A Sworn Translator is a professional duly employed and qualified by the Board of Trade of the respective State in which he exercises his office, in accordance, mainly and among others, with Federal Decree No. Deliberation 4/2000) and the official tables of fees of the Board of Trade of the State of São Paulo.
Sworn Translation is the official translation, made by a public translator, legally required throughout the national territory for documents written in a foreign language to take effect in federal, state or municipal offices, in any instance, court or court or maintained entities, supervised or guided by public authorities (article 157 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Federal Decree No. 13,609 of 10.21.1943). The sworn translation has public faith throughout the national territory, and the versions are recognized in most foreign countries.
The Sworn Translation is what gives legal existence in Brazil to a document issued in a foreign language. Decree 13,609 of 10/21/1943 says that:
Art. 18 – No book, document or paper of any nature, which is drawn up in a foreign language, will have effect in offices of the Union, States or Municipalities, in any instance, Court or Court or entities maintained, supervised or guided by the public authorities, without being accompanied by the respective translation made in accordance with this regulation.
Sole Paragraph – These provisions also include the clerks of notes and the notaries of records of titles and documents, which may not register, issue certificates or public document forms in whole or in part written in a foreign language.
In other words, any paper in a foreign language has no legal value in Brazil, unless accompanied by its respective Sworn Translation. Note the “accompanied”. This means that the original document (or a copy of it) must be attached to the translation. It does not replace the original document. The Public or Sworn Translation is always printed, in at least two copies: one is delivered to the requesting client, and the other is filed in books, kept by the Public Translator. There is no Sworn Translation by fax or e-mail.