Find out how fertilizers are imported in Brazil

  • 30/12/2021
  • 11 minutes

On average, 40% of Brazilian exports come from agribusiness. This sector represents a large part of the country’s GDP and is extremely important for national economic development. In order to keep many of the commodities traded, it is necessary to practice importing fertilizers — especially from countries like Russia and Canada.

In this content, based on an interview with Sonia Carvalho, logistics and foreign trade coordinator, and Rosemary Jácomo Teixeira, foreign trade consultant, it will be possible to understand more about the topic. They talk about the legislation and the care involved in the routine of those who want to import fertilizers.

Enjoy the reading!

Fertilizer import laws

In 2019, the country broke the fertilizer import record. Spending reached US$ 9 billion. The large volume purchase was justified by the favorable prices charged at the time. As a result, 2020 was a year of fewer imports in Brazil. However, 2021 promises to bring a warming up of the market — especially with the economy restarting as a result of vaccination against the coronavirus.

According to Sonia, “agribusiness represents around 25% of the total Brazilian GDP and has an even greater growth potential in the next 10 years. Even agronomic experts point out that 2021 should be positive, with opportunities in crops and animal protein sectors”. With that, the doors for the purchase of more fertilizers are opened. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the legislation and precautions that involve this process.

Rosemary covers the initial import procedures. “The importer is required to register the import unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), with a responsible technician. He must register as a producer or importer of fertilizers, correctives and inoculants”, he informs.

In addition, the product must be registered — except for research inputs, items for own use, from agricultural cooperatives and foreseen raw materials. This information is contained in art. 15 of MAPA Normative Instruction No. 10 of 05/06/2004. It is also interesting to consult MAPA Normative Instruction No. 53 of 10/23/2013 and delve into the laws aimed at product registration.

Registration at the Ministry of Agriculture

The aforementioned registration (of products and importers) is usually done by filling out forms. However, different cases culminate in different orientations.

Therefore, according to Rosemary, “it is interesting to contact the Federal Agriculture Superintendence (SFA) of the state of the unit where the importer is located. It is possible to find it through the Integrated System of Agricultural Products and Establishments (SIPEAGRO)”. The same goes for registration renewals.

Anyone looking for rich and complete information can also easily access the Fertilizers, Inoculants and Correctives page of the Ministry of Agriculture. It offers several specific links, such as those aimed at authenticity of a Certificate of Registration. In addition, it compiles tools that facilitate the completion of registration.

Bearing in mind the simplicity of accessing this type of information, the consultant comments that the greatest current difficulty is face-to-face assistance. “Due to the pandemic, it is more difficult to go to the location and check the progress, the forecast of completion and the issuance of registrations of companies and products by MAPA”, claims the foreign trade consultant.

Labels and tags

This is also a point of attention when importing fertilizers. This is because, in addition to being necessary to comply with regulations (such as Law nº 6.894, of 1980), it is necessary to follow complementary legislation on information transparency. In this sense, Rosemary points out, according to MAPA Normative Instruction No. 53 of 10/23/2013, that it is essential to ensure correct, clear and precise information about the characteristics and qualities of the product, such as:

  • indication and recommendation for use;
  • incompatibilities;
  • restrictions;
  • guarantees;
  • contraindications;
  • cautions;
  • origin;
  • composition;
  • precautions;
  • amount;
  • dosage;
  • risks they pose to human, animal and environmental health.

Tax burdens

This is a factor that attracts those interested in importing. After all, there are practical benefits of exemptions from federal tax burdens. They are present in Law No. 10,925, of July 23, 2004.

Rosemary brings data related to the Tax on Transactions related to the Circulation of Goods and on the Provision of Interstate, Intermunicipal and Communication Transport Services (ICMS). “It is exempt when listed in the consumption category. That is, how much the product is used to manufacture fertilizers, according to the legislation of each state of the importing unit”, he says.

Points of attention in storage and transport

In addition to all the elements mentioned, some care needs to be taken into account when dealing with the products. Sonia talks about them next. Keep reading!

Dry and clean basements

According to the coordinator: “Both in maritime transport and storage, it is necessary to have dry and clean holds. That is, free of residues and rust. At that time, the exporter must send a bilge cleaning certificate, which will also be valid on the road”.

Care with electricity and water

Then, the interviewee deepens the precautions with storage in ports. “When arriving in Brazil, it is essential to pay attention to electrical installations and the presence of water. These elements cannot come into contact with fertilizers, as their effectiveness can be significantly reduced”, informs Sonia.

Attention to the individuality of the products

Finally, it is necessary to keep in mind that each category of fertilizer requires specific care. Thus, it is interesting to consult the guidelines published by official sources. In the case of ammonium nitrate, for example, the Brazilian Army norms can be useful.

Sonia concludes: “In general, it is necessary to be careful, plan and efficiently transport and store fertilizers. In the case of loading in Big Bags, for example, the ideal is to use a high-grade bulk truck. On the other hand, in bulk transport, it is possible to use both a common bulk carrier and a tipper truck — as long as the product is protected against adversity such as rain and heat. In addition, the truck must be identified with the hazardous cargo symbol”.

As seen, Brazil is one of the most responsible for importing fertilizers. At that time, it is necessary to follow official rules and guidelines. In order to facilitate the process, it is possible to count on shipping agency services. The professionals in the area have experience in logistics and port intelligence, and know the best ways to handle bureaucracies in the area with ease. Consult shipping agency specialists!

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