INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFERS
“Banco Central do Brasil” is the government body that regulates and oversees all international money transfers coming in and out of Brazil. Due to the increase in international money laundering operations related to terrorism, contraband, and drug trafficking, and other illicit transactions “Banco Central” has a complex set of rules and regulations which every person and every bank in Brazil must follow in order to accomplish any international money transfer. Such regulations can be viewed at their website at: http://www.bcb.gov.br/ (under section: “Cambio e Capitais Estrangeiros”).
There are many different types of transfers; the most common one are those executed from abroad to Brazil for personal maintenance, executed via companies such as Western Union and others. By Law, these transfers cannot exceed R$10,000.00 per wire/transfer. For transfers above R$10,000.00, “Banco Central do Brasil” requires corroboration documents depending on the nature of the transaction, for example when paying a supplier, an invoice will be required, when paying a professional, a copy of the contract or invoice will be needed. The bank or institution executing the wire and the exchange in Brazil must collect these documents, as per provisions 10, 12, and 13 of the Banco Central’s International Capital and Foreign Exchange Market Regulation, Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 2 (http://www.bcb.gov.br/rex/legce/ingl/ftp/rmcci-1-13-i.pdf).
With that being said, the major responsibility relies on the bank or on the institution executing the wire and the exchange in Brazil. Due to the paperwork and scrutiny involved in these transactions, some regular commercial banks do not even want to deal with these operations. Furthermore, during my years of experience, I can now guarantee that only one or two commercial banks in Brazil know how to execute such transfers with no further headaches or delays. Therefore, extra careful is necessary when choosing a bank in Brazil to do that for you. No matter the reason for the wire and no matter the promises of the local inexperienced bank manager, often the complexity of international money transfers go beyond his knowledge and capacity to make it come through.
When it comes to real estate purchases, money must come from an account abroad (buyer’s account) through a certified institution or bank directly to the seller’s account. Due to the deadlines for payment and risk of losing the down payment in case of a missed deadline, I prefer to work directly with the bank doing the exchange. I usually collect the corroboration documents, i.e., copy of purchase agreement, copy of updated title, personal information (both parties), beforehand and coordinate with buyer and with the bank the deposit of the funds into the sellers account while sitting at the closing table, so there is no gap between the deposit and the signing of closing documents.
Should you need further information about international money transfers, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jose C. Santiago
Licensed & Certified Title Attorney – Brazil. License Number OAB/SP 181.471
Paralegal & Licensed Real Estate Agent – USA. License Number SL3064343
The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart