I really am not sure if this is the right place to post, so I will gladly delete my question if it is the wrong place.

I have a friend over in Brazil that wants to buy a few things online on Amazon, but items are very heavily taxed if bought from another country (~50% tax), so my friend wants to send me the money, have me buy these things in The United States, and then ship it over to him internationally via USPS. Is this some sort of tax-evasion? Is this something I should worry about doing?

  • 1
    note that the Brasilian authorities instantly find stuff like this in shipments.
    – Fattie
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


This is called "import duty", and it is based on the value of the goods imported. The one to pay the duty is the importer/receiver. As long as you fill the correct information (including the description and value of the items sent) on the USPS customs form (which you'll have to attach to your USPS shipment), you're good to go.

  • 3
    To add a thing: This most likely will cost exactly the same as if directly bought at a US merchant.
    – neo
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 8:40
  • 1
    @neo Unless the goods in Brazilian shops also carry an additional markup. There are plenty of services out there that offer US addresses and package forwarding, precisely for this purpose.
    – Noah
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 14:37
  • @Noah There are? What are such services called?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 13:35
  • @gerrit mail forwarding?
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:58
  • @littleadv Mail forwarding that I have seen is a service to residents who have moved, not as a relay to foreigners who wish to purchase something that can only be delivered inside the country.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:01

In addition to filling out the USPS custom forms, you will have to consider what the Brazilians allow for mailing into the country:

Amusing that the items you are mailing are not on the prohibited list. The list ranges from money and weapons. to Playing cards and Primary educational books not written in Portuguese.

You still have to be careful.


  • Brazil reserves the right to collect a “presentation-to-Customs charge” from customers for any item submitted to customs control, even if no customs charges are levied.
  • Import licenses are required for many kinds of goods and senders should ascertain from the addressee before mailing that the necessary documents are held.
  • Imports are allowed by mail, including mail order catalog shipments, up to a value of U.S. $500 (U.S. $1,000 for computer software) without the requirement of an import license provided the item is not for resale. Shipments valued at no more than U.S. $50 are duty free and are delivered to the addressee; shipments above U.S. $50 can be picked up at the post office upon payment of import duties. Imports that are prohibited or subject to special regulations must comply with applicable Brazilian government provisions. Identical shipments from the same source to the same person or address in Brazil within a 90 day period are considered part of the same shipment and may be subject to confiscation. Other merchandise that usually enters duty free includes items such as newspapers, maps, books, and magazines.
  • Shipments for which an import permit has not been issued are considered contraband and confiscated.
  • Shipments that do not indicate the applicable postage and fees on PS Form 2976-A will hinder the customs clearance process, causing delays to clear the items.
  • Used consumer goods may only be sent to charitable organizations that are recognized by the Brazilian government as being entities which serve the public interest.

Which means that you will have fill out the form, they will have to fill out forms, and they will pay the import duty when they pick it up at the pot office. Unless they were aking you to not declare the contents and value correctly.

  • Seems like quite a hassle, I'm not even sure it is any less expensive :\ Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 19:56

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