Brazilian electronic bill of lading issuance now mandatory

August 26, 2013  |  Electronic Invoicing, Latin America

As of August 1st, 2013 the State Department of Finance (SEFAZ) makes it mandatory for all businesses and self-employed workers providing transport services in Brazil to generate an electronic file with the service provision details, which must be sent to the tax administration by electronic means.

What is the CT-e?

The CT-e or electronic bill of lading for transport is the new electronic communication model imposed by the SEFAZ, whereby companies involved in the transport of goods subject to Brazilian taxation are required to create and store an electronic file for each service provided to their clients.

The electronic file generated contains a series of mandatory fields that describe the goods transport service provided by any means: road, air, rail,…etc. A basic part of the issuing process is sending of the file to the SEFAZ by remote means for validation and registration, whereby businesses are granted the Authorization of Use that allows them to engage in their activity legally.

Fiscal and Legal Document

The properly generated electronic bill of lading document enjoys full legal validity when dealing with any public administration or legal situation that may arise in the course of the issuing company’s professional activities with third parties.

Legal validity is granted by:

  • Digital Certificate – CNPJ: With the electronic certificate, the person or company providing the service is issued an electronic identity that allows them to provide the electronic documents with authenticity and integrity mechanisms.
  • Authorization of Use: Validation and recording of the document by the tax authorities provides fiscal and legal guarantees for the company’s service provision.

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2 Comments


  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Here is a further clarification:

    According to SINIEF Set 18/11, as amended by SINIEF Set 08/12, the ICMS taxpayers are required to use the CT-e from the following dates:

    “I - Dec. 1, 2012, for taxpayers modal:
    a) road listed in Schedule One;
    c) air;
    d) rail;

    II - March 1, 2013, for taxpayers waterway mode;

    III - August 1, 2013, for taxpayers railroads, registered with calculation system standard;

    IV - December 1, 2013, for taxpayers:
    a) road transport, opting for regime Simples Nacional;
    b) registered as operators in the system Multimodal Freight.

  2. Dear Mr. Scott.

    We would like to Thank you in advance, for your clarification. That is what SEFAZ (Secretaria da Fazenda) wants to do on its project. They already have done on the NF-e ( Nota Fiscal Eletrônica) project.

    The main target, is spreading gradually the obligation for all transports-taxpayers companies in Brazil, to keep inform to SEFAZ , all transport operations and the ICMS (Imposto sobre Operações relativas à Circulação de Mercadorias e Prestação de Serviços de Transporte Interestadual e Intermunicipal e de Comunicação) contribution.

    Kind Regards,

    William Pascheti - Edicom Brazil