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Pre Arrival:  Charts | Docs
Arrival:  Pilots
Communications:  Pratique | Pre-Arrival | VTS/Radar
Pollution:  Ballast | Pollution
Facilities:  Medical
Security:  Emergency | Piracy
Local Info:  Time | Holidays | Weather
Shore:  Tel. | Connections | Banks
Crew:  Leave | Repatriation
Report:  Report
General Information for Brazil
Capital City: Brasilia.
Nationality: (noun) Brazilian, (adjective) Brazilian.
Population: 198,739,269.
International Direct Dial Code: 55.
Number of Internal Airports: 721.
Major Languages Spoken: Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages.
Currency: 1 Brazilian Real (BRL) of 100 Centavos.
Exchange Rates:  (as of March 2018)
USD 1.00 = BRL 3.26
BRL 1.00 = USD 0.31
Exchange rates under licence from XE.com
Main Industries: Textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts and other machinery and equipment.
Territorial Sea: 12 n.m.
Other Maritime Claims: Contiguous Zone: 24 n.m. Continental Shelf: 200 n.m. or to edge of the continental margin. Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 n.m.
Coastline Extent: 7,491 km.
Climate: Mostly tropical, but temperate in south.
Natural Resources: Bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower and timber.
Natural Hazards: Recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south.
Terrain: Mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt.
Average Temperatures: 
Month High Low
January 28° C 23° C
June 27° C 16° C
September 24° C 16° C
CHARTS:  Nautical charts, publications, Notices to Mariners and navigational warnings issued by Marinha do Brasil, Diretoria de Hidrografia e Navegacao. Details available at
DOCUMENTS:  Statement of Compliance:  The documents required by the authorities for Statement of Compliance for Oil Transport:
   Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in Respect of Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage
   Crew List (IMO FAL Form)
   IOPP Certificate (all pages including any supplement form)
   Last Ports State Control Inspection Report
   P&I Entry Certificate (with wreck removal clause)
   Ports of Call List
   Registry Certificate
   Ship Safety Construction Certificate
   Ship’s particulars.
PILOTAGE:  Brazilian legislation defines pilotage as professional advisory activities provided to ships’ Masters, which are required in local areas whose peculiarities hinder the free and safe movement of the ship.
Pilotage in Brazilian waters is regulated by the Rules of Maritime Authority No. 12/2003 (NORMAM 12/2003) and monitored by the navy. In addition, Law No. 9.357/1997, commonly referred to as ``LESTA'', provides for the security of maritime traffic in waters under national jurisdiction and also regulates some pilotage issues.
Conselho Nacional de Praticagem (CONAPRA) is the national pilotage counsel, responsible for the control and inspection of the execution of pilotage activities. CONAPRA also moderates price negotiations regarding pilotage services. The issue of pricing is controversial in Brazil.
Pilotage Zones:  Full details of pilotage zones, and pilotage operators can be found at www.praticagemdobrasil.org.br/praticagem/zonas-de-praticagem
Pilotage Charges:  The level of fees charged for pilotage services will take into consideration not only the execution of the service itself, but also the pilot’s boat and the pilot look-out post (operational structure). The actual price is agreed between the parties involved. If agreement is not reached between the parties, the Public Administration may moderate over this negotiation.
NORMAM 12/2003 provides under item 0501 that maximum pilotage rates shall be fixed in accordance with the resolutions enacted by the National Commission for Pilotage Matters (Comissao Nacional de Assuntos de Praticagem – CNAP); however, there has been resistance by the industry to what is viewed as state intervention influencing pricing in what is otherwise a private and independent service. For the time being, shipowners should anticipate high pilotage fees following negotiation with the pilot provider.
Categories of Pilots:  In Brazil, there are two categories of pilots: pilot practitioners and pilots. The pilot practitioner, as defined in Chapter 2, Section I of NORMAM 12/2003, is the waterway professional who is not a crew member and aspires to become a pilot. NORMAM 12/2003 sets out the requirements to qualify as a pilot practitioner, which involves passing a public examination and undergoing a ``qualification period''. In due course, the aspiring pilot will be eligible to apply for a pilot licence. The pilot certificate will expire if the pilot cannot demonstrate a minimum frequency of pilotage engagements.
Law no. 9.357/1997, Article 13, states that pilotage will be executed by duly certified pilots, individually, organised in associations or hired by pilotage companies. The most common structure is pilots belonging to associations. Individual pilots are rarely encountered due to the high cost of pilotage equipment. The option to hire a pilot from a private company has been controversial, with some critics viewing this arrangement as being contrary to the nature of pilotage services.
Compulsory/Mandatory Pilotage:  In respect to pilotage activities, it is important to bear in mind, first of all, that pilotage is considered to be an essential activity and must be permanently available in the designated pilotage zones, as per Article 14 of Law no. 9.357/1997. The Maritime Authority sets the minimum necessary number of pilots per zone and is authorised to fix a price for the pilotage service. Additionally, pilots are not entitled to refuse to offer pilotage services, under the penalty of suspension of their licence or, in case of recidivism, cancellation of their licence.
In Brazil, ports, terminals and waterway passages in which pilotage is considered to be obligatory are listed in NORMAM 12/2003, as well as the areas in which pilotage services are deemed optional. As determined by item 0404 from NORMAM 12/2003, some types of ships are exempt from the obligation to engage pilotage services.
Vessel Tracking Systems:  Each pilotage zone has its own vessel tracking system. For instance, the pilotage zone of Sao Paulo operates a system called Centro de Coordenacao, Comunicacoes e Operacoes de Trafego (C3OT) which monitors and provides live information and images concerning meteorological and oceanographic conditions, as well as information and images on ships in the port area indicating information such as location, dimensions, position, course, speed, final destination and type of cargo.
Liability/Exemptions from Liability:  The NORMAM 12/2013 sets out the obligations applicable to pilots, including:
  1. to promptly and efficiently provide advice on local pilotage issues to the Master of the ship under pilotage
  2. to be available to provide a pilotage service for any kind of ship through the entire pilotage zone
  3. to transmit and respond to the necessary safety signals with other ships, to communicate the conditions and to cooperate with rescuing and salvage operations.
Article 25 of Decree No. 2.596/98 provides that a pilot shall be deemed liable if he refuses to provide pilotage services or breaches one of the Maritime Authority’s rules. There is no specific regulation concerning the possible liability of pilots for accidents or navigational incidents. The only relevant instrument is the Brussels Collision Convention (1910), ratified by Brazil, which has been interpreted by the local courts as exonerating pilots from civil liability, but allowing for pilot liability in the administrative and criminal spheres. Notwithstanding the above, pilots can be held liable in a redress lawsuit if it can be proven that the accident was caused due to a direct mistake of the pilot. On the other hand, in respect of the obligations of the Master of the ship towards the pilot, item 0230 from NORMAM 12/2003 highlights that:
  1. The presence of a pilot on the ship does not relieve the Master and his crew of their duties and obligations as to the safety of the ship, and the pilot’s actions should be permanently monitored.
  2. The Master of the ship, when using a pilotage service, has the following duties:
a) to inform the pilot about the manoeuvring conditions of the ship
b) to provide the pilot with all the necessary material elements and information in order to execute his service
c) to monitor the execution of the pilotage service
d) to disregard the advice of the pilot if the Master is convinced the pilot is executing his service in a dangerous manner
e) to provide the pilot with similar conditions provided to the other crew members
f) to comply with national and international safety rules
g) not to dispense with a pilot in circumstances in which pilotage is mandatory.
PRATIQUE:  The Pan American Sanitary Code:  Established by the signatory governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela, being desirous of entering into a sanitary convention for the purpose of better promoting and protecting the public health of their respective nations, and particularly to the end that effective cooperative international measures may be applied for the prevention of the international spread of the communicable infections of human beings and to facilitate international commerce and communication. Full details available from the Pan American Health Organization website. www.paho.org
    Bills of Health: 
  1. The Master of any vessel or aircraft which proceeds to a port of any of the signatory governments is required to obtain at the port of departure and ports of call, a Bill of Health, in duplicate, issued in accordance with the information set forth in the appendix and adopted as the standard bill of health.
  2. The Bill of Health will be accompanied by a list of the passengers, and stowaways if any, which shall indicate the port where they embarked and the port to which they are destined, and a list of the crew.
  3. Consuls and other officials signing or countersigning Bills of Health should keep themselves accurately informed with respect to the sanitary conditions of the ports, and the manner in which this code is obeyed by vessels and their passengers and crews while therein. They should have accurate knowledge of local mortality and morbidity, and of sanitary conditions which may affect vessels in port. To this end, they shall be furnished with any information they request pertaining to sanitary records, harbours, and vessels.
  4. The signatory governments may assign medical or sanitary officers as public health attaches to embassies or legations, and as representatives to international conferences.
  5. If at the port of departure there is no consul or consular agent of the country of destination, the Bill of Health may be issued by the consul or consular agent of a friendly government authorised to issue such bill of health.
  6. The Bill of Health should be issued not to exceed 48 hours before the departure of the ship to which it is issued. The sanitary visa should not be given more than 24 hours before departure.
  7. Any erasure or alteration of a Bill of Health shall invalidate the document, unless such alteration or erasure shall be made by competent authority, and notation thereof appropriately made.
  8. A clean Bill of Health is one which shows the complete absence in the port of departure of cholera, yellow fever, plague, typhus fever, or of other pestilential disease in severe epidemic form, liable to be transported by international commerce. Provided that the presence only of bona fide imported cases of such disease, when properly isolated, shall not compel the issuance of a foul Bill of Health, but notation of the presence of such cases will be made under the heading of ``Remarks'' on the Bill of Health.
  9. A foul Bill of Health is one which shows the presence of non-imported cases of any of the diseases referred to in 8. above.
  10. Specific Bills of Health are not required of vessels which, by reason of accident, storm or other emergency condition, including wireless change of itinerary, are obliged to put into ports other than their original destinations, but such vessels shall be required to exhibit such bills of health as they possess.
  11. It shall be the duty of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau to publish appropriate information which may be distributed by port health officers, for the purpose of instructing owners, agents, and masters of vessels as to the methods which should be put in force by them for the prevention of the international spread of disease.
Other Sanitary Documents:  Every vessel, carrying a medical officer will maintain a sanitary log which will be kept by him, and he will record therein daily: the sanitary condition of the vessel, and its passengers and crew; a record showing the names of passengers and crew which have been vaccinated by him; name, age, nationality, home address, occupation and nature of illness or injury of all passengers and crew treated during the voyage; the source and sanitary quality of the drinking water of the vessel, the place where taken on board, and the method in use on board for its purification; sanitary conditions observed in ports visited during the voyage; the measures taken to prevent the ingress and egress of rodents to and from the vessel; and the measures which have been taken to protect the passengers and crew against mosquitoes, other insects, and vermin. The sanitary log will be signed by the Master and medical officer of the vessel, and will be exhibited upon the request of any sanitary or consular officer. In the absence of a medical officer, the master shall record the above information in the log of the vessel, insofar as possible. Equal or similar forms for Quarantine Declarations, Certificates of Fumigation, and Certificates of Vaccination, set forth in the appendix, are hereby adopted as standard forms.
PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION:  Reference should be made to NORMAM-08/DPC (full text in Portuguese) with annexes which is available at www.dpc.mar.mil.br/sites/default/files/normam08_2.pdf
Foreign vessels and national vessels over 20 g.t. are required to submit to the relevant Capitania dos Portos a completed Notificacao de Previsao de Chegada (Notice of Arrival - Annex 2-A NORMAM-08/DPC) within 48 hours before arrival. Additionally, vessel shall also submit to following:
  1. Declaracao Geral de Entrada (General Entry Declaration - Annex 2-B NORMAM-08/DPC)
  2. Crew List (Appendix B-I)
  3. Passenger List (Appendix B-II)
  4. GMDSS data sheet (Appendix B-III).
Vessels engaged in sport and/or recreation, warships and State vessels not engaged in commercial activities are not subject to this requirement.
Should there be any change to the initial Notice of Arrival, a new Notificacao de Previsao de Chegada should be submitted.
Documentation can be submitted directly to the relevant Capitania dos Portos or via the SISDESP-WEB online application (under implementation).
Arrival:  Within 4 hours of arrival, vessel shall submit to the Capitania dos Portos, as applicable, the following:
  1. Declaracao Geral de Entrada (General Entry Declaration - Annex 2-B NORMAM-08/DPC)
  2. Aviso de Entrada (Vessel Arrival Communication – Annex 2-H NORMAM-08/DPC)
  3. Aviso de Entrada – Navegacao Interior (Vessel Arrival Communication – Annex 2-N-NORMAM 08/DPC).
ISPS:  Merchant vessels engaged in international voyages or engaged in commercial maritime traffic between Brazilian ports, ocean islands, terminals and offshore platforms shall present the International Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities (ISPS), as defined in regulation 1.1.12 of Chapter XI- 2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974/1988) and its amendments in force, with the exception of:
  1. cargo ships less than 500 g.t.
  2. passenger ships less than 500 g.t. that do not make international voyages
  3. vessels without means of mechanical propulsion
  4. wooden vessels, primitive construction
  5. fishing vessels
  6. vessels with LOA less than 24 m. (NORMAM-01/DPC).
Shifting:  When a vessel shifts between an anchorage/port/terminal, a Registro de Movimentacao de Embarcacao (Vessel Movement Record – Annex 2-J NORMAM-08/DPC) shall be submitted to the relevant Capitania dos Portos within 4 hours of arrival at the new location.
Departure:  Vessel shall submit a Declaracao Geral de Saida (General Departure Declaration – Annex 2-E to NORMAM-08/DPC) to request departure from port. The declaration is mandatory for all vessels wishing to leave port except for vessels of 20 g.t. or less and/or sports/recreational vessels, warships and State vessels not engaged in commercial activities. The following shall accompany the Declaracao Geral de Saida:
  1. Pedido de Despacho por Periodo (Annex 2F NORMAM-08/DPC)
  2. Declaracao Geral de Entrada (Annex 2-B NORMAM-08/DPC)
  3. Last Port Clearance
  4. International Ship Security Certificate
  5. Safety Management Certificate
  6. Crew List/Passenger List (Annex B-I NORMAM-08/DPC)
  7. Port State Control Inspection Report
  8. Notificacao de Previsao de Chegada (Annex 2-A NORMAM-08/DPC)
  9. GMDSS data sheet (Annex 3-H NORMAM-08/DPC)
  10. Passe de Saida por Periodo (Annex 2-G NORMAM-08/DPC).
Within 4 hours of departure, vessel shall submit the following, as applicable:
  1. Declaracao Geral de Saida (General Departure Declaration – Annex 2-E NORMAM-08/DPC)
  2. Aviso de Saida (Vessel Departure Communication Annex 2-I NORMAM-08/DPC)
  3. Aviso de Saida – Navegacao Interior (Vessel Departure Communication – Inland Navigation Annex 2-O NORMAM-08/DPC).
PSC – Bulk Carriers:  Brazil has announced a new inspection requirement for aging bulk carriers. All bulk carriers of 18 years of age and above, intending to load a cargo with a density of 1.78 tonnes/cu.m. or greater, such as iron ore, will be subject to an inspection by Port State Control upon arrival and prior to the commencement of loading. This new inspection requirement is in addition to the Mandatory Annual Condition Survey conducted on bulk carriers, Oil/Ore (OOs) and Oil/Bulk/Ore (OBOs) of 18 years age and above, when calling a Brazilian port, for loading solid bulk materials with specific weight equal to or greater than 1.78 tonnes/cu.m.
Reference should be made to NORMAM-01/DPC and NORMAM-04/DPC.
VTS/RADAR:  Ship Reporting System (SISTRAM):  Compulsory for all vessels calling at Brazilian ports or passing through Brazil's territorial waters. It is voluntary for vessels other than Brazilian registered or calling at a Brazilian port when not within territorial waters. Working throughout 24 hours.
SISTRAM gathers navigational information from participating vessels, to improve SAR efforts within the Brazilian maritime area. It gives Comando do Controle Naval do Trafego Maritimo (COMCONTRAM) the ability to quickly activate shore logistics and divert nearby vessels to the scene providing faster response times, resulting in better safety of life at sea. Vessels should make their initial report electronically via SISTRAM 4's website http://www.sistram.mar.mil.br User registration required.
Participation begins when a vessel sends a Sailing Plan (Type 1 message) and ends when the vessel sends a Final Report (Type 4 message). Any non-participating vessel may join SISTRAM at any time, by sending a Type 1 message, and it may leave SISTRAM at any time by sending a Type 4 message. Line `X' should be completed in the Final Report including the reason for terminating participation.
Contact:  T: +55 (21) 2104 6353. T: +55 (21) 2104 6337. cctram@cotram.mar.mil.br cpd@cotram.mar.mil.br www.sistram.mar.mil.br
BALLAST:  The Ballast Water Management (BWM) requirements for vessels calling at Brazilian ports have been in force since 15 October 2005 and apply to all vessels intending to discharge ballast water in Brazilian waters. In outline, Ballast Water Exchange (BWE) must take place at least 200 n.m. from the coast and in water at least 200 m. deep. Where this is not possible, BWE should take place at least 50 n.m. from the coast in water at least 200 m. deep. Where a vessel has been unable to fulfil either of these requirements discharge may only take place with permission of the Harbour Master or his agent.
BWE can be by sequential, flow-through and dilution methods. If using either flow-through or dilution methods, at least three times the tank volume must be pumped with an efficiency of at least 95% volumetric exchange.
Special provisions apply to ports of the Amazon Basin where an additional exchange is required to reduce ballast water salinity. This should take place between the isobathic of 20 m. and Macapa. In this case the tank volume need only be pumped once. (Similar provisions apply to the River Para.)
Compliance is monitored through inspection of the vessel’s BWM Plan and the Ballast Water Report form. Ballast water samples may also be taken. Various penalties can be imposed for breach of the legislation including the prohibition to discharge ballast water as well as a fine which can range from BRL5,000 to 50,000,000. Vessels due to call at Brazilian ports should ensure that all BWM requirements are complied with and, in particular, remind crew that a second BWE is required for vessels calling at Amazon Basin and River Para ports.
The detailed requirements of the Brazilian BWM Regulations can be found in the Annex to IMO circular BWM.2/Circ.1 and the Iretoria De Portos E Costas document NORMAM 20, within which the Reporting Form (in English) can be found at www.dpc.mar.mil.br/normas/normam
POLLUTION:  In the event of a spill, Instituto Brasiliero do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA) will usually devolve the clean-up response to the environment departments of the 18 coastal states and/or to the national oil company, Petrobras. The role of On-Scene Commander would normally be played by either the relevant Port Captain, or an employee from the local IBAMA office, the State Environmental Agency concerned or Petrobras.
Contact:  Competent National Authority: Instituto Brasiliero do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA). T: +55 (61) 3316 1212. www.ibama.gov.br
Spill Notification Point: MRCC Brazil. T: +55 (21) 2104 6056. F: +55 (21) 2104 6038. mrccbrazil@con.mar.mil.br Alternatively, spills should be reported to the nearest port.
MEDICAL:  Foreign nationals are entitled to emergency medical treatment in Brazilian public hospitals. Public hospitals in Brazil, especially in major cities, tend to be crowded. Private hospitals will not accept you unless you can present evidence of sufficient funds or insurance. Make sure you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
There has been an increase in reported cases of Hepatitis A in Sao Paulo over the last year. There has been a increase in reported cases of yellow fever, particularly in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Please note that Rio de Janeiro state authorities recommend that all visitors to the state, including to the island of Ilha Grande, are vaccinated against yellow fever.
UK health authorities have classified Brazil as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. Malaria is present in parts of the country. Dengue fever is particularly common during the rainy season (from November to March).
The sun can be extremely strong and UV levels are high.
If you’re taking medication, take a good supply with you, as they may not be available locally. Bring a prescription or letter from your doctor confirming your requirement to carry the medication. Counterfeit drugs can also be an issue, so it’s always better to travel with your own supplies. Rules for carrying personal medication vary and can change, so check with the Brazilian Consulate before you travel.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 192 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE:  Centro Brasileiro de Controle de Missao. T: +55 (61) 3364 8395. F: +55 (61) 3365 2964. brmcc.cindacta1@fab.mil.br
Secao de Registro de Balizas 406Mhz. T: +55 (61) 3364 8419. registro406@cindacta1.aer.mil.br
Centro de Coordenacao de Salvamento – Curitiba. T: +55 (41) 3256 8008. arcc_cw@cindacta2.aer.mil.br
Centro de Coordenacao de Salvamento – Amazonico. T: +55 (92) 3652 5520. arccaz@cindacta4.aer.mil.br
Centro de Coordenacao de Salvamento – Recife. T: +55 (81) 3462 4927. arccre.cindacta3@fab.mil.br
Centro de Cooordenacao de Salvamento – Brasília. T: +55 (61) 3365 1212. arccbs.cindacta1@fab.mil.br
Salvamar Brasil. T: +55 (21) 2104 6056. F: +55 (21) 2104 6038. mrccbrazil@con.mar.mil.br
Also see VTS/Radar and Pollution
PIRACY:  There have been armed and unarmed attacks on merchant vessels off the Brazilian coast and in some Brazilian ports.
  1. GMT minus 2 hours in Atlantic islands.
  2. GMT minus 3 hours in the states of Amapa, E Para, Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Tocantins, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia, Goias, Distrito Federal, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and W Para.
  3. GMT minus 4 hours in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rondonia, Roraima, E Amazonas, W Amazonas and Acre.
  4. Daylight Saving Time from 3 rd Sunday in October to Saturday before 3 rd Sunday in February. DST is observed in the aforementioned states of Bahia, Goias, Distrito Federal, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso.
LOCAL HOLIDAYS:  1 January (New Year's Day, (Fraternidade Universal)); Carnival (47 days before easter); Good Friday; Easter; 21 April (Tiradentes (Independence Hero)); 1 May (Labour Day); 24 June (St. John); 7 September (Brazil's Independence Day); 12 October (Patroness of the Nation (Nossa Senhora Aparecida)); 2 November (All Souls Day); 15 November (Republic Day); 24 December (Christmas Eve); 25 December (Christmas Day); Nossa Senhora da Penha.
By order of the local Port Authorities it is requested that all ships in port must be dressed overall on the following national holidays: 7 September and 15 November.
Variable Dates:  Carnival (February or March); Good Friday, Easter (March or April); Corpus Christi (June or July).
WEATHER/TIDES:  The rainy season runs from November until March in the south and south east and from April until July in the north east of the country. Heavy rains can often disrupt infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. Flash floods and landslides, especially in poorer urban areas, are common during heavy rains. Monitor local media and follow any instructions given by the local authorities.
Maritime weather warnings and forecasts available at www.marinha.mil.br/chm/dados-do-smm/warnings-and-forecasts
TELEPHONES:  The Brazilian telephone numbering plan uses a two-digit area code plus eight-digit local phone numbers for landlines and nine digits for mobile lines. Public utility services use short phone numbers (usually three digits), always starting with 1.
Mobile phone numbers in Brazil are assigned the same geographic area codes as fixed lines, according to the subscriber's place of residence or most frequent use. Mobile phone numbers start with the digits 6, 7, 8 or 9. These initial digits are known to the public, so one always knows beforehand if one is calling a fixed or a mobile line.
CONNECTIONS:  Public Transport:  Public transport is likely to be disrupted during demonstrations or civil unrest. Be vigilant when using public transport, especially during rush-hour as petty crime is common. Generally, the metro systems in Rio and Sao Paulo are safer than buses. Criminals often work in gangs robbing large numbers of people concentrated in the same place: public transport hubs can be particular hotspots. There have been incidents of hijacking and robbery of tour buses in recent years.
Only use licensed taxis. You can pick up a licensed taxi from the many recognised taxi ranks around Brazilian cities. Always check your taxi has the company details on the outside. Taxi apps are also a useful way to call a registered taxi; request your taxi inside if possible to avoid displaying your smartphone on the street. If your app allows this, share your journey with colleagues so they can track you. Be aware that some taxi apps are reliant on GPS and run the risk of entering a more dangerous area of the city, in particular favelas.
Most airports have licensed taxi desks inside the baggage reclaim areas. You can pay for your taxi in advance using a credit card or cash inside the airport rather than in the street.
Air Travel:  Always use recognised national air carriers. There have been accidents involving light aircraft, which sometimes have poor maintenance standards.
Rail Travel:  The railway infrastructure is limited and there have been safety and security incidents on this system.
BANKS:  Bank and credit card fraud is common, including card cloning from ATMs. Keep sight of your card at all times and do not use an ATM if you notice anything suspicious. Notify your bank in advance of your trip to avoid your card being blocked. If you withdraw cash at an ATM and it has any sort of pink marks, speak to the bank (or police) straight away to get it changed as it may have been marked as damaged or counterfeit.
SHORE LEAVE:  Favelas:  Favelas (Portuguese for ‘slum’ or ‘shanty town’) are urban neighbourhoods of high density informal or unplanned housing. They exist in all major Brazilian cities, range in size from a few blocks to large sprawling areas, and can border areas frequented by tourists and visitors.
The security situation is many favelas is unpredictable, particularly in Rio de Janeiro. Any visit to a favela can be dangerous. It is recommend that you avoid these areas in all cities, including ‘favela tours’ marketed to tourists and any accommodation, restaurants or bars advertised as being within a favela.
In Rio de Janeiro, there are favelas located around the city, including close to the tourist area of Zona Sul. If you are unsure about a location, seek local advice from your representative/hotel/local authorities.
Violence in Rio de Janeiro favelas increased in 2017. Armed clashes and shootouts between police forces and gangs are a regular and unpredictable occurrence, and in October 2017 a tourist on a favela tour in Rio de Janeiro was accidentally shot dead by police. Armed clashes have also occurred on major thoroughfares, including the main highway to and from the international airport in Rio de Janeiro which runs alongside a large favela.
There is a risk of violence spilling over into nearby areas, including those popular with tourists. There have been injuries and deaths as a result of stray bullets in and near favelas.
Take extra care in all Brazilian towns and cities, especially Rio de Janeiro. If you’re using GPS navigation, whether by car or on foot, make sure that the suggested route doesn’t take you into a favela. Avoid entering unpaved, cobbled or narrow streets which may lead into a favela. Tourists have been shot after accidentally entering a favela. Check with your representative/hotel/local authorities if unsure.
Crime:  There are high levels of crime, particularly robberies, within Brazil’s cities and the murder rate can be very high; however this can vary greatly within a city and it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the geography of a city and take local advice to identify the riskier areas. Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere and often involves firearms or other weapons. Pickpocketing is common. You should be vigilant, in particular before and during the festive and carnival periods. It is recommended that you do not go on to city beaches after dark.
If threatened, hand over your valuables without resistance. Attackers may be armed and under the influence of drugs. Don’t attempt to resist attackers – this increases the risk of injury or worse.
Do not wear expensive jewellery and watches, and do not carry large sums of money and consider wearing a money belt. Do not use your mobile phone in the street and keep cameras out of sight when not in use. Leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place but carry a copy and another form of photo ID, if you have one, with you at all times.
Thefts are particularly common on public beaches and include “arrastoes” where large groups of thieves run through an area of the beach grabbing possessions. Keep your possessions close and avoid taking valuables to the beach.
The most common incidents affecting foreign nationals in Rio de Janeiro are thefts and pick pocketing around Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach and the areas of Lapa and Santa Theresa. Tourists in Rio de Janeiro frequently report armed robberies on the Corcovado walking trail to the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The most common incidents affecting foreign nationals in the NE of Brazil are theft from hotel and motel rooms and muggings. Reduce the risk of being mugged by avoiding quiet or deserted streets and/or areas and by using taxis after sunset instead of walking.
Robberies on buses are common in many cities. According to police statistics the most stolen items are mobile phones and the period in which the greatest number of robberies occur is between 1600 and 2100 hours.
Thefts from cars are common; keep valuables out of sight.
Carjacking can occur, particularly on major thoroughfares and in tunnels. Approach your car with your keys in hand so you can get into your car quicker. When driving, keep doors locked and windows closed, and take particular care at traffic lights. Where possible, use the middle lane. Avoid deserted or poorly lit areas, except under reliable local advice. Be aware of people approaching to ask for information, especially at night. If driving at night outside the city, avoid stopping at the roadside – if you need to do so try to find a petrol station/other well lit area in which to stop.
Rape and other sexual offences against tourists are rare, but there have been attacks against both men and women. Some have involved “date rape” drugs. Buy your own drinks and keep them within sight at all times.
If you become a victim of crime abroad, you should contact the local police and your nearest national embassy or consulate.
Demonstrations/Civil Unrest:  Demonstrations and occasionally strikes take place in cities across Brazil with reports of arrests and clashes between police and protesters. More common in urban areas, they can disrupt transport. Even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Police have used rubber bullets and tear gas extensively to disperse protesters. The effects of tear gas can be felt several hundred meters beyond the immediate site of demonstrations.
If you’re travelling or residing in Brazil, take common sense precautions, follow local news reports, avoid large gatherings, political rallies or other events where crowds have congregated to demonstration or protest, and comply with the instructions of local authorities. If you encounter a demonstration, leave the area immediately.
Swimming:  Strong currents and sharks can be a danger off some beaches. Take local advice before swimming including paying attention to warning flags on beaches and the location of lifeguards if present on the beach.
REPATRIATION:  Visas required to enter Brazil are issued by Brazilian consulates abroad. Citizens from Mercosur member counties (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay) are not required to present a visa, only the passport or a valid identification document. Citizens from the European Union and many other countries are also not required to issue a visa, they are only required to present a passport.
A new system for granting electronic visas is available for nationals of Australia, Canada, United States and Japan. Nationals of these countries may apply for a Visit Visa and obtain it remotely, with no need to visit a consulate, since there is no physical label issued. The eVisa must be applied for at the VFS Global website www.vfsglobal.com/Brazil-eVisa
If the application is approved, the applicant will receive an email with the visa copy, his data, visa data, QR Code to confirm the authenticity, and any warnings that may apply. The holder of the electronic visit visa must present the printed authorisation file or its electronic copy to the transport companies at the time of boarding, as well as to the Brazilian immigration authorities upon their entry into Brazil.
Updated information on national visa requirements available at www.portalconsular.itamaraty.gov.br/vistos#precisa
Seafarers:  Seafarers entering the country on a deep-sea going ships or a cruise ship sailing along the Brazilian coast for up to 90 days shall be exempt from visa provided they carry a valid seaman’s book in accordance with the ILO Convention. Those who intend to work on a Brazilian ship or platform, irrespective of the length of the employment contract, or work on board a foreign vessel without a contract of employment in Brazil for more than 90 days, must obtain a temporary visa at a Brazilian consulate abroad.
Visitors and immigrants in the maritime and offshore sectors will be issued with a visit visa for business (non-remunerated, short-term visitors) or a temporary work visa (with or without a contract of employment in Brazil) if they remain in the country for more than 90 days. Citizens of some countries will continue to be exempted from a visa if the stay does not exceed 90 days.