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Moving to Brazil - How to ship a container

Hi!

Lately many have been curious about shipping to Brazil, and my husband and I moved to Brazil lately. We shipped our stuff last march from Montreal (Canada) to Santos (closest port to Sao Paulo). I will let you know what I learned from that experience.

- First of all, if you don't REALLY need to ship your stuff, DONT (except if your job accepts to pay your move from door to door). In Brazil, furniture is not as nice (quality/price), especially electrodomestic stuff, but still, not worth the trouble to move in my opinion. 

- If you really need to move and have a low volume, consider sending it by plane or bringing as much as you can as luggage (usually around 200$ for an extra luggage, and with many airlines two luggages are free).

- Find a good company, read about them on internet as the quality may vary a lot. Look at their reputation on sites like BBB, or make a google search on reviews. You can try with different company and bargain (we did), but in the end, it is worth to spend here. We used Brytor and had a flawless move.
As for options,  you can take "door to door" or "port to port" etc. but unless you have someone really expert to advise you, I strongly recommend "door to door" (from one house to the other). In our case, we took "door to port" as we had a reliable broker in Brazil who helped us navigate through the paperwork correctly.

- No matter how good the reputation your moving company is, laws of Brazil are too complicated for most of them to try to understand (that's what most company told us when we were asking quotes). That means, whatever the company tells you about paperwork at the port, verify, especially if you take "door to port" like us, as they wont be responsible once they drop it there.

- Make a detailed list of everything in your boxes for the men who will verify the container in the port. Note the model and serial number of all your electronics, make sure you don't bring anything with a motor (forget about a car!! prohibited), don't bring anything edible. Wrap well all your stuff. check on the website of Receita federal for more details.
http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/princ … es/faq.htm

- If you hesitate for a container or half container, go for the container. Smaller ones are put together and if there is a problem with the other client's stuff, yours will be stock in the port too (delays, $).

- Once it arrives in Brazil, especially in Santos, your container can be blocked there for MONTHS before being looked at by customs and liberated (yes, we heard more than one story from first hand) and you have to pay for everyday it stays there. Some people find a way to bargain at this point. Prices will vary a lot depending on, I dont know, possibly the tide??? I let you make your own mind on that.

Our stuff arrived in around one month and was quickly liberated (we got pretty lucky or had a pretty good broker, because it was in perfect condition). We did have to pay some fees still. 

Good luck to all of you! Hope that helped a bit

Emilie




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Hi Emilie,

Thanks so much for this firshand account of your experience. While I advise everybody not to ship unless they have an employer who will pay the enormous costs the warning is so much stronger and members will pay attention when it comes from somebody like you who has just goen through the experience. Thanks again it was wonderful.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Oops, forgot to give you a "thumbs up" for your post. I have corrected that oversight as we speak.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

(You will notice that you also got one from the TEAM in Mauritius - way cool!)

You're welcome William

If anybody's curious, in total it ended up being very  expensive, around 8000$CA (broker + moving company + other fees).

Quite sure we wouldn't do it again (well, that is if we ever had that kind of money left anyway lol). And we didn't even get our stuff blocked at Santos port, unlike others. This can put it up by many hundreds to many thousands.   

So you do the math, it's pretty worth it to buy everything new in Brazil and just take an extra luggage for your personal stuff or send it by plane.

Yeah, R$16.000,00 goes a long way when you're talking at buying furniture in Brazil that's for sure. Especially when you consider that in most places you can wangle a juicy discount for paying in cash.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Hey there, i'm looking for information (and opinions) on bringing my upright piano from Malta to Rio.. is it worth it? i know i can get another one here but i've been playing on my old piano for over 20 years, so sad to think that it's at home gathering dust :-( :-(

Hi Saudades

As it is hard to know how much will cost you for duties etc., if it is worth it will rather depend on how much stress/risk you are willing to accept to send your piano.

Most of the things coming from outside here cost at least double the price, so if you buy one here it will probably be very expensive.

I would recommend that if you are sending other belongings in a container anyway, bring your piano and pay a good company to make sure it is well wrapped and protected.

If you don't bring other stuff, I would suggest you to think hard how much you really want it, and take your decision.

Good luck!

Emilie

Thanks Emilie! *sigh*

If it helps, I did send my stuff and compared to others it was actually a big headache, but not as bad as we had anticipated...I have no regrets at all, except that I should have brought more!

I got door-to-door service. As I didn´t have furniture or large appliances,  I chose to send boxes instead of getting a container. I bought the boxes at a local shipping store, wrapped up everything, put label on with the address in Brazil. The company sent a truck to my house, they didn´t verify the weight or the content, pick everything up, I sign a form and they left. I traveled around for a few weeks and arrived in Brazil by the time the boxes where getting here. I could track my boxes through a link. When I arrived in Brazil, I changed my destination from one city to another. They delivered at my new place, nothing was violated, everything was fine. I was very happy with the service. I didn´t regret my decision to bring what I thought to be important to me. Besides reference books, memorabilia, tons of photos, I brought lots of kitchen appliances and gadgets. Some things are very expensive in Brazil, such as Kitchen Aid stand mixer, upright heavy duty vaccum cleaner and extra bags, tower heater, perfums, beauty products, goose down comforter, electric blanket, Egyptian cotton sheets and towels, massage table, 2 bicycles, gym light equipment such as Pilates ball, natural essential oils, computer, printer, camping gear, etc 7 boxes total. At that time I paid US$80 per box. It was worth it.

Hello Emilie,

I´m Tamara a 30 old brazilian girl from São Paulo city.

I´m a tourism and hospitality student. I lived in Europe for almost 2 years, i worked there as an au pair. So if you ever need a babysitter...would be nice to meet you.

Best Regards

Tamara

Hi Tamara,

I suggest you to post your advert in the Babysitting in São Paulo section, this might surely help. Thank you! :)

Regards,

David.

I was very interested in landinbrazil's posting and the door-to-door service.

I am moving from Miami to Rio. I am really interested in getting more information about what moving company you used. I am being quoted such prices that are so high that of course I won't be moving furniture, but I don't know how I will do with my sewing machines, computer, etc-

If you can share some info about your moving company- or how a similar company could be found- I would really appreciate it!

Or if there is anyone else that could help please do post your information here!

Much appreciated!

Ire

Hi there, you can try getting a quotation from uship.com

Good luck

Hi Ire,
I hired fastwaymoving.com in 2007. They are based in Florida. Good luck.

Hello From São Paulo.

I'm from Portugal and I'm thinking about moving to Sao Paulo! The big city!

Well, for they realize these were not well the plans I'm attending right with my boyfriend and we both decided to move to the other side of the Atlantic! Around Europe this bera ... so we began to analyze cities, selecting some and I ended up being called for a paid internships in São Paulo, Itaim!!

Our plans and go out there and finish the Erasmus last year of high school and then enroll in the OAB and exercise!

Never really thought in São Paulo, but now with proposed job there, the mind!

The remuneration shall be between 1600 to 1900 reais, and my boyfriend a arrumara stage, which is demand, which should hover this value too!

Can help me!? I was wondering if with these values if you live there, as and prices, life, if you like ...?

Opinions are all welcome! The go go in August!!

Thank you. Paulistaaas

Accardosa, you are posting in the wrong thread, and Im sorry I might be breaking your bubble but 1600 to 1900 reais per month wont get you too far in SP.

Expect to live really far from your internship and have a long transit time, as for that amount you wont even be able to pay a rent around Itaim (even a one room apartment).

I recommend a minimum of 3000 reais to live 2 people in SP, and that is on a tight budget. Others might have other recommendations?

Good luck

Emilie

Hi Acccardoso,

You're going to be living on a starvation budget with R$1900.

Read the following posting it will help you a lot.

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=137716

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

Emile,

I don't know if I make myself clear or if I misunderstood, but I spoke in 1700 reais per person ... in other words, my boyfriend and I together we should join some 3200reais per month .... Think hard?

And how do you feel about living in sao paulo? Live?
Thanks for your opinion.

My only real 1900 ordered, more 1900reais of my boyfriend, IE 4000reais you can't live two people in sao paulo?

Thank you

To be quite honest with you, most middle management employees in São Paulo earn around R$7000 per month. Rents in any decent area of the city for a 1br. apartment are at the very least R$1500 and up, plus condominium fees that can run several hundred reais on top of the rent, light, water, phone, food and transportation is all going to eat up R$4000 pretty quickly.

Cheers,
William James Woodward

Acccardoso,
I think you can live with any amount of money in Brazil. It just depends on where and how you want to live. São Paulo is expensive, but if you live like a student, you can make it with your salary. To start, you can live in a boarding house with meal included, so you don´t have to worry about buying furniture, appliances, making complicated apartment lease. Or you can try a "republica", a student share rentals. These places are usually well localized within the city. If you plan to rent an apartment, I think you may need to live in the working class suburbs. I live in a small town, and many university students leave home to study in Sao Paulo, and they can make it with their family here making $2000 per month. You just can´t have the same lifestyle you had back home. But it is well worth it.

landinbrazil :

Acccardoso,
I think you can live with any amount of money in Brazil. It just depends on where and how you want to live. São Paulo is expensive, but if you live like a student, you can make it with your salary. To start, you can live in a boarding house with meal included, so you don´t have to worry about buying furniture, appliances, making complicated apartment lease. Or you can try a "republica", a student share rentals. These places are usually well localized within the city. If you plan to rent an apartment, I think you may need to live in the working class suburbs. I live in a small town, and many university students leave home to study in Sao Paulo, and they can make it with their family here making $2000 per month. You just can´t have the same lifestyle you had back home. But it is well worth it.

Landimbrasil,

Thank you very much for your opinion.
In fact I'm going to gain experience and money, and not to have a life of luxuries.

Obviously I'm looking for better than here in portugal, but anyone who changes from country knows it's easy life in the beginning.

Since I'm going with my boyfriend, we rent house, because it would be more comfortable, since we both ... But of course it will have to be an apartment or House in the suburbs.

Is de sao paulo? Recommend somewhere?

By the way can enlighten me a doubt? Here in portugal we have the so-called metro pass, which is the month in Brazil does not exist? Straight right? ...

I know it won't be an easy life, between work and study, but all this adventure will be worth it if god want;)

Do you have any special advice?

Thank you very much!!

Hello Acccardoso,

If you are staying in the Metropolitan São Paulo Area you can purchase a "Bilhete Único" at any bus terminal or Metrô or CPTM station. You put whatever amount of credits on it and then use it in the whole integrated system (with the exception of EMTU inter-urban buses). It allows you to use up to 4 buses in a 2 hour period for the price of one single fare. You can also use the same pass to transfer onto the MetrÔ or CPTM trains for a slight additional fee. You can purchase additional credits in many locations around Greater São Paulo such as all the locations mentioned above, plus any Casa Lotérica, some banca de jornal, convenience stores, etc. It is the most economic way to travel around the Metropolitan São Paulo Area.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

wjwoodward :

Hello Acccardoso,

If you are staying in the Metropolitan São Paulo Area you can purchase a "Bilhete Único" at any bus terminal or Metrô or CPTM station. You put whatever amount of credits on it and then use it in the whole integrated system (with the exception of EMTU inter-urban buses). It allows you to use up to 4 buses in a 2 hour period for the price of one single fare. You can also use the same pass to transfer onto the MetrÔ or CPTM trains for a slight additional fee. You can purchase additional credits in many locations around Greater São Paulo such as all the locations mentioned above, plus any Casa Lotérica, some banca de jornal, convenience stores, etc. It is the most economic way to travel around the Metropolitan São Paulo Area.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

Thank you!

So let me get this straight! If load with 30reais, and that each trip and 3reais, from what I've seen, so I can make 10 trips?

Sorry to disturb you, but I'm to assimilate so much;)

Yes ten trips, but more than 10 buses, as I said you can take up to 4 buses in a three hour period (not 2 as I had mentioned) on weekdays so if you can do your round trip in that time you've only used one fare. You can transfer to the Metro or CPTM for an additional R$1,65. If you take the train or Metrô first you can then integrate to the buses and take 3 buses in the 3 hour period. If you take the bus first you can take 3 buses and still integrate with the Metrô or CPTM if you do so in 2 hours. Also on Sundays and holidays the Bilhete Unico permits up to 4 buses in a period of 8 hours.

Cheers,
William James Woodward

Thank you my dear! Being quite useful!

Hi Acccardoso,
If you are going to work in Itaim Bibi, it´s best if you could live near by, or at least, at a neighborhood with easy transportation, such as taking just one bus or a metro. Itaim is surrounded by upscale neighborhoods, so you will need to go a little bit further, but will be still in a good area. I would try to avoid living in the suburbs, which is usually populated by less priviledged families and you won´t find interesting. I think Vila Mariana, Saúde, Pinheiros, Vila Madalena (bohemian nightlife for it is close to the Universidade de Sao Paulo), or Centro, where it is the old downtown with small apartments that you may be able to afford. Take a look at this link: sp-turismo.com/bairros-sp.htm. You need to avoid the Noroeste, Nordeste, East part of Sudeste, Leste 1 and 2, and Sul. Even though, it looks like there is no much left, São Paulo is a gigantic city, so even if you need to travel within the same neighborhood, it may take you hours.
I understand that you want to rent an apartment with your boyfriend, but furnished apartment is rather rare, so you will need to buy everything, even the basic appliances (stove, refrigerator, washing machine). My suggestion is for you to look for a "republica" (student shared housing), where you may need to bring just your mattress. Or a pensão (boarding house) where you bring only your bedding. Or a flat hotel (residential hotels).
Or cheap (disgusting) hotel in downtown that you may be able to share with your boyfriend.
If possible, try to get your office to find a temporary place for you to stay until you find your own apartment.
if your boyfriend is Brazilian, all he needs is to find a job. If he is not, he may run into a visa problem. I hope you are getting a proper visa for your internship. Please read about visa, work, rentals still in this site. They are very helpful, and will save your from lots of headache.
But once you are settled, things are going to get fun. I think São Paulo is the best metropolitan city in Brazil (to tell you the truth, I think it is the only one).
Good luck, please ask more questions if needed.

Thank you so much for all the tips;)

I have searched and Mutanta ha and cheapo houses are near my future college. Know the area? Is good? Or not recommend ...

Thanks people

And bela vista ?...  ;)

Are you going to study at USP? If so, check the student housing. It is free of cost. If not, east side of Butantã can be a good place to live, but I wouldn´t go father west or south, such as to Campo Limpo. A house may not be a safe place to live and many people tend to avoid that. Bela Vista is closer to old downtown, depending on the area, it may be much better than living in Butantã. it is centrally located, has buses and metros, shopping malls, cultural centers, movie theaters, restaurants, banks, bakeries, etc
Do not rent online, OK? Too many scams around. Come, stay at a hotel, and then find a place to rent. However, may not be easy to rent as the real estate administrators require too many documents, co-signer living in São Paulo, proof of income, etc

Hello Laura, thanks so much for your help, I was able to get a  registration for my daughter at The PUC in SP, but I need a good address for student housing near the school, The PUC gave me a list of housing but not student housing, can your friend help me with some good address?

Thanks in advance

Does anyone have information on shipping a car to Brazil? I know you can import a brand new 0 km car to Brazil with just a few taxes, but how can you get the quote for container costs etc.

Even automobile experts in Brazil will tell you that while it may look attractive at first blush, importing a car to Brazil isn't worth the effort or the headaches and will end up costing more than buying the same car here in Brazil.

A few taxes? Besides the cost of shipping which can be extremely high, once the car arrives in Brazil it is going to be subjected to import taxes, IPI, COFINS, PIS, ICMS which are all calculated on the price of the vehicle including freight costs. This will effectively double the price initially paid for the vehicle abroad. Then too there are other things involved like before anything else registering the car with and obtaining the permission of SISCOMEX (Sistema Integrado de Comércio Exterior) of the Receita Federal to import the vehicle.

Used cars cannot be imported at all unless they are over 30 years old and registered as classic vehicles, only then with a special licence from IBAMA and once it arrives it must be inspected by DETRAN and issued a certificate that it meets all the applicable Brazilian noise and emission standards.

As if all that isn't enough to turn anyone off on trying to privately import a car you can count on it being held up in Customs here in Brazil too. The whole process start to finish can be somewhere around 100 days.

So, that Honda Fit that sells for the equivalent of R$37.177,38 in the USA ends up costing well over R$51.000,00 once it gets here and ends up on the road, or in other words exactly the same price as you can purchase it for in any Honda dealership in Brazil without all the headaches.

Yes, cars in Brazil are absurdly expensive compared to anywhere else in the world. They're almost twice as expensive as cars in North America. But don't fool yourselves, that is NOT the fault of the auto manufacturers nor is it the fault of the car dealerships, they aren't making one centavo of profit more than their counterparts do in other countries.

If we're going to blame anybody for this situation, the absurd prices the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Brazilian government that isn't satisfied with just one tax on something, but rather heaps up to 6 different taxes on the same item as in the case of automobiles. When added together all these taxes are nearly equal to the selling price of the same vehicle outside Brazil.

As if that isn't bad enough rather than reduce taxes on ALL automobiles when times get tough they simply reduce the IPI tax on cars that are partially manufactured and assembled in Brazil (there is no auto completely manufactured in Brazil). This not only discourages fairer pricing since it favors some manufacturers who will keep prices artificially high as a result, but it also violates World Trade Organization rules and it is for this reason that EU manufacturers are now going to take the Brazilian government to WTO court.

LandinBazil, I'm thinking about the possibility of sending some boxes to Brazil next month. Would you mind to tell me what company you used to move? Thanks in advance!

I'm thinking about the possibility of sending some boxes to Brazil next month. Would you mind to tell me what company you used to move? Thanks in advance!

Did you hire a company and a broker in Brazil too?

Hi, what company did you use and from what country? Thanks!

Hello Emilie116,
I know it's a long time since your OP
Could you say who was you broker in Santos?
and which movers did you use to ship?
Thanks

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