Last updated: 8 May 2015
Brazilian states and cities regulations may apply specific measures towards product delivery, which online stores must be attentive to when operating in the country.
In this article we will take a look at the regional requirements for e-commerce in Brazil.
Relevance of e-commerce sector and regulatory measures in Brazil
As recent reports suggest, the digital retail sector in Brazil is one of the largest in the world. It is possible to assume that this market has been this way for a long period of time and that the culture of online shopping has had its place in the mindset of the country’s consumers for years. The numbers show otherwise: in 2004, the e-commerce sector represented a mere BRL 1.8 billion, compared to the BRL 43 billion total value expected to be reached in 2015.
The high speed in which e-commerce websites were created and to which consumers started adopting to this sales model was not followed by the country’s government organizations, which only made substantial efforts to regulate this sector in recent years. For example, one of the first laws with national coverage directed to regulating the e-commerce sector was introduced in 2013, when a considerable part of the consumer market had already adopted this type of purchases.
Currently, due to the small number of national and regional regulatory measures applied specifically for e-commerce, many of the Brazilian state and city laws regarding retailers turn out to be applicable to online-based stores. Companies should keep this in mind when operating in Brazil, as these jurisdictions are empowered to apply punitive measures based on regulation that is not widely known by online stores.
Product delivery booking
As mentioned in the article Shipping e-commerce products in Brazil, some states require online stores to allow consumers to book a date and period of the day, divided into morning, afternoon and night, for deliveries. The states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais apply this requirement, which means consumers in these states must be given the option to choose precisely when their orders should be delivered.
The São Paulo state government requires technology products and components commercialized in the state to include a disclaimer on their label that refers to the environmentally friendly destination these products should take. This regulatory measure is applied to:
- Electronics such as computers, monitors and components
- Domestic appliances
- Industrial-use electronics
- Magnetic items
The disclaimer should warn consumers that the product must not be discarded with regular waste collectors, provide guidance on how to properly discard the product and include the address and phone number of the entities responsible for receiving this type of equipment. In case the products include any sort of toxic materials or heavy metals, these characteristics should also be included on the label.
Companies operating in the state of Rio de Janeiro are required to provide consumers with the same information, referring to the correct means for the disposal of these products. This type of information can be included on the product label or packaging, folders or any other media chosen by the seller.
Retailers of domestic appliances operating in the state of Paraná are required to collect the product packaging materials at the same time as the delivery of these items to consumers, and subsequently direct them to a proper, environmentally conscious destination.
Reverse logistics regulation
According to The Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy, created in 2010, all companies involved in the manufacturing, importing and commercialization of certain product categories, like lubricant oil, tyres, batteries and electronics share the responsibility of implementing a reverse logistics stream that enables these materials to be discarded in an environmentally conscious way.
Currently, some Brazilian regional governments have developed laws and established sector agreements designed to detail how companies should implement reverse logistics streams. The e-commerce segment is affected by regulatory measures applied to retailers, and is required to institute all the requirements described in these laws.
According to the state of São Paulo regulation, manufacturers, importers and sellers of technology products such as computers, domestic appliances and batteries, are responsible for implementing reverse logistics streams for electronic waste.
These companies are required to maintain locations where consumers can discard electronic waste properly, which then direct these materials for recycling, refurbishing or disposal, depending on the nature of the product.
Companies operating in the city of Guarulhos, located in the state of São Paulo, selling furniture, electronics and domestic appliances are responsible for the reverse logistics stream of obsolete items and for their transportation to an environmentally safe destination.
This means stores who offer electronics, appliances or furniture must collect the products from customers who intend to buy new items and wish to dispose of their old, replaceable items. When offering the sales of new products, a form must be provided for customers to include the information necessary for the collection of the obsolete product.