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Brazil Nota Fiscal - The Basics

The Brazil tax authority, also known as SEFAZ, imposes a defined electronic standard format that all companies must adhere to closely. This “Nota Fiscal Eletronica” (NF-e) format is officially recognized as the sole and only invoice document of record for tax compliance purposes. 

Basic Requirements

  • Real time integration with Brazilian Tax Authority (SEFAZ)
  • Invoices must be registered and approved before goods are transported
  • Printed DANF-e must accompany goods in transit for validation en route
  • NF-e received electronically by recipient in advance. Must be validated and any returns accounted for via “return order process”
  • Each outbound e-Invoicing solution must also provide for inbound processing as well
  • Inbound validation required by law, and new 2012 mandates for incorporating with SPED reporting
  • Transportation Invoices (CTe) become mandatory starting in September 2012

Brazil’s 7 Step Process for NF-e physical goods – Is your organization prepared?

Note: Entire process should be archived, logged, and available via a web portal 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.  Merchant receives goods and does a NF-e check with the SEFAZ

7.  Receipt of Goods Conformation is sent by receiver to close out transaction with SEFAZ



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