This excerpt taken from the PBR 20-F filed Jun 30, 2005.
If you exchange your ADSs for common or preferred shares, you risk losing the ability to remit foreign currency abroad and forfeiting Brazilian tax advantages.
The Brazilian custodian for our common or preferred shares underlying our ADSs must obtain a certificate of registration from the Central Bank of Brazil to be entitled to remit U.S. dollars abroad for payments of dividends and other distributions relating to our preferred and common shares or upon the disposition of the common or preferred shares. If you decide to exchange your ADSs for the underlying common or preferred shares, you will be entitled to continue to rely, for five Brazilian business days from the date of exchange, on the custodians certificate of registration. After that period, you may not be able to obtain and remit U.S. dollars abroad upon the disposition of the common or preferred shares, or distributions relating to the common or preferred shares, unless you obtain your own certificate of registration or register under Resolution No. 2,689, of January 26, 2000, of the Conselho Monetário Nacional (National Monetary Council), which entitles registered foreign investors to buy and sell on the São Paulo Stock Exchange. In addition, if you do not obtain a certificate of registration or register under Resolution No. 2,689, you may be subject to less favorable tax treatment on gains with respect to the common or preferred shares.
If you attempt to obtain your own certificate of registration, you may incur expenses or suffer delays in the application process, which could delay your ability to receive dividends or distributions relating to the common or preferred shares or the return of your capital in a timely manner. The custodians certificate of registration or any foreign capital registration obtained by you may be affected by future legislative or regulatory changes and we cannot assure you that additional restrictions applicable to you, the disposition of the underlying common or preferred shares or the repatriation of the proceeds from disposition will not be imposed in the future.
You may face difficulties in protecting your interests as a shareholder because we are subject to different corporate rules and regulations as a Brazilian company and because holders of our common shares, preferred shares and ADSs have fewer and less well-defined shareholders rights than those traditionally enjoyed by United States shareholders.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our bylaws and the Brazilian Corporation Law, which differ from the legal principles that would apply if we were incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States, such as the States of Delaware or New York, or in other jurisdictions outside Brazil. In addition, your rights as an ADS holder, which are derivative of the rights of holders of our common or preferred shares, as the case may be, to protect your interests against actions by our board of directors may be fewer and less well-defined under Brazilian Corporation Law than those under the laws of other jurisdictions.
Although insider trading and price manipulation are considered crimes under Brazilian law, the Brazilian securities markets are not as highly regulated and supervised as the U.S. securities markets or markets in some other jurisdictions. In addition, rules and policies against self-dealing and the preservation of shareholder interests may be less well-defined and enforced in Brazil than in the United States, putting holders of our common shares, preferred shares and ADSs at a potential disadvantage. Corporate disclosure may be less complete or informative than what may be expected of a U.S. public company.
We are a mixed-capital company organized under the laws of Brazil and all of our directors and officers reside in Brazil. Substantially all of our assets and those of our directors and officers are located in Brazil. As a result, it may not be possible for you to effect service of process upon us or our directors and officers within the United States or other jurisdictions outside Brazil or to enforce against us or our directors and officers judgments obtained in the United States or other jurisdictions outside Brazil. Because judgments of U.S. courts for civil liabilities based upon the U.S. federal securities laws may only be enforced in Brazil if certain requirements are met, you may face greater difficulties in protecting your interest in actions against us or our directors and officers than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a state or other jurisdiction of the United States.