Thursday, March 22, 2012

SAP Nota Fiscal 2012 - New Brazil Mandate for Transportation Invoices

As expected, Brazil continues to add and update their Nota Fiscal legislation.  In this article I want to discuss developments around Transportation Invoices, as these will be mandated starting in September 2012.  

The Transporation Invoice, also known as the Conhecimento de Transporte (CT-e for short) was added to the legislation as a mandatory electronic document based on the 169th meeting of the Conselho Nacional de Política Fazendária – CONFAZ held on December 11, 2011. In the following section I summarize some of the common questions companies are asking.

What is the CT-e?
Brazil Transportation Document  – 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).

What are the dates for compliance?
September 1, 2012 is the initial deadline with others following in December of 2012. There are waves of compliance defined by the government which are listed in the link to the general announcement.  This link is in Portuguese, I am sorry if you can't read it!    Your web browser should be able to give you a basic translation of the material. This announcement also lists further timelines as well as a list of transportation organizations that are specifically called out in Annex One for compliance.

Are there benefits to our organization that we should consider along with the mandate?

There are definitely benefits to an SAP user, beyond just becoming compliant.  For example, we are seeing companies tackle the CT-e early and capitalize on the business processes which are accelerated due to the electronic requirement.  For example:
  • Lower Freight Costs: Track your spending on transportation invoices for discrepancies and eliminate duplicate invoices and payments.  You can automatically match the electronic invoice against Transportation Management Systems or blanket PO.
  • Less Labor, Faster Processing:  Automatic reconciliation of inbound NF-e for acknowledged and pre-approved payment processing. 

What is the key take away?  Ensure your back-end solutions have the ability to validate the CT-e and work with your freight forwarding and 3PL partners to understand the timeframes that they will transition to the CT-e.

Kevin Benedict, EDI and e-Invoicing Veteran, Consultant, Speaker and Writer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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