This excerpt taken from the PBR 20-F filed May 22, 2009.
Petrobras Exchange Controls
There are no restrictions on ownership of the common or preferred shares by individuals or legal entities domiciled outside Brazil.
The right to convert dividend payments and proceeds from the sale of shares into foreign currency and to remit such amounts outside Brazil may be subject to restrictions under foreign investment legislation, which generally requires, among other things, that the relevant investments be registered with the Central Bank of Brazil. If any restrictions are imposed on the remittance of foreign capital abroad, they could hinder or prevent Companhia Brasileira de liquidação e Custódia, or CBLC, as custodian for the common and preferred shares represented by the American Depositary Shares, or registered holders who have exchanged American Depositary Shares for
common shares or preferred shares, from converting dividends, distributions or the proceeds from any sale of such common shares or preferred shares, as the case may be, into U.S. dollars and remitting the U.S. dollars abroad.
Foreign investors may register their investment under Law No. 4,131 of September 3, 1962 or Resolution No. 2,689. Registration under Resolution No. 2,689 affords favorable tax treatment to foreign investors who are not resident in a tax haven, as defined by Brazilian tax laws. See Taxation Relating to Our ADSs and Common and Preferred SharesBrazilian Tax Considerations.
Under Resolution No. 2,689, foreign investors may invest in almost all financial assets and engage in almost all transactions available in the Brazilian financial and capital markets, provided that certain requirements are fulfilled. In accordance with Resolution No. 2,689, the definition of foreign investor includes individuals, legal entities, mutual funds and other collective investment entities, domiciled or headquartered abroad.
Under Resolution No. 2,689, a foreign investor must:
Securities and other financial assets held by a Resolution No. 2,689 investor must be registered or maintained in deposit accounts or under the custody of an entity duly licensed by the Central Bank of Brazil or the CVM. In addition, any transfer of securities held under Resolution No. 2,689 must be carried out in the stock exchanges or through organized over-the-counter markets licensed by the CVM, except for transfers resulting from a corporate reorganization or occurring upon the death of an investor by operation of law or will.
Holders of American Depositary Shares who have not registered their investment with
the Central Bank of Brazil could be adversely affected by delays in, or refusals to grant, any required government approval for conversions of payments made in reais and remittances abroad of these converted amounts.
Annex III Regulations provide for the issuance of depositary receipts in foreign markets with respect to shares of Brazilian issuers. The depositary of the ADSs has obtained from the Central Bank of Brazil an electronic certificate of registration with respect to our existing ADR program. Pursuant to the registration, the custodian and the depositary will be able to convert dividends and other distributions with respect to the relevant shares represented by ADSs into foreign currency and to remit the proceeds outside Brazil. Following the closing of an international offering, the electronic certificate of registration will be amended by the depositary with respect to the ADSs sold in the international offering and will be maintained by the Brazilian custodian for the relevant shares on behalf of the depositary.
In the event that a holder of ADSs exchanges such ADSs for the underlying shares, the holder will be entitled to continue to rely on such electronic registration for five business days after the exchange. Thereafter, unless the relevant shares are held pursuant to Resolution No. 2,689 by a duly registered investor, or a holder of the relevant shares applies for and obtains a new certificate of registration from the Central Bank of Brazil, the holder may not be able to convert into foreign currency and to remit outside Brazil the proceeds from the disposition of, or distributions with respect to, the relevant shares, and the holder, if not registered under Resolution No. 2,689, will be subject to less favorable Brazilian tax treatment than a holder of ADSs. In addition, if the foreign investor resides in a tax haven jurisdiction, the investor will be also subject to less favorable tax treatment. See Item 3. Key InformationRisk FactorsRisks Relating to Our Equity and Debt Securities and Taxation Relating to Our ADSs and Common and Preferred SharesBrazilian Tax Considerations.
restrict the export or import of capital, including dividend and other payments to holders of notes who are not residents of the Cayman Islands, provided that such holders are not resident in countries subject to certain sanctions by the United Nations or the European Union; and