Attendees at the conference shared lessons learned and described new opportunities and challenges for the sector. Points discussed included the legal framework of operation, open issuing formats, the role of electronic signatures in the verification of digital transactions for tax purposes or the importance of electronic invoicing as a key feature in the international digital agenda.
Guillermo Valls Esponda, General Taxpayer Services Administrator from the SAT, highlighted the role of Authorized Certification Providers (PAC), supplying stamping services for digital invoices, in the spread of electronic billing in Mexico. We must bear in mind that only up to October 2013 the country generated more than 3000 billion electronic transactions. This figure should foreseeably rise next year, when the obligation to issue CFDI (Digital Tax Invoice via Internet) comes into force for all taxpayers billing more than 250,000 pesos.
European officials praised the solidity of the Mexican model, which allows users to cut economic costs, streamlines administrative processes and reduces the risk of fraud associated with paper and electronic transactions when the validation and certification tasks carried out by the PAC are not available.
So far, as the Commission members acknowledged, the closest thing to Mexican electronic invoicing in Europe is the Portuguese model. The country's government recently created a figure authorized to provide these services and the measure has been a great success. (Find out more about the billing model in Portugal.)
During this first contact between representatives of both regions, some future agreements were reached with a view to defining a semantic interoperability standard, greater collaboration in operational testing for the exchange of international transactions and working together on the documentation of working methods in Europe and Latin America.
In addition, the European Commission agreed to take part in the First World Forum on Electronic Invoicing, to be held in Cancun next year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of electronic invoicing in Mexico.