing In (09 Oct 2016)

Report Icon

Brazil, Vitoria: Clearing in and out and visa renewal process (01 Aug 2015)

Report Icon

Cruisers Report from Jacare, Cabedelo (16 Jul 2015)

Cruising Guide to the Coast of Brazil (Parts 1 and 2)

Cruising Guide to the Coast of Brazil (Parts 1 and 2) (02 Apr 2015)

Report Icon

Brazil, Ilha de Itaparica: Three separate incidents in a week - March 2015 (29 Mar 2015)

Brazil, Fortaleza: Violent Attack by armed assailants - February 2015

Brazil, Fortaleza: Violent Attack by armed assailants - February 2015 (19 Feb 2015)

Report Icon

Brazil, Maranhão, São Luis: Dutch cruising sailor shot and killed - February 2015 (17 Feb 2015)

Report Icon

Brazil, Fortaleza: Assault and Robbery - April 2014 (22 Apr 2014)

Report Icon

Brazil, Belem: Assault and Robbery - March 2014 (16 Apr 2014)

Report Icon

Brazil, Salvador de Bahia, Itaparica Island: Assault and Robbery - March 2014 (02 Apr 2014)

Namibia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Brazil: Report on a Recent Visit

Namibia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Brazil: Report on a Recent Visit (09 Mar 2014)

Brazil: Useful Advice when Visiting the Country

Brazil: Useful Advice when Visiting the Country (14 Dec 2013)

Report Icon

Six Months Cruising Brazil (23 Oct 2013)

Atlantic South America: Dealing with the Authorities

Atlantic South America: Dealing with the Authorities (05 Jun 2013)

Report Icon

Salvador, Maragogipe: All is not gloom and doom in the Bay of All Saints (09 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

Exploring the Amazon between Belem and Macapa (08 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

Brazil, Salvador: Armed Boardings and Robberies - June/July 2012 (31 Jul 2012)

Report Icon

Warning about Forteleza (22 Jul 2012)

Report Icon

BRally January 2013: Why not include Southern Brazil on your cruising route? (16 Jul 2012)

Report Icon

Brazil, Salvador: Clearing In (25 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Ilheus and Vitoria Updates (19 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Cape to Rio Yacht Race 2014: NOR Now Available (23 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

On Passage Brazil to Tobago: Suspiciously Pursued off Suriname - January 2012 (31 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Brazil, Angra dos Reis nr Paraty: Armed Boarding & Robbery, Crew Tortured - January 2012 (31 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Update for Fortaleza - Marina Park Marin (30 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Health Controls for Leisure Boats that Enter Brazil (16 Dec 2011)

Report Icon

Leaving your Boat in Salvador (31 Oct 2011)

Report Icon

Virgin Islands to Buenos Aires delivery, with long term stop in Fortaleza, Brazil (04 Oct 2011)

Report Icon

Fortaleza Update plus Visas Required (13 Sep 2011)

Report Icon

Comments on Salvador, Brazil (21 Jul 2011)

Report Icon

Trip From Brazil to Venezuela (27 Dec 2010)

Report Icon

A Summary of our Brazilian Cruise (01 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Trinidad, West Indies (17 Aug 2010)

Report Icon

Five Weeks in Salvador, Brazil (11 Aug 2010)

Report Icon

Fortaleza - Latest Info. (21 Jul 2010)

Report Icon

Natal Update (28 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Shipping Spares to Brazil (28 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Itaparica Marina, Brazil (06 May 2010)

Report Icon

Fernando de Noronha - April 2010 (02 May 2010)

Report Icon

Salvador - Our stay during Carnival (10 Mar 2010)

Report Icon

Brazil - Clearing In When Entering from the South (14 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

Procedure to Request an Extension of Visa in Brazil (06 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Cruising Brazil to Argentina (06 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Itaparica / Salvador Brazil (26 Nov 2009)

Report Icon

P.I.C., Recife, Brazil - Update (22 Oct 2009)

Report Icon

Customs in Vitoria, Brazil (09 Jun 2009)

Report Icon

Take Care in Salvador (08 Feb 2009)

Report Icon

Brazil, Belem - Armed Robbery (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

NE Brazil, Sao Luis - Yacht Attacked (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Wanting Information on Hauling Out in Belem, Brazil (09 Dec 2008)

Report Icon

Caribbean, St. Martin to Angra dos Reis, Brazil (27 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil - Update (26 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Temporary Absence Allowance In Brazil (23 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Fernando de Noronha - a Positive view! (17 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Caribbean East to Southern Brazil (15 May 2008)

Report Icon

Brazil's outrageous customs practices (28 Jul 2007)

Report Icon

Brazil - Santos area - boatyard and yacht storage information (23 May 2007)

Report Icon

Travel report from NE-Brazil, Cabedelo/Jacaré (19 Apr 2007)

Report Icon

Rio Yacht Club Niteroi Recommended (06 Mar 2007)

Report Icon

Cruising Report On Brazil & Argentina (12 Dec 2006)

Report Icon

Brazil Finally Allows Extended Stay For Yachts (24 Nov 2006)

Report Icon

Report on Brazil from Italian yacht "Jancris" (05 Jun 2006)

Report Icon

Fortaleza: wreck outside Marina Park Hotel (09 May 2006)

Report Icon

Havens and Anchorages: A companion to the South Atlantic Circuit for the South American coast (10 Feb 2006)

Report Icon

South Atlantic Circuit (10 Feb 2006)

Report Icon

Brazil Cruising Update (03 Feb 2006)

Report Icon

Catch 22 Brazilian Style (27 Jun 2005)

Report Icon

Costa Verde Cruising Ground (17 May 2004)

Report Icon

Cruising Angra dos Reis (12 Mar 2003)

Report Icon

Salvador de Bahia (15 Oct 2002)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes on Rio de Janeiro 1: Approach & Docking (22 Aug 2002)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes on Rio de Janeiro 2: Clearance & Places to go (22 Aug 2002)

Related News
Brazil, Belem: Third armed boarding and robbery reported this month from Brazil

Brazil, Belem: Third armed boarding and robbery reported this month from Brazil  (22 Apr 2014)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

June 8th is World Oceans Day: Create or Join an event near you

June 8th is World Oceans Day: Create or Join an event near you  (17 May 2013)

Report Icon

World ARC: A New Route Choice  (03 Apr 2013)

Report Icon

Summary of Security & Piracy Reports 2012  (28 Feb 2013)

Report Icon

South Africa, Cape Town: World ARC 2012/2013 sets sail for St. Helena and then Brazil  (08 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Brazil, Salvador: Security Alert for Visiting Yachts  (10 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Brazil, Pirates Strike on the Amazon  (30 Jul 2009)

Report Icon

French sailing yacht "Marie Galante" sinks 300 NM from Natal, Brazil  (20 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

World ARC Circumnavigators head into the South Atlantic  (04 Jan 2009)