Lost Packages to Brazil

As of the past few months, we have seen an alarming amount of lost packages being sent to Brazil via the United States Postal Service (USPS). Of the parcels being shipped most of the intended recipients are  cooperating with the claims process immediately upon request. Whether this is a customs issue, a carrier issue, or something else we cannot say for sure.

If you MUST ship to Brazil we recommend sending your shipments via a service like FedEx, UPS, or DHL as the tracking systems they offer are better than First Class or Priority Mail.

Update: This may be a big reason for the problems. See here: http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/ab_028.htm.



  1. First-Class Mail International items may not contain dutiable articles.
  2. Import licenses are required for many kinds of goods and senders should ascertain from the addressee before mailing that the necessary documents are held.
  3. Imports are allowed by mail, including mail order catalog shipments, up to a value of U.S. $500 (U.S. $1000 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.


So, First Class shipments are not allowed if they are dutiable.

UPDATE: 3 months later and eBay has chimed in – http://announcements.ebay.com/2012/06/longer-delivery-times-for-imports-entering-brazil/. Also read about Operation “Red Tide”.

33 Comments+ Add Comment

  • i thought Brazil was already on the excluded country list so i have excluded it in all my listings. Did i miss something. i had a lot of people in Brazil that contacted me requesting me to sell to them and i said no unless it went fed ex. I may have lost a lot of sales since apparently you did cover Brazil and maybe the faq info was wrong. hmmm

    • In the fall I was selling technology items to Brazil. It was very difficult. Although I shipped same-day, several buyers would send me countless inquiries to the effect “where is my item?”

      More than once Paypal even took away my money. Fortunately the buyers were honest, and when they finally received their items I got all the money due me.

      Of course I was using USPS First Class Parcel – everything else is very expensive and would have killed the sale entirely.

      In conclusion, selling to Brazil is only for the patient Seller who is also a bit of a gambler. I won’t do it again.

    • I was afraid this might happen. Brazil is our #1 export country by far, and it sickens me to think about what really happens to all of those packages. Are the buyers typically honest and items are being stolen by the Brazilian Post? Do they get held in customs so long that the buyers file a complaint with eBay and get refunded only to have their package eventually delivered? eBay should allow sellers to single out Brazil for shipping, rather than to penalize all of S. America for what will necesitate additional postage. BUT Here’s an idea Shipsaver — why not just charge extra for Brazil? We sellers could all either add a surcharge to Brazil or as above, charge extra for all of S. America. Although I have not had problems anywhere else in Latin America, there might not be any choice. On second thought, what does the USPS charge for insurance?

      • Joe, the USPS does not offer coverage for First Class Mail to Brazil. They don’t offer coverage for any First Class International shipments. We have entertained a higher rate, but at this point, there is not a sensible rate to offer based of the frequency of the problems. Hopefully the issues get better and we can re-instate coverage for ShipSaver users.

  • How is it to ship USPS express mail to Brazil?

    • USPS Express Mail take too long to Brazil, up to 3 weeks because the custom in Brazil.
      Also, USPS First Class Mail take 8-10 business days to Brazil, but we can not track and now Shipsurance not cover Brazil anymore.
      I have many customers in Brazil but I will not ship to Brazil anymore.
      Many Claim item not receive in last month.

  • What other countries should be or are on the exclusion list? Thank you.

  • if you go under the FAQ and look at exclusions link it has a list. i printed it out so when i’m updatig old listings i can whip thru the excluded countries. i find it easiest to check all the continent or area boxes and then extend and uncheck the ones that ARE covered and relevant. many countries i’ve never heard of or shipped to in 12 years on ebay…some are too poor or don’t have an interest in what i sell. you can figure out quickest way. when you list new items i just use a sell similar off a like item or change category etc to save time. as far as i knew Brazil has been excluded since i started with shipsaver insurance…hence my post on here. i’ve had to tell people in Brazil that really wanted stuff i needed a Postal MOney order you can cash at usps and to deal direct even though i hate to sell off ebay which they never want to go do all that so deal is dead….can’t risk the feeedback etc…bottom line they need to fix their country’s issues or get ebay to modify the seller responsibility. i asses risk carefully since i’m a small business and do not have volumn. i factor in just as Walmart factors in risk vs profit and theft loss they can pass on to paying customers etc. I got burned before ship saver to countries like Australia, so no the ins is added in to all int sales shipping. Ebay has enought resources to asses risk and if they don’t figure the fees the collect warrant protecting sellers for loss than i’m not going to risk it.

  • I have been gradually dropping countries and soon will drop all International sales due to problems. Far too many buyers are learning how to rip off even the sharpest sellers on eBay. It simply is not worth it. I deal in expensive coins at times and simply can’t eat several hundred to thousands of dollars. My worse country? Believe it or not, it is Canada. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times buyers in Canada have tried to rip me off. Luckily I always ship International via USPS Express which is the only true form of USPS tracking International. If the potential bidders don’t like the fact of adding $35-$50 for this shipping method, then I simply tell them not to bid. But in the long run and shortly, I will be dropping all International sales just as many other coins sellers have been doing. Even the large ones are finding out the potential for loss in additional to the extra paperwork and worry, simply are not worth one extra bid. My 2 cents.

  • This is a TERRIBLE news, most of my customers are from Brazil, I would definitely lose lots of business due to that. Come on, Shipsurance! Please bring Brazil coverage back!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tony, we do offer coverage to Brazil for our open policy holders. However, we stand by our suggestion in this blog post of FedEx, UPS, or DHL. If you must, Express or Priority but STAY AWAY from First Class!

      • You recommended to use Priority, but it also doesn’t have tracking number. So what’s the difference?

        • Priority does offer more consistent tracking than First Class. However, if the issue is a lack of patience from buyers, there is no solution other than FedEx, UPS, or DHL.

          • Avoid Normal usps, Priority or express offers tracking, except Small flat rate box and flat rate envelopes

      • Wait, so If I apply for an Open Policy Holder account, I am covered to ship to Brazil? Even with First Class Mail?

  • Brazil is a big growing country where disposable income is growing day by day having Shipsurance not cover them will definitely put a dent in business but you need to do what you need to do if the number claims has gotten out of control. Now if only I could mold my eBay listings to include Express Mail for countries excluded without giving them First Class.

  • I’m from Brazil , the government is currently doing a huge operation at customs to prevent mail fraud and illegal imports.

    Before , all First Class Mail , Flat Rate Envelope and Small Flat Rate box packages used to pass through customs without inspection but now since February 50% of these small packages are being held at customs for inspection , and this is causing an additional delay of 30 – 60 days for these packages , 1200 employers have been added to take care of this , it is the largest operation at customs to date.

    Any suspect of fraud they are sending a telegram to the buyer to send documents to prove the items value , buyers that don’t answer the telegram will lose the package and the package will be sent back to the buyer months later , it can take a long time to receive the package back because they wait up to 3 months for a response from the buyer.

    The government said that there is no date set to end this operation but I hope it will end soon.

    Hope this clears things up a little bit.

    • Brazilian – Thank you for the explanation.

  • I started experiencing lost packages in Brazil since January. I have been receiving numerous complaints on a daily basis, buyers sending emails and having to face each of them individually. Most of these buyers were even opening an item not received case on ebay resulting in loss of profit and income. I came to the point that i was thinking to block the whole country in general from my list as i couldn’t take this anymore. I used to get up on my computer and fear in reading my messages on ebay or checking my emails

    Few weeks ago i was fortunate to meet a customer who actually works for the Brazilian post office. From what i was told, their post/customs office do it intentionally. They want people from Brazil to not buy international, thus to support the domestic market instead. With that said, they intentionally delay packages coming from overseas and especially the U.S. Where a package should deliver in 2 weeks, it can take upto 2 months to get it processed and delivered IF it finally makes it there

    From my experience i have to tell you that it’s not worth of shipping to Brazil unless you are insured but still it wouldnt convince me to continue to do so. The paperwork process, headache to have to deal with customers complaining and opening cases on a daily basis, its not worth it

    • Andrew, Very interesting. We heard the same about customs in Germany. See here http://blog.shipsurance.com/2011/08/international-shipping-trends/

      • its very unfortunate but this is the reality of course. I had even a customer leaving negative feedback on Wednesday because they havent received they said and if thats true, 2 weeks down the road will get their merchandise delivered and me losing customers because of their unethical acts. Then they asked me to refund their purchase in exchange of removing negative feedback! I dont understand how ebay lets those crooks rule on sellers? I bet a lot of those people actually receive their packages, but they are being unfaithful taking advantage the freedom that ebay gives them to falsely claim item not received when they actually received it. This is very unethical and wrong to force a seller to have a tracking number attached on each international order where we all know that there is no such a thing. Either ebay will change their policies or we will all give up on them for good

        • I believe that you can report that buyer for feedback extortion, which is when the buyer threatens negative feedback for goods or services that weren’t part of the agreement, including a refund. In this case, they left negative feedback instead of a threat, and hold it over your head for a refund without due process from ebay buyer protection, which probably allows you at least 45 days to wait for delivery to another country. eBay can read the emails sent between the buyer and seller as a form of evidence. I don’t know if they’ll see the feedback as a form of abuse and remove it, but that would be nice. I would strongly suggest that you call ebay’s 1800# to tell your story to a representative.

        • I totally agree with you Andrew.It is so unfair how buyer take advantage us and the fact ebay is on there side its so unfair. i guess you are right just stop selling international I guess.

  • I have (had) been shipping to Brazil since the early 80’s, and it has ALWAYS been a problem. I have added Brazil and Russia to my DO NOT BID list. I actually used to sell a lot to both countries, but the constant headaches are not worth it.

  • I am selling on Ebay for over a year now. I am originally from Argentina so I think I understand a little about their behavior. Unfortunately, in both countries if they find out they can take advantage of something, they will. Before I learned about ShipSaver I used to sell without insurance and got ripped-off from Germany, Russian Federation and Brazil. The problem in Brazil is that some packages is true they will not arrive simply because they are stolen while in transit and others will be claim as “non-receive” by the some dishonest buyers. I have tried shipping Express Mail International and still took about a month to get there. Some other customers filed claims on Ebay and Paypal even though they know I insure my packages. Some of them lied saying they have contacted me, when they never did it. All of this is happening because is much easier and faster to file a claim on Paypal/Ebay rather than waiting 45 days to file a claim with ShipSaver. And because Paypal/Ebay doesn’t care about Sellers, they only protect the buyers, many of which have learned how to rip-off this 2 companies, well, not actually them, but the sellers. I had leaved feedback asking for a policy change on Paypal/Ebay so many times. They don’t care, they actually told me they acknowledge some customers are placing fake claims but they can’t get rid of them!!!! Simply, I no longer ship to Brazil, I don’t care if I loose business. I was also afraid of opening my emails at some point. Just not worth.

    • Karina is the same in Amazon!!! I’m will do the same … No more sales to Brazil Im tire to refund and lost my items!!!!
      That is no fear for us as sellers. how protect us from fraud?

  • I too have a list of approved countries and Brazil is not on it. Did I miss something as well? My list is as of 5/10/11. Is there a more current list available?

    • Jerry, Are you an open policy holder of ours? Where do you purchase our coverage from?

  • Shipping to Brazil has been very difficult for me and is in fact the main reason I began using ShipSaver on eBay. I hope they find a solution this problem soon.

  • This is a small set back because I have an Ebay store and ship all over the world. I actually had to search for a 3rd party insurer outside of Ebay to ship an order to Brazil.

  • Dear Sirs,

    I´m from Brazil and I´m very sad with this situation. Ok, actually there are many dishonest customers, but the vast majority are in a hurry do not understand that now, in the country, there is the scraping of the company responsible for the delivery of mail.

    I think, unfortunately, many attribute responsibility to the sellers that they (you) do not have, which is the deadline. I am a buyer on Ebay and have bought from various countries and the only thing I ask is that your submission is registered for in this way, I go with the complaint in the mail here! Eventually they got a little upset because the seller, to hinder our complaint, the company asks for sending data like weight, where it was posted, package type, etc. ….

    Believe me, this is VERY BAD service here and it seems that now there is government’s intention to end small purchases (‘m plastimodeller) why the delay, since ALL are inspected in no hurry to release them! There is also the problem of units within the ROB-mail, especially information technology articles, CDs, DVDs and stuff like that.

    I am aware of a buyer and no seller negativei NEVER have done that with my shipment record, as arranged earlier. Unfortunately not everyone here act like me and see, increasingly, the restrictions made ​​by vendors to Brazil … is regrettable but can not get the reason of you. Only want to undo the image, which some suggest, that here there is only dishonest and thieves. There is yes, but as everywhere because I have had problems in Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Russia, Canada, England, Germany, Italy … or so I think the people of these places dishonest people!

    Thank you for your attention.
    Claudio Moura

  • Dear friends,

    I am a modeler for over thirty years, and I’ve been buying kits in various establishments abroad for some time and recently also started to buy the E-Bay.

    One year down here though, I have experienced the unpleasant feeling of abandonment caused by the postal service in my country.

    This service has been getting worse every day due to a total neglect of our government and political exploitation, which caused some corruption scandals. To make matters worse, the current government seems to want to keep the defective structure inherited from the previous government, with no interest in fighting so ashamed.

    It is known that the institution is experiencing a staffing crisis and scrapping of its facilities. However, a true censorship has been established by the press itself and none of it has been released, with the clear intention of keeping the public uninformed about the real situation.

    The Brazilian postal service, which a few years ago had been widely praised by many countries today can not even honor their own services. Delays and even charges of criminal groups exist within the company, just with confidence, but being the only company authorized and without any competition, we have no choice.

    Not only that this sad situation, we still have the great problem of federal oversight, which also has the same defects already mentioned the mail.

    This review has been increasingly rigorous and time consuming with no interest in speeding up the release. Any purchase no matter how small, is likely to be taxed, although within the limits established. To get an idea, I used to get my shopping in a maximum of one month, but now take up to three months. Some go smoothly, but consider this fact, a matter of luck.

    There are rumors that such supervision should become even stronger and even more difficult purchases abroad, with the excuse that they threaten the domestic industry. This is a big lie.

    Brazil is not a bad place, but is far from the paradise that is spoken abroad.

    Like me, many are honest collectors who try to maintain a hobby totally dependent on external market. The products we buy, do not threaten the domestic industry, since this sector is virtually non-existent in my country.

    We sincerely apologize for what has been happening, but it is not our fault. It is true that there are some citizens that are not correct, but this is not exclusive only to Brazilians. We are sorry for this, but please do not compare us with a minority, and continue to trust us, not creating more restrictions than those we already have within our own country.

    From now on, thank you for understanding all.

    José Luiz Vieira.

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