Buying an imported phone may end up coming out cheaper than buying a device in Brazil. In other cases it may even be best to shop out there and find a device that delivers better features and functions than a model with the same price here. But how do you import a mobile device?
How to Import Cell Phone: Taxes
The first thing you need to know before importing any device are the taxes. Despite what anyone can talk to you, chances are almost 100% that a smartphone will be taxed by customs. Of course, some people end up being lucky not to fall into the “fine mesh” of the IRS, but these people are a minority nowadays. But what does that mean to you?
It means that if you are taxed, you must be ready to pay at least 60% of the value of the product in addition to the value of the ICMS according to your state (usually up to 20%) on the value of the product. This means that for a product that costs $ 100, you will have to pay $ 60 + the value of ICMS in taxes, converted to reais. This tax can not be paid in installments, and has to be paid in cash.
And it’s no use wanting to declare a value under $ 50 dollars and as a gift for a device that obviously costs a lot more than that. Revenue inspectors will pick up your product, revalue the value and tax it for the real value. But if by any chance the real value of the product is more expensive than you actually paid, you can ask for a revaluation as soon as your arrival notice arrives at your house. Take your card statement, the purchase data, and attach it with the form that you must fill out at the Post Office, but there is no guarantee that the products will be revalued for the amount paid.
In short, separate the value of up to 80% of the device to be able to pay taxes on demand. Be prepared for the stab.
Importing mobile phones and device configuration
Once you have prepared for taxes, it’s time to prepare to choose the right device to use in Brazil. After all, although many people do not know, cellular networks in different countries are very different, and device configurations meet these differences.
You should primarily check the connection technology of the phone and the frequency with which it connects. There are several websites on the internet that have the technical data of several different models of smartphones. You must also check the frequency and technology of the carrier you are going to use. In Brazil, the following technologies are available:
For 2G, connections use GSM / GPRS / EDGE technologies on the following frequencies:
Hi 1800 Mhz
Light 1800 Mhz
CTBC 900/1800 Mhz
Sercomtel 900/1800 Mhz
Live 900/1800 Mhz or 1900 Mhz off MG
TIM 1800 Mhz
For 3G, connections use HSDPA technology on the following frequencies:
Hi 2100 Mhz – Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Campo Grande, Goiânia, Brasilia, Cuiabá, Palmas, Porto Velho and Rio Branco. See
Claro 850 Mhz – Brasilia, Fortaleza, Recife, Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro (includes Macaé), Florianópolis
CTBC 850 Mhz – Uberaba, Uberlândia and Franca.
Hi 2100 Mhz – Consult with the operator
Vivo – 2100 Mhz in Belo Horizonte and 850 Mhz in the rest of the country
TIM 850 Mhz and 2100 Mhz – Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; you need to check to confirm.
For 4G, connections use LTE and HSPA + technologies on the following frequencies:
Oi 2500 Mhz – Northeast, Southeast, South, Center-West and North
Claro 2500 Mhz – Northeast, Southeast, South, Center-West and North
Claro 700 Mhz (4.5G) – Brasília, Anápolis, Rio Verde,
TIM 2500 Mhz – North , Southeast, South, Midwest and Northeast
TIM 700 Mhz – Brasília
Vivo 700 Mhz and 1800 Mhz – Brasília
Vivo 2500 Mhz – Northeast, Southeast, South, Midwest and North
New technologies may have different frequencies, and you should check with the carrier that you will use before you purchase a handset.
It’s also important that you make sure the device is already unlocked or not. Unlocked devices are usually listed as “unlocked” or “factory unlocked.” It is relatively easy to unlock a locked device , but it is better to already buy an unlocked.
Choosing the store to buy imported mobile phone and shipping type
There are dozens of stores around the world from where you can buy your smartphone. It is necessary to research enough, however, to know which are the most reliable and which of them send to Brazil. In some cases, it may be worth searching for a parcel redirection service, but remember that this service has a cost beyond sending to Brazil. Search through Social Network forums and groups to find the best services for your needs. It is necessary to remember that when you make your purchase, you will still pay a 6.38% tax amount on purchases made using the credit card. Add this value to the device’s final value. When choosing the shipping, it is important to know how to choose and the characteristics of each of these types of shipments.
EMS, DHL, FedEx and courier services
They are services that deliver faster, but are also more expensive. These services may charge taxes before delivery, at the time of payment of the order, or when they deliver the product in your home. In this second case, it is good to have the money available at home to pay the tax. 100% of courier orders pay taxes. In this type of shipment, orders usually arrive in less than 2 months. In this type of shipment, it also includes the services offered by Amazon through Azul, which now ships direct from the US to Brazil.
Other shipping types
Other types of parcel delivery are likely not to be taxed. However, this type of shipping can take a long time for the product to reach your home. Or not. There are cases of these products arriving in a week, other cases where it takes a month and others that can take up to 6 months. An average of waiting is 2 months for the arrival of the product.
Ensure that the product you are buying has insurance for shipping or at least has a consumer protection service so that you can make a claim if the product has been damaged, lost, or comes with a problem.
Comparing prices before importing the mobile phone
When researching all this and prices , also research if the international site offers special installments or discounts for Brazilian customers. There are also special deals that make free or cheaper freights to the country, just search a little.
Compare the price of the product abroad with the price practiced in Brazil to know if the device has a value that is worth the wait. Perhaps it may be wiser to buy the device in Brazil and install it several times or pay with cash at a discount.
We hope all questions about importing a cell phone have been answered, but if you still have a question, leave it in the comments below and we will respond!