2. Guidelines for use of Digitally signed invoices/records in e-format
CBEC vide Notification No. 18/2015-Central Excise (N.T.), Dated: July 06, 2015 has prescribed the guidelines for issuing invoices,  preserving records in electronic form and authentication of records and invoices by digital signatures.
The notification specified the conditions, safeguards and procedures for issue of invoices, preserving records in electronic form, authentication of records and invoices by digital signatures and the same is summarised as under :
  • Use of only Class 2 or Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate duly issued by the Certifying Authority in India;
  • Intimating specified details like name, e-mail id etc., of the person authorised, name of the Certifying Authority etc., to  the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, at least 15 days in advance. In case  of any change in the details already submitted, within 15 days of such change;
  • Maintaining separate electronic records for each factory or each Service Tax Registration separately;
  • Producing the specified records in electronic form and invoices through e-mail or on a specified storage device in an  electronically readable format for verification, on request by the Central Excise Officer;
  • The Central Excise Officer, during an enquiry, investigation or audit may direct an assessee to furnish printouts of the records in electronic form and invoices and may resume printouts of such records and invoices after verification and after  signing of print outs by the assessee, if so requested;
  • Preservation of appropriate back up of records in electronic form for a period of 5 years. The contents of digitally signed invoices may be verified as follows:
  • Digitally signed invoices or documents either in PDF format or the hard copy of invoices and documents may contain a  web link where the documents or invoices are stored by the assessee, which can be accessed using this web link for  verification. Assessee shall either provide access to the web link of the company for verification or forward the digitally signed invoice or document by e-mail on requisition by the Central Excise Officer for verification;
  • Automatic pop-up of message once a digitally signed invoice is opened for the first time;
  • Document modification history;
  • Access to key information from the signature panel and acceptance of signer post verification of necessary particulars.

[TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA, EXTRAORDINARY, PART II, SECTION 3, SUB-SECTION (i)]

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise and Customs

Notification No. 18/2015-Central Excise (N.T.) , Dated- 6th July, 2015

G.S.R.  (E).____In pursuance of sub-rule (5) of rule 10 and sub-rule (9) of rule 11 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002 made under section 37 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) and sub-rule (5) of rule 5 and sub-rule (2) of rule 4C of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 made under sub-section (1) read with sub-section (2) of section 94 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994), the Central Board of Excise and Customs hereby specifies the following conditions, safeguards and procedures for issue of invoices, preserving records in electronic form and authentication of records and invoices by digital signatures, namely:-

1. Every assessee proposing to use digital signature shall use Class 2 or Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate duly issued by the Certifying Authority in India.

2. (i) Every assessee proposing to use digital signatures shall intimate the following details to the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, at least fifteen days in advance:-

a) name, e-mail id, office address and designation of the person authorised to use the digital signature certificate;

b) name of the Certifying Authority;

c) date of issue of digital certificate and validity of the digital signature with a copy of the certificate issued by the Certifying Authority along with the complete address of the said Authority:

Provided that in case of any change in the details submitted to the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner, complete details shall be submitted afresh within fifteen days of such change.

(ii)  Every assessee already using digital signature shall intimate to the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise the above details within fifteen days of issue of this notification.

3. Every assessee who opts to maintain records in electronic form and who has more than one factory or service tax registration shall maintain separate electronic records for each factory or each service tax registration.

4. Every assessee who opts to maintain records in electronic form, shall on request by a Central Excise Officer, produce the specified records in electronic form and invoices through e-mail or on a specified storage device in an electronically readable format for verification of the authenticity of the document and the request for such records and invoices shall be specified in the letter or e-mail by the Central Excise Officer.

5. A Central Excise Officer, during an enquiry, investigation or audit, in accordance with the provisions of section 14 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and as made applicable to Service Tax as per the provisions contained in section 83 of the Finance Act, 1994, may direct an assessee to furnish printouts of the records in electronic form and invoices and may resume printouts of such records and invoices after verifying the correctness of the same in electronic format; and after the print outs of such records in electronic form have been signed by the assessee or any other person authorised by the assessee in this regard, if so requested by such Central Excise Officer.

6. Every assessee who opts to maintain records in electronic form shall ensure that appropriate backup of records in electronic form is maintained and preserved for a period of 5 years immediately after the financial year to which such records pertain.

7. This notification shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

[F. No. 224/44/2014-CX.6]

(ROHAN)

Under Secretary to the Government of India

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Category : Excise Duty (4105)

0 responses to “Regarding Digitally signed invoices in Central Excise and Service Tax-Conditions, safeguards and procedures”

  1. JAI says:

    Any procedure for signing commercial invoices (such as non-excise, non-service and export invoices)

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