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Brazil is the definitive leader in electronic invoicing, and many other countries are learning and adopting concepts from their years of experience. With the release of Nota Fiscal 2.0 at the beginning of 2011, Brazil’s SEFAZ (http://www.sefaz.go.gov.br/) transitioned to a mandatory paperless solution for their fiscal regulatory processes.  These regulations covered not only physical goods (NF-e), but they also covered service invoices (NFS-e) and logistic invoices (CTe) making the implementation for global organizations even more complex.  The primary classifications include:

  • Nota Fiscal Eletronica  (NF-e) – The electronic signatures for the Nota Fiscal Eletronica (NF-e) were made mandatory starting in 2008 and all companies transitioned by 2010. This legislation required that every item leaving a bonded or non-bonded warehouse have a document that travels with the goods. The Nota Fiscal is a commercial reporting regulation used on all product transfers, from the seller to the buyer, for national or international products.
  • Brazil Electronic Invoice for Services (NFE-s) – is used for the confirmation of service invoices and can be very complex as there is not one entity to worry about, but over 120+ cities that can affect service invoices.
  • Brazil Transportation Document (CT-e) – is issued and stored electronically in order to document the provision of transport services, whose legal validity is guaranteed by the issuer’s digital signature and authorization of use provided by the tax administration. Examples of use would be a Waybill (model 10) or an Invoice for Transportation Service (model 7 when transporting cargo).

Here are the Basic Requirements for Nota Fiscal for Goods that all business and IT managers should understand indepth:

Basic Requirements

  1. Real time integration with Brazilian Tax Authority (SEFAZ)
  2. Invoices must be registered and approved before goods are transported
  3. Printed DANF-e must accompany goods in transit for validation en route
  4. NF-e received electronically by recipient in advance. Must be validated and any returns accounted for via “return order process”
  5. Each outbound e-Invoicing solution must also provide for inbound processing as well effective April 2012

The Standard 7 Step Process:

Note: The entire process should be archived, logged, and available for audit if any discrepancies or investigations are undertaken by government officials.

  1. Vendor must be able to produce the appropriate XML approval document from their ERP system
  2. SEFAZ in real time will validate and assign NFe which must be posted back to ERP prior to release of goods.
  3. DANF-e which is a paper representation is printed and attached with shipment, traditionally invoice is sent to buyer as well via electronic means
  4. Government officials including Customs agents and patrolling police have real-time access into validity of shipment by scanning the DANF-e. If shipment doesn’t match released NF-e by SEFAZ, server penalties can be imposed
  5. Buyer receives goods and checks in at unloading dock
  6. Buyer, effective April 2012, does a NF-e check with the SEFAZ
  7. Buyer must post “signing attributes” from the SEFAZ in the back-end system and incorporate into SPED reports



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