The Space Law Review: Brazil

Introduction to the national legal, regulatory and policy framework

The Brazilian space industry is currently undergoing a major transformation.2 In addition to the existing legal and regulatory framework concerning the operation of satellites, which is currently in the process of being updated, the Brazilian government's current policy is to enhance the country's profile in the global space industry by becoming one of the major launching states for commercial satellites and other payloads. It has taken relevant measures to achieve this goal during the past year.

Brazil has ratified and officially enacted the following United Nations space treaties by specific decrees3 incorporating them into the Brazilian legal framework:

  1. the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1967;
  2. the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space 1968;
  3. the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects 1972; and
  4. the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space 1975.

The National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), created in 1997 by Law No. 9,472 (the Telecommunications Law), is an independent government agency responsible for regulating the entire Brazilian telecommunications sector. ANATEL is responsible for granting, regulating and supervising satellite operation authorisations, which are the main instrument for enabling private parties to use orbital positions and radio frequency spectrum, providing satellite capacity over the Brazilian territory for the provision of satellite-related telecommunications services by interested third parties. Section II presents an overview of the regulatory framework that ANATEL has created for the Brazilian space sector.

Two main government agencies are responsible for space matters: the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)4 and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB).5 Both agencies report to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Created in 1961, the INPE is a federal institute engaging in space research and exploration. Its purpose is to promote and implement studies, scientific research and technological developments, and to train personnel in the fields of air and space sciences, space engineering and space technology. The INPE works in close cooperation with the AEB, which is responsible for the Brazilian Space Programme (PEB) – a federal programme that encompasses the research and development of space launch vehicle technologies, satellite manufacture and space exploration in general.6 In addition to coordinating the PEB, the AEB is also entrusted with establishing the regulatory framework for space launch activities and has published a new Resolution in this regard, which is addressed in Section II.

Regulation in practice

The regulatory framework of the Brazilian space sector can be divided into two main fields:

  1. operation of satellites, primarily encompassing the right to use orbital slots and radio frequency spectrum, and to provide satellite capacity and consequently allow the provision of satellite-related telecommunication services; and
  2. commercial launch activities.

i Operation of satellites

The Telecommunications Law establishes the general requirements for the operation of satellites and the provision of telecommunications services supported by the satellite infrastructure. The operation of satellites is regulated by the national rules established by ANATEL through its specific regulations and the international rules established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Frequency allocation

According to the relevant ANATEL regulations, the operation of satellites in and from Brazil must be carried out exclusively through the frequency bands specifically allocated to satellite services compatible with Brazilian telecommunications services (e.g., Ka-band, Ku-band).

The regulatory framework for the use of radio frequency spectrum in Brazil is established by the Frequency Band Assignment, Allocation and Distribution Plan (PDFF)7 and is regulated by ANATEL Resolution No. 671 of 2016. As Brazil is a Member State of the ITU, the PDFF provides that its content should be compatible with the ITU's Frequency Allocations Table (FAT) and, therefore, material amendments made by the World Radiocommunications Conferences8 to the FAT should be reflected in the PDFF.

Types of authorisations related to the use of satellites

ANATEL requires satellite operators to obtain specific types of authorisations depending on the services that the operators intend to provide in Brazil in association with the operation of satellites in the Brazilian territory.9

  1. Satellite landing right authorisation: the operation of satellites associated with fixed satellite, mobile satellite and broadcasting satellite services is subject to a satellite landing right authorisation, which grants operators the right to use specific spectrum and orbital positions to perform satellite communications and to provide satellite capacity to interested third parties. In Brazil, satellite capacity can only be provided to entities that already hold a concession, a permit or an authorisation to provide telecommunications services, or to the Armed Forces.10 The process for obtaining a satellite landing right authorisation was established by the Telecommunications Law and is currently regulated by ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.
  2. Private limited services authorisation: the operation of satellites associated with: (1) space operation and space research service; (2) satellite-based Earth exploration radiocommunication services; and (3) satellite-based meteorology services, using a ground station within the Brazilian territory, is subject to a radio frequency use authorisation called a private limited services authorisation, which is currently regulated by ANATEL Resolution No. 617 of 2013.
  3. Amateur radio authorisation: the operation of satellites associated with satellite amateur radio (ham) radiocommunication services using a ground station within the Brazilian territory is subject to the amateur radio authorisation, which is currently regulated by ANATEL Resolution No. 449 of 2006.

Notwithstanding the above, there are also certain cases where the operation of satellites over the Brazilian territory is not subject to any authorisations granted by ANATEL. According to ANATEL, these cases are:

  1. radiocommunication services of standard signals of frequency and time;
  2. satellite radiodetermination services; and
  3. inter-satellite services.

Satellite landing right authorisation

The satellite landing right authorisation, by which operators are granted the right to provide satellite capacity over the Brazilian territory using assigned orbital positions and radio frequency spectrum associated with a Brazilian satellite network, is the most important regulatory instrument for commercial satellite operations in Brazil.

As with any other authorisation from ANATEL, obtaining a satellite landing right authorisation requires the initiation of an administrative process by ANATEL, which involves a technical and regulatory analysis carried out by ANATEL. According to ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000, the initiation of the administrative process must follow a specific application procedure, which includes the submission of the following documents:11

  1. a statement that the national and international regulations will be complied with;
  2. simplified technical information about the satellite system;
  3. power of attorney granted by the satellite operator to the person submitting the application;
  4. a clearance certificate in relation to outstanding amounts owed to ANATEL;12
  5. an indication of the period for which the satellite landing right should be granted, which is limited to 15 years;
  6. an indication of the frequency bands and the geographical coverage area that are associated with the requested satellite landing right; and
  7. a copy of the coordination agreements entered into with satellite operators that are already authorised in Brazil.

The satellite landing right authorisation covers both Brazilian and foreign satellites, although there are a few differences between the approval processes related to each of them. ANATEL defines Brazilian satellites as those using spectrum and orbital positions (satellite network) under the responsibility of Brazil at the ITU and that have their telemetry, tracking and control stations within the Brazilian territory, while foreign satellites are those using spectrum and orbital positions under the responsibility of other administrations at the ITU.

Brazilian satellites

With respect to Brazilian satellites, some recent amendments made by Law No. 13,879 of 2019 to the Telecommunications Law conflict with certain provisions of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000, thus affecting the landing right authorisation process and other related matters.

Under ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000, which is based on the original version of the Telecommunications Law (that is, prior to the enactment of Law No. 13,879 of 2019), the standard process for granting Brazilian satellite landing rights would start with the initiation of a public procurement process. This means that ANATEL Resolution No. 65 of 1998 would also apply as it establishes the general procurement rules for concessions, permissions and authorisations of telecommunications services, as well as for the use of radio frequencies.

Pursuant to ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000, such public procurement processes would be waived whenever the procurement process would prove infeasible or unnecessary. According to this Resolution, a procurement process is considered infeasible when only a single interested party can obtain the right under the established conditions. A procurement process is considered unnecessary in cases where satellite operation is open to all interested parties that meet the required conditions. In practice, the procedure for verifying whether the tests described above are met would include a public consultation to determine the number of interested parties and verify whether the available orbital positions and spectrum can be used by all interested parties that are technically, legally and financially qualified to participate in the procurement process. ANATEL would effectively conduct the public procurement process for granting the respective landing right if it is satisfied that the process is feasible and necessary.

On the other hand, if a procurement process were determined to be infeasible or unnecessary, ANATEL would directly implement an administrative procedure to verify the fulfilment of the specified qualifications and requirements. In this case, ANATEL would use its discretion to determine the amounts to be paid for the satellite landing right and for the use of the associated radio frequencies in advance.13

Nevertheless, the amended Telecommunications Law (after the enactment of Law No. 13,879 of 2019) removes the public procurement process for granting a satellite landing right authorisation by allowing the authorisations to be granted through an administrative process established by ANATEL.14 The extent of the impact of this change on the authorisation process is yet to be seen as ANATEL is currently in the process of reviewing the rules of Resolution No. 220 of 2000 to bring them in line with the changes to Law No. 13,879 of 2019.15

In addition to the authorisation process, Resolution No. 220 of 2000 and the new version of the Telecommunications Law conflict with each other in relation to renewals of satellite landing rights authorisations. As set out in the Resolution, a satellite landing right authorisation is granted for a period of up to 15 years and may only be renewed once for an additional 15-year period.16 However, the amended wording of the Telecommunications Law removes the existing condition on renewals, allowing ANATEL to grant multiple renewals of a satellite landing right authorisation.17

Foreign satellites

In contrast, the process for granting a satellite landing right authorisation to foreign satellites does not involve a public procurement process. In addition to the list of documents described above under 'Satellite landing right authorisation', foreign satellite operators are required to submit the following to obtain a satellite landing right authorisation:

  1. information on the company acting as the legal representative in Brazil;
  2. a statement that this information will be constantly updated and that the satellite capacity will be commercialised only through the appointed representative;
  3. a certified copy of the company's constitutional documents evidencing that the appointed legal representative is a Brazilian company, with its administrative headquarters in Brazil; and
  4. a document issued by the responsible agency, together with a certified translated copy in Portuguese, evidencing the conditions for the use of the space segment previously authorised in the satellite's country of origin.

If a foreign satellite operator wishes to appoint more than one legal representative in Brazil, the applicable regulations also establish that a joint liability agreement must be submitted as part of the application procedure. The agreement must indicate which representative will be responsible for paying the public price, which is currently set at 102,677 reais,18 and applicable taxes as determined under Brazilian laws and regulations.19

Provision of satellite capacity

Regarding the provision of satellite capacity to interested telecommunications services providers, both the Telecommunications Law and ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000 establish that Brazilian satellites will have priority over foreign satellites whenever they offer equivalent conditions.20

According to ANATEL's criteria, a condition is deemed equivalent when:

  1. the time frame is compatible with the telecommunications service provider's needs;
  2. the price conditions are equal or more favourable; and
  3. the technical parameters meet the telecommunications service provider's requirements.21

Under ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000, the contracting party providing the satellite capacity must be an entity that already holds a concession, permission or authorisation to operate telecommunications services.


Brazilian and foreign satellites must comply with the Telecommunications Law, and with any applicable national and international laws, regulations and treaties, during the period in which the satellite landing right authorisation is in force.

With due regard to other potential civil and criminal liabilities, ANATEL may apply several administrative sanctions of varying degrees of severity.22 All formal charges pressed by ANATEL must be duly circumstantiated and sanctions will only be applied after the defendant has been assured of prior and full defence rights.23 ANATEL has the autonomy to ultimately decide on all matters within its authority, as long as the right to appeal to ANATEL's board has been granted.24 In any case, considering that ANATEL is a government agency, its decisions are restricted to administrative proceedings and may be challenged in court.

Global mobile satellite services authorisation

Unlike the types of authorisations already described in this section, which focus on the operation of satellites over Brazilian territory, the global mobile satellite services (GMSS) authorisation, as regulated in Brazil, represents a satellite-based mobile service that involves the use of satellite systems that have a coverage area that encompasses all or a large part of the global territory. It is utilised for the provision of different telecommunications applications based on the contracted satellite capacity.

GMSS are currently regulated by Normative Ruling No. 16 of 1997, which was approved by Ordinance No. 560 of 1997, issued by the former Ministry of Communications.25 This means they are currently governed by a set of outdated rules that are not entirely in line with those enacted by ANATEL with regards to the other existing telecommunications services in Brazil.

Although ANATEL has not yet formally enacted a resolution with updated rules to govern the provision of GMSS in Brazil, it has already adopted a simpler procedure regarding the granting of GMSS authorisations to interested private parties,26 which is more in line with ANATEL's rules for the other existing telecommunications services in Brazil and can be found on ANATEL's official website.27

ii Commercial launches

Considering the recent growth outlook of the global satellite industry, as well as the potential public benefits associated with it, the Brazilian government's current policy is to transform the Alcântara Space Centre (CEA), which is the country's main launch facility, into a hub for commercial launch activities in Brazil.28 To this end, Brazil has signed a Technological Safeguards Agreement (TSA) with the United States, and a new regulatory framework has been created, enabling further developments in the Brazilian space industry.

Technological Safeguards Agreement

To protect sensitive technology and defend its strategic interests, the US government requires other countries and companies to obtain a US authorisation to launch satellites containing US systems and components before the respective launch is performed. The TSA was signed in March 2019 and was ratified by the Brazilian Congress29 on 12 November 2019 to ensure the protection of US technologies used in satellites launched from Brazil, which has made this an extremely important development in Brazilian commercial launch activities.30 According to the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, approximately 80 per cent of the world's space-related equipment includes US technology. Therefore, the TSA significantly expands the possibilities of launching US and any other satellites that contain systems or components manufactured in the United States (including Brazilian satellites) from Brazil.

The TSA updates an earlier bilateral agreement between Brazil and the United States that was signed in 2000 but was never ratified by the Brazilian Congress.31 When the previous bilateral agreement was being voted on in the Brazilian Congress, the opposition raised concerns regarding Brazilian sovereignty and rejected the proposal. These concerns were once again raised by the opposition in 2019. However, the government managed to obtain a majority vote for the approval of the TSA by asserting that the CEA will continue to be under Brazil's exclusive control, being directly subordinated to the jurisdiction of the Brazilian Ministry of Defence and the AEB. In addition to commercial launches, the TSA also includes other elements of aerospace cooperation between Brazil and the United States, including the sharing of satellite technologies.

Alcântara Space Centre

The CEA is currently the main launch facility for the AEB and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in Brazil. However, the government's intention is to transform the facility into a major spaceport by putting the CEA to commercial use by a wide range of launch operators.

When compared with other spaceports around the world, the CEA has significant competitive advantages owing to:

  1. the privileged location of available sites, which are close to the equator;
  2. proximity to the sea, which enables launches into both polar and equatorial orbits;
  3. low population density;
  4. absence of earthquakes and hurricanes;
  5. low air traffic density;
  6. the weather, which allows for launches during the whole year; and
  7. an ideal location for responsive launches, which are characterised by the ability to launch a space payload on short notice and in a flexible manner.32

AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021

AEB Resolution No. 698, issued on 31 August 2021, revokes a number of previous AEB resolutions, including AEB Resolution No. 5 of 2002, which regulated the authorisation procedures for space launch operations in the Brazilian territory, and AEB Resolution No. 182 of 2020, which regulated the conduct of commercial space launch activities in the country and set out the requirements for obtaining the relevant licence.

AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021 regulates two main topics: (1) the operator licence, which establishes the procedures and requirements for receiving the authorisation to carry out commercial launch activities in Brazil; and (2) the launch authorisation, which authorises specific launches, and includes the flight of a launch vehicle, as well as pre- and post-flight ground operations.33 AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021 establishes that all operator licences granted under the regulatory framework fixed by AEB Resolution No. 182 of 2020 shall remain valid and subject to its terms.34 In general, both Resolutions contain many similarities; however, the new Resolution establishes a more complete and robust set of rules, with more technical elements.

Operator licence

Pursuant to AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021, any private legal entity that intends to launch orbital or suborbital payloads and perform in-flight tests using space devices within the Brazilian territory shall obtain an operator licence.35 A launch operator licence may only be granted to a private legal entity – which may be an individual entity in an association or a consortium – provided that the licensee is headquartered or legally represented in Brazil.36 The licence may contain restrictive conditions37 and will be granted for a period of five years, with an option for renewal for equal and successive periods.38

Obtaining a launch operator licence requires initiating an administrative process similar to the landing right authorisation that must be carried out exclusively by electronic means.39 This process requires filling out an application form and submitting specific documents, which will be verified, processed and assessed by a special committee composed of at least three members appointed by the president of the AEB.40 The documents must include the following:41

  1. information about the corporate entity applying for the licence;
  2. technical qualifications of the corporate entity, consisting of proof of suitability for performance of the proposed space launch activities, as well as the qualifications of the members of the technical team who will be responsible for the proposed activities (these may be obtained through the presentation of certificates or other appropriate documents); and
  3. certificates of good standing regarding tax and employment obligations (which includes the presentation of documents such as proof of registry with the National Register of Legal Entities of the Ministry of the Economy and other relevant enrolments and certificates).

As part of its role, the AEB will continue to monitor the licensee after the licence is granted. It may carry out this function directly, through the execution of adjustments with public or private entities, or through third parties contracted for the provision of specialised technical services, in accordance with the relevant legislation.42 The president of the AEB must also indicate a representative to supervise all activities indicated in AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021, and this person will have powers to, among other things, request all information and clarifications deemed appropriate from involved parties, directly or indirectly inspect all workplaces, suggest the application of fines and penalties, and initiate investigative administrative processes.

In addition, the AEB may apply administrative sanctions if certain space launch activities violate the terms of AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021.43 Possible sanctions are a warning, temporary suspension of the licence or permanent termination of the licence, depending on the severity of the violation, the licensee's record and the actions taken by the licensee to mitigate the damage caused, if any. In addition to these administrative sanctions, operators may also incur civil or criminal liability (or both) in line with the laws of Brazil, if applicable. All the AEB's decisions denying the grant or modification of a licence, temporarily suspending a licence, revoking a licence or imposing any other sanctions are subject to appeals to the president of the AEB.44

Launch authorisation

The launch authorisation45 established in AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021 applies to all commercial launches carried out in the Brazilian territory by private legal entities either headquartered or legally represented in Brazil, and to all commercial launches performed by Brazilian companies outside the Brazilian territory.46 However, the Resolution does not apply to military launches, which are subject to the FAB's command. The AEB defines 'space launch activities' as a set of activities associated with launching satellites and other types of payloads to space (orbital, suborbital or in any other position in outer space) through launch vehicles, as well as the return phase.47

Holding a valid operator licence is a condition precedent to initiate the relevant administrative process to obtain a launch authorisation – which is also carried out by electronic means and in similar form – and to conduct a launch.48 In summary, some of the main characteristics of the launch authorisation are:

  1. the authorisation is linked to the legal entity holding the operator licence;
  2. the licence may contain restrictive conditions;
  3. the licensee shall take out insurance coverage against damage caused to third parties or to the CEA because of a launch, in values to be established by the AEB;
  4. liability for damage arising from launch activities shall be governed by the international treaties and conventions to which Brazil is a signatory (indicated in Section I) and other applicable rules and regulations, and the licensee shall be the only liable party; and
  5. the authorisation shall be conceded for an undetermined term, as long as the parameters for the relevant launch or launches are maintained (if the parameters are altered, the licensee shall request a new authorisation from the AEB, and may use the original administrative process).

AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021 also provides for the possibility of transferring the launch authorisation, subject to prior approval from the competent authorities and other requirements established therein.49

All launch activities will be monitored by the AEB and its special committees, and the president of the AEB will indicate a technical representative to overlook all authorised launches, with specific powers to interrupt any launch activity, at any time and whenever necessary to guarantee safety and the enforcement of the relevant rules, and to suggest the application of penalties for any identified irregularities and errors.50 With regard to administrative sanctions and their relevant appeals, the rules applicable to the launch authorisation are similar to those applied to the operator licence, as described above.51

Distinctive characteristics of the national framework

Considering political, economic and geographical factors, Brazil has the potential to significantly expand its space sector. The government's current policy is to increase related activities, enhancing the country's relevance in the global arena and attracting investments. In addition, as a nation currently in development with a large internal market, Brazil presents great growth opportunities and its geographical location supports cost-effective and practical satellite launch activities.

In contrast with other nations that undertake commercial space activities, however, the Brazilian regulatory framework is still underdeveloped – for example, insurance and end-of-life requirements are examples of two important areas that are not currently extensively regulated. This underdevelopment, along with a lack of predictability and, as a result, a lack of legal certainty, is a potential issue.

Progress is being made with regard to commercial launches, with a regulatory framework having recently been created. However, this framework is untested and its adequacy will be proven in time.

Current developments

The Brazilian space sector is currently undergoing a major transformation to modernise its legal and regulatory framework for satellite operation, and to facilitate commercial launch activities to take place from Brazil. The aspects of this transformation are summarised below.

i Operation of satellites

ANATEL is currently implementing its 2021–2022 Regulatory Agenda, which includes reviewing and updating the regulatory framework regarding various subjects, including the operation of satellites and related matters.52 Among other plans, ANATEL intends to modernise the rules concerning satellite landing rights to: (1) align local rules with the ITU Radio Regulations; (2) include new definitions; (3) amend articles referring to the operation of Brazilian and foreign satellites; (4) update frequency bands to facilitate the coordination and operation of satellites operating in the Ku band; (5) clarify some provisions; (6) simplify the authorisation process; and (7) regulate the recent amendments made by Law No. 13,879 of 2019 to the Telecommunications Law.53 Preliminary documents published in the context of the relevant administrative process suggest that the conflicts between ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000 and the amendments to the Telecommunications Law may finally be settled; however, this can only be confirmed after ANATEL publishes the final documents, and the deadline for this has not been confirmed.54

The rules on the use of radio frequency spectrum related to satellite operation in the country are also under review by ANATEL, in an administrative process that started in the 2019–2020 Regulatory Agenda and is still underway.55 Last year, ANATEL conducted Public Consultation No. 51 of 2020 to amend or eventually overhaul ANATEL Resolution No. 671 of 2016, which currently regulates satellite frequencies. However, ANATEL is yet to publish the main findings of Public Consultation No. 51 of 2020, and the future developments in this area are still unknown. The 2021–2022 Regulatory Agenda also includes plans to review and update other important regulations, such as the PDFF. A public consultation on the matter is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2022.56

Another discussion that is underway and affects the satellite industry in Brazil relates to the implementation of 5G technology in the country. Although this process was initiated in 2018, the much anticipated public bid is yet to take place. The original timeline was extended numerous times because of discussions regarding technical, financial and operational aspects of the implementation of 5G technology, such as frequency allocation, costs, and the obligations and guidelines for the private operators established by the relevant public bodies. ANATEL has stated that the 5G public bid will correspond to the largest frequency spectrum offer in the history of Brazil, and sources estimate that the process will involve at least 45 billion reais.57 The government's official position was that the bidding process would take place in October 2021; however, it will now take place in November 2021.58

ii Commercial launches

Concerning its ability to grant licences for space launch activities, the AEB issued a public call in May 2020 to identify domestic and foreign companies that are interested in carrying out suborbital and orbital commercial launch operations using the CEA.59 As the FAB is responsible for the management of the CEA, the FAB and the AEB signed a cooperation agreement to transfer the responsibility for interacting with companies interested in commercially exploring the CEA to the AEB.60

Following the public call, four companies – Hyperion, Orion AST, Virgin Orbit and C6 Launch – were selected by the AEB to participate in commercial launch operations and are currently negotiating the contractual terms with the relevant authorities.61 The current projection is that the first suborbital and orbital launch operations conducted by private entities in Brazil's history will take place in the first half of 2022.62

In addition, following the interest shown by foreign companies in conducting commercial launches from the CEA, the AEB issued a second public call on 16 April 2021 concerning the launch of non-military space vehicles from Brazilian territory.63 The public call is divided into five phases, as indicated on the AEB's official website.64

Further, the Brazilian government has been actively participating in the global space sector to include Brazil in the select group of nations with an active space programme. In this sense, some recent developments include the following.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is in the process of updating the PEB and has conducted a public call in this regard.65

On 15 June 2021, Brazil became a signatory of the Artemis Accords: Principles for the Cooperation in the Civil Exploration and Use of the Moon, Mars, Comets, and Asteroids for Peaceful Purposes 2020, an international cooperation agreement to bolster space exploration and enhance peaceful relationships between nations led by NASA.66

Amazônia-1, the first Earth observation satellite fully designed, integrated, tested and operated by Brazil (through the cooperation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the INPE and the AEB), was successfully launched from a base in India, on 28 January 2021.67

In August 2021, Brazil entered into separate space cooperation agreements with Colombia68 and with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.69

Outlook and conclusions

Brazil is on track to continue developing its space sector throughout the next couple of years thanks to the Brazilian government's policy of modernising the existing regulatory framework for both satellite operations and commercial launch activities, encouraging related investments.

The regulatory framework for satellite operations is expected to continue evolving to meet industry demands and attract more investments. As mentioned in Section IV.i, ANATEL's 2021–2022 Regulatory Agenda includes bold plans to update important aspects of the existing regulatory framework. Additionally, the discussions concerning the implementation of 5G technology will continue to be relevant in the coming months, and the results will give some perspective on both the government's and ANATEL's conduct towards investments in the Brazilian telecommunications and satellite sectors.

Furthermore, Brazil will soon start operating commercial space launch activities. In doing so, it will enter the global launch market, which has a lot of growth opportunities in the coming decades. According to an estimate made by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil is capable of attracting 1 per cent of the total volume of the global space industry, which corresponds to US$3.6 billion in foreign direct investment. Monitoring the next developments for the companies selected by the AEB in its first public call in May 2020 (see Section IV.ii) will offer significant insights into the future of this industry in Brazil, as well as an indication of how successful the government will be in developing space launch capabilities and attracting foreign direct investment.


1 Francisco Werneck Maranhão is a partner, Guillermo Zuma Hoorn is an associate and Antonio Carlos Almeida Braga is a legal assistant at Pinheiro Neto Advogados.

2 Please note, this chapter was finalised before ANATEL Resolution No. 748 entered into force on 1 November 2021. Among other measures, Resolution No. 748 of 2021 revokes Resolution No. 220 of 2000 concerning satellite landing rights, which is extensively covered in this chapter. The full implications of Resolution No. 748 of 2021 are not known at this time.

3 Decree No. 64,362 of 1969, Decree No. 71,989 of 1973, Decree No. 71,981 of 1973 and Decree No. 5,806 of 2006, respectively.

4 The INPE was created by Decree No. 68,532 of 1971.

5 The AEB was created by Law No. 8,854 of 1994.

6 Before creating the AEB in 1994, the PEB reported to the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology, a division of the Brazilian Air Force.

7 The PDFF was created by ANATEL Resolution No. 716 of 2019, in accordance with the terms of Book III, Title V, Chapter I of the Telecommunications Law.

8 The World Radiocommunication Conferences are part of the ITU. Their role is to review and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio frequency spectrum and the geostationary satellite and non-geostationary satellite orbits.

10 Article 49 of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

12 These certificates should include debts connected with telecommunications-related taxes, such as the FUST and the FUNTTEL, which are levied directly by ANATEL.

13 Chapter V, Section II of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

14 Article 172, Paragraph 2 of the Telecommunications Law.

15 See footnote 2.

16 Articles 16, 17 and 59 of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

17 Article 172 of the Telecommunications Law.

18 According to Exhibit 1, Article 4 of ANATEL Resolution No. 702 of 2018. The public price is set by ANATEL, and must be paid for satellite landing right authorisations, specifically regarding foreign satellites or Brazilian satellites (in the latter case, only when bidding is unfeasible).

19 Chapter IV of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

20 Article 171 of the Telecommunications Law and to Article 10 of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

21 Article 10 of ANATEL Resolution No. 220 of 2000.

22 Article 173 of the Telecommunications Law.

23 ibid., Articles 174 and 175.

24 ibid., Article 19, XXV.

25 The Ministry of Communications was the government entity tasked with regulating the telecommunications market in Brazil prior to the creation of ANATEL.

26 The General Concessions Regulation, approved by ANATEL Resolution No. 720 of 2020, is applicable.

28 The CEA has the potential to transform the country into one of the major launching states for commercial satellites and other payloads in the world.

29 According to Decree No. 64 of 2019 and Decree No. 10.220 of 2020, and promulgated by the President of Brazil on 5 February 2020.

33 According to Articles 1 and 2 of AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021.

34 ibid., Article 3.

35 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 4.4.1.

36 ibid., Exhibit I, Articles 6.1.2 and 6.1.4.

37 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 5.1.2.

38 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 5.1.3.

39 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 7.1.

40 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 7.2.

41 ibid., Exhibit I, Articles 6.1 and 6.2.

42 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 8.1.

43 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 9.1.

44 ibid., Exhibit I, Article 10.1.

45 Please note that the launch authorisation established in AEB Resolution No. 698 of 2021 is based on the terms of 14 CFR Part 450 and 14 CFR Part 420 issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

46 ibid., Exhibit II, Article 5.5.

47 ibid., Exhibit II, Article 5.4.

48 ibid., Exhibit II, Articles 5.1 and 6.1.

49 ibid., Exhibit II, Article 7.1.

50 ibid., Exhibit II, Article 9.1.

51 ibid., Exhibit II, Articles 10.1 and 11.1.

54 See footnote 2.

60 Cooperation Agreement No. 01 of 2020.

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