Duty free allowances to increase in Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Twitter announcement that the Brazilian government will confirm new duty free allowances within the next few days came as no surprise to Latin American duty free industry observers. The current allowances have been in place since 1991 and over the last few months there have been several calls to bring them up to date to take account of inflation.

On Friday Bolsonaro tweeted on his personal account that the allowance for purchases in airport duty free shops made by Brazilian residents arriving on international flights will be increased from US$500 to US$1000, within the next few days. Bolsonaro also tweeted that the allowance for purchases from land-based stores on the Paraguayan border will be increased from US$300 to US$500. Most pundits expect that this allowance will also apply to other Brazilian land borders, including Argentina and Uruguay. The new allowances will allow duty free shop operators, both in airports and on land borders, to offer more expensive products.

Brazil’s Finance Ministry controlled by Paulo Guedes is expected to publish the regulatory decree before the end of October.

President Bolsonaro’s tweet was posted shortly after ASUTIL Secretary General Jose Luis Donagaray had held a media webinar Friday morning to inform the industry press that the increased allowances were expected this week.

UPDATE: On October 15 ASUTIL released the Official Brazilian Resolution, which can be seen in the original Portuguese here. The new US$1,000 allowance will go into effect on January 1, 2020 and as of now is for airports only. “We are waiting for borders as announced by President Bolsonaro in his tweet,” commented Jose Luis Donagaray. To see an English translation of the resolution, please click here.