Foreign Currency

How to exchange foreign currency in Brazil...

The purchase and sale of foreign currency is still one of the most tightly controlled aspects of banking in Brazil. Purchase of foreign currency using a credit card is not permitted. Foreign visitors can normally sell foreign currency on presentation of a valid passport, especially at bank branches located in the major airports. Most bank branches generally only deal in foreign currency on behalf of their clients, and not all branches provide foreign exchange facilities. Foreign currency may also be exchanged at one of the many exchange bureaux (casas de câmbio). The maximum amount of foreign currency that can be brought through customs and into the country is the equivalent of R$10,000.

Special Situations

Non-resident foreigners in Brazil may hold local currency accounts in Brazil, subject to Heading 1, Chapter 13, Section 1 of the International Capital and Foreign Exchange Market Regulations (Regulamento do Mercado de Câmbio e Capitais Internacionais) of the Central Bank of Brazil.

Foreigners who are temporarily resident in Brazil can hold foreign currency accounts, subject to Heading 1, Chapter 14, Section 7 of the International Capital and Foreign Exchange Market Regulations (Regulamento do Mercado de Câmbio e Capitais Internacionais) of the Central Bank of Brazil.

Funds for investment are registered with the Central Bank of Brazil and, in the case of investment funds, with the Brazilian Securities Commission (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários - CVM). In the case of funds entering Brazil in order to open a company, for example, the initial capital is registered with the Department for Foreign Capital and Control and Registration (Fiscalização e Registro de Capitais Estrangeiros - FIRCE). A certificate is issued, which entitles the company to remit future profits and/or dividends and, if necessary, repatriate capital.

  • For further information from Banco Central do Brasil on the International Capital and Foreign Exchange Market Regulations: Click here

In both cases, enquiries should be made directly to the Central Bank.

Information supplied by Liam Gallagher, LAG Traduções e Serviços de Consultoria Ltda Tel: (11) 5561 0836 / (11) 9248 4609 e-mail l Website