Brazil is not a country for amateurs, said Tom Jobim. You have to fight all the time to find the right information and succeed in business.
You've probably already listened to this phrase one day if you are doing business in Brazil.
Well, can you imagine that in Brazil a tennis ball that had no label can taken a CEO to prison?!
This bizarre story happened with a large French multinational that has business in Brazil. The company's CEO remained in custody for one day because a tennis ball had no label.
This is due to the Brazilian Consumer Law, which obliges all products launched in the Brazilian market, without exception, to be labeled before be commercialized.
Therefore, it is not easy the first contact with the country. You have to fight all the time to understand the right path. It is very common in the country to find professionals "still amateurs" or interlocutors that always say different things.
It takes time to understand and accomplish with the Brazilian regulations.
The immediate solution for those who want to reassure themselves about the measures to be taken in the Brazilian market is always to ask "WHERE IT IS WRITTEN ...". That is to say, "no one may be compelled to do or to refrain from doing anything unless it is under the LAW" (Article 5, II, Federal Constitution). Without exception.
Never accept the requests of your interlocutors before checking out what the LAW says. If you follow this principle (constitutional principle, in fact) the majority of problems will already be avoided.
Eliana Silva de Moraes
Food and Drug Law Specialist
Chairman of the Brazilian Regulatory Affairs Society