Mario Dacruz was arrested at George Best Belfast City Airport after arriving on a flight on Monday.
The 52-year-old, with an address at Rua Armando Lucena in Lisbon, allegedly had a quantity of cocaine in his possession.
He appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with attempting to import the Class A drug.
An investigating detective said he could connect Dacruz to the alleged offence.
No further details were disclosed, and bail was not sought during the brief hearing.
Defence solicitor John McAtamney confirmed: "He has no ties to Northern Ireland."
Dacruz was remanded into custody to appear again by video-link on August 29.