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  • Writer's pictureHugo Crema

Portuguese-English Glossary: Foreign Trade and Tax Law

See below a Portuguese-English glossary of Taxation and Foreign Trade


The complexity of the Brazilian tax system is a huge source of concern for investors, entrepreneurs, accountants and consultants in Brazil and abroad. This stems from the multiple tax regulations at the federal, state and municipal levels. For many companies, filing and collecting taxes in Brazil can be a nightmare.

What if the company wants to import or export a product?

The complexity increases a lot when we study the details of foreign trade, since besides taxes and tariffs, we must know special tax regimes, international agreements, financial and freight rules, etc.

All this in more than one language, of course.

In this case, besides the legal and contractual specificities, we have linguistic specificities. To maintain consistency between terms that are repeated, it is necessary to make lexical choices that are close to the common usage of international trade.

We have compiled a Portuguese-English glossary below with more than 60 foreign trade terms and the names of more than 15 taxes and contributions. We focus on terminology and the national tax system, as well as international agreements that govern foreign trade.

The translations were collected from public sources (mainly the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services, and the websites Accounting Tax Brazil, BPC Partners and the guide Tax Aspects - Living in Brazil, by Deloitte) and adapted where necessary for clarity.

For more terms, check out this Glossary of names Brazilian Public Bodies. To understand more about the intercession between economics, politics, and language, check our newsletter.

If you need to expedite translations of documents, contracts, and opinions, get in touch.

Taxation and foreign trade terms

Portuguese-English Glossary


Acordo Geral sobre Tarifas Aduaneiras e Comércio - GATT

  • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - GATT

Acordo multilateral

  • Multilateral agreement

Acordo sobre Barreiras Técnicas ao Comércio

  • Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

Agente de carga / Despachante

  • Freight forwarder

Ajuste de tributação transfronteira

  • Border tax adjustment

Armazém alfandegado/Entreposto aduaneiro

  • Bonded warehouse


Balança comercial

  • Balance of Trade - BOT

Barreiras tarifárias

  • Tariff barriers



  • Cabotage

Contribuição de intervenção no domínio econômico - CIDE

  • Contribution of intervention in the economic domain (CIDE)

Contribuição para Financiamento da Seguridade Social - COFINS

  • Social security financing contribution (COFINS)

Contribuição social sobre o lucro líquido - CSLL

  • Social contribution on Net Income (CSLL)

Cota de exportação

  • Export quotas


Defesa comercial

  • Trade remedies


Excedente comercial

  • Trade surplus


  • Exports



  • Bill



  • Imports

Imposto de exportação

  • Export duty

Imposto de importação

  • Import duty

Imposto de renda - IR

  • Income tax (IR)

Imposto de renda de pessoa física (IRPF)

  • Personal income tax

Imposto de renda de pessoa jurídica (IRPJ)

  • Income Tax on Legal Persons

Imposto de renda retido na fonte - IRRF

  • Witholding income tax (IR)

Imposto de Transmissão Causa Mortis e Doação - ITCMD

  • inheritance and donation tax (ITCMD)

Imposto predial e territorial urbano - IPTU

  • Urban Property tax (IPTU)

Imposto sobre a propriedade de veículos automotores - IPVA

  • Motor vehicle tax (IPVA)

Imposto sobre circulação de mercadorias e prestação de serviços - ICMS

  • Tax on the movement of goods and services (ICMS)

Imposto sobre operações financeiras - IOF

  • Tax on financial operations

Imposto sobre produtos industrializados - IPI

  • Tax on manufactured products (IPI)

Imposto sobre serviços - ISS

  • Service tax (ISS)

Imposto sobre transmissão de bens imóveis - ITBI

  • Property transfer tax (ITBI)

Imposto sobre valor agregado - IVA

  • Value-Added Tax (VAT)

Imposto territorial rural - ITR

  • Rural property tax

Índice de preços ao consumidor

  • Consumer price index

Indústria doméstica

  • National industry

Interesse público

  • Public interests


Lista de Exceções à Tarifa Externa Comum - LETEC

  • Mercosur system of exceptions to the Mercosur Common External Tariff (LETEC)


Medidas antidumping

  • Anti-dumping measures

Medidas compensatórias

  • Countervailing measures


Nomenclatura comum do Mercosul (NCM)

  • Mercosur Common Nomenclature

Nota fiscal

  • Invoice


Organização Mundial do Comércio - OMC

  • World Trade Organization (WTO)

Organização Mundial das Alfândegas

  • World Customs Nomencllature


Preferência tarifária

  • Tariff preference

Programas de Integração Social - PIS

  • Profit participation contribution (PIS)

Peso bruto

  • Gross weight


Regime Aduaneiro Especial de Entreposto Industrial sob Controle Informatizado - RECOF

  • Special customs regimen for Industrial Warehouses under Computerized Control



  • Safeguard measures


  • Subsidies

Seguro de cargas

  • Cargo insurance


  • Basic interest rate

Sistema Harmonizado de Designação e Codificação de Mercadorias

  • Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System - HS)

Sistema Público de Escrituração Digital - SPED

  • Public Digital Bookeeping System (SPED)


Tarifa externa comum (TEC)

  • Common external tariff

Taxa de câmbio

  • Exchange rate

Termos internacionais de comércio - INCOTERMS

  • International commercial terms (INCOTERMS)


Variação cambial

  • Currency fluctuation



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