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ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting

Plan your trip

Your luggage

What should you bring to Brazil? What are the custom rules? Will your cell phone work in São Paulo? What about electricity?

Things You Cannot Bring Into Brazil

Generally, Brazil follows pretty much the same rules followed by the U.S.A. Especially, you should make sure not to bring in the following items:

* Drugs of any kind (normally, this does not apply to prescription drugs)

* Weapons, guns, or ammunition

* Agricultural products (but processed foods are usually accepted)

If you will be bringing in any of the above, make sure you are following the Brazilian rules, and that you have previously filed the proper declarations. Consult more details at the web page on Customs and Immigration.

 Hints for your things when you enter Brazil

Computers – only bring one.  If you have two, they might think you will be leaving one in Brazil.  If you are traveling with others, have another person carry your 2nd computer.  You are allowed to bring a personal computer that you will be taking with you when you leave.

Tablets / iPads / cell phones – same as computers.

Cameras, & other electronics – same as computers.

Clothes – you should not have any issues here; however, if your clothes are new, remove any price tags.

 Customs form

Most tourists entering Brazil do not have to complete a customs form. Unless you are bringing costly new things into Brazil, or have a large amount of money with your, these are only two reasons you might have to complete the Brazilian Customs form.  Specific reasons you will be required to complete a customs for are:

* You are bringing goods worth more than $500.00 US on an airline flight, or an ocean cruise ($300.00 on an entry via land, lake, or river) that you will be selling or leaving in Brazil – of course, this value does not apply to personal clothes and belongings.

* You are carrying more than R$5,000.00 (about US$2,000) in currency, negotiable instruments, or equivalents when you entry Brazil – of course, this does not apply to credit cards.

More detailed information about Brazilian customs can be found at this web site:

Cell phone

You need a GSM cell phone in Brazil. There are two ways you can use your GSM cell phone in Brazil:

* If you have international roaming with your cell phone provider, you can used your GSM phone in Brazil.  However, international roaming can be quite expensive.  You need to check with your carrier if this is what you are going to do.

* You can arrange with a Brazilian carrier to use your unlocked GSM phone in Brazil by getting a new SIM contract. Chances are you will only be able to get a prepaid ("pré-pago" in Portuguese) since you do not live in Brazil.

Brazilian cell phone companies

There are four major GSM cell phone providers in Brazil: Claro, Oi, Vivo, and TIM. To buy a SIM and a prepaid plan, you should show your passport. Depending on the specific shop, they might refuse to sell you the SIM because you do not have a CPF (a Brazilian taxpayer number) – I’m sorry, but that does occur. The best place to buy it is at the airport.

So you can use a cell phone when you go to Brazil, but again, you need to remember these basic points:

* An unlocked cell phone (those accepting any new SIM) is required (inexpensive unlocked cell phones are easy to find at Amazon).

* Some carriers / shops many ask your CPF number (and you don’t have one), or if your account was not set up correctly, your service may be interrupted because a CPF number was not entered during the account setup.

* Outgoing call are charged, and incoming calls are free.

* Calls to other cell phone providers, and land lines will be charged at a higher rate than calls with your cell phone carrier.

* Prepaid GSM chips expire after a certain period (a few months) if no new credits have been purchased. 

More information about the use of cell phones in Brazil:


Brazilian electric outlets in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro usually provide 110 volt, except for some hotels where you only find 220 volt outlets. That should not be a problem, in general, as most electronic devices accept both voltages, nowadays.

There is, however, another problem. Your plugs probably will not fit into the Brazilian standard sockets. A few years ago, Brazil adopted a new type of standard electric outlet socket – unfortunately, one that is not used elsewhere in the world. New buildings have this new socket. Old ones can have either the new outlet socket, or older types. Yes, this is a problem.

Brazilian standard electric socket and plug

The best solution is buying a two-pin adapter plug, such as shown in the image below. This will fit both the new and old Brazilian electric outlets.

We DO NOT recommend a three-pin adapter plug, such as shown below, because it will not fit older Brazilian electric socket. You might think that the three-pin adapter could be better, because it includes a neutral ground connection. However, most Brazilian electric outlets do not really have a working neutral ground connection.

You should try to buy the adapter plug before you travel to Brazil, since you will use it from your very arrival. Of course, it is possible to buy an adapter at the Brazilian airport, but it will be more expensive; and they will probably sell you the three-pin adapter that only fits in the new sockets.

ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting   
International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)   
Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia (ABFHiB)   
São Paulo, Brazil, 16 to 21 July, 2017   

São Paulo, Brazil
16 to 21 July, 2017

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