The Federative Republic of Brazil became signatory to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, also called the Hague Service Convention, on November 29, 2018. The Convention’s provisions entered into force in Brazil on June 1, 2019.

US attorneys seeking service in Brazil would be wise to familiarize themselves with the mandatory character of the Convention as set forth in Volkswagenwerk A.G. v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988).

Canadian attorneys should consult provincial precedent — Canadian courts take a more nuanced view of the Convention, but effectively reach the same conclusion: its limitations must be observed. Regardless of forum court requirements, the service rules of the receiving country must be observed, or enforcement of a judgment may become impossible.

About Serving Process in Brazil

Prior to signing the Hague Service Convention, effecting service of process in Brazil was a lesson in perseverance. Service of process pursuant to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol upon defendants located in Brazil averaged at least a year and sometimes two or more. Just prepping the documents properly to meet Brazil’s arduous legalization and procedural requirements could take several months.

Based on Brazil’s declarations to the Hague Convention, as of June 1, 2019 proper service in Brazil is effective exclusively through the Brazilian Central authority because Brazil has objected to both mail and agent service.

Translation Requirements

Documents served abroad to Brazil must be translated into Portuguese.

In all cases, however, documents must reasonably be understood by the defendant in order to fulfill US Due Process requirements. In particular, documents served upon a recipient who speaks neither English nor Portuguese may require translation into an additional language. US practitioners should explore this issue at length with our legal staff.

Service Through Alternative Channels

Brazil has made declarations and reservations that take away many of the advantages contained in the Hague Services Convention, including several alternative methods of service.

Article 8

Foreign diplomatic and consular agents are not allowed to effect service in Brazil.

Article 10

Service by post from abroad is not prohibited, nor are requests made directly to Brazil’s judicial officers – requests need to be made to Brazil’s Central Authority.

Contact LLS for Help

LLS can assist you with service and can help you understand and meet the translation requirements for service of process in Brazil. Please call 1-800-755-5775 for more information.