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E-invoicing consolidates in Europe

05/01/2015

E-invoicing consolidates in Europe

The year 2015 is likely to be marked by the spread of e-invoicing throughout Europe. Several countries are set to join compulsorily as of January. In fact, December 1 was the deadline date for suppliers to the Slovenian Public Administration to migrate to this system, known there as eRačun.

This month will also see the rollout of mandatory e-invoicing in the Spanish public sector. From 15 January, suppliers must use Facturae in their business transactions with the Administration. This technology will also be taken up by companies providing “services of special economic transcendence”, such as travel agents or water, electricity and gas utilities.

Italy is another country that will be making strides in this area in this area in 2015 . There, electronic invoicing became mandatory for Ministries, the Tax Agency, State security services and their suppliers in June 2014. Now, it is expected that regional and local authorities will be migrating to FatturaPA by 31 March, completing the rollout of their “paperless” Administration.

According to Billentis, in the last five years the penetration of electronic billing in Europe has grown by 16 %, rising from 8 % in 2009 to 24 % in 2014. In 2015, the consulting firm predicts that the volume of these documents could exceed 35 billion. And we must bear in mind that in addition to these, many states have already adopted e-invoicing in their trade relations, or else are currently in the process of doing so.

At the end of last year, Turkey made its use mandatory in certain economic sectors , such as hydrocarbons. In addition, Portugal instituted compulsory certified software for billing and declaring the invoices to the appropriate authorities. This system is governed by a similar legislative model to that of some Latin American countries.

As of January 1, 2016, it will be Switzerland that rolls out e-invoicing in the B2G segment. And France is set to follow suit soon afterwards. The French government has set 2020 as the deadline for implementing this model. However, adaptation will commence in 2018.

Leading the way will be other pioneering states such as Austria, Finland, Norway and Denmark. In the latter, e-invoicing with the Public Sector has been mandatory since 2005.

The European Union now has to face the interoperability challenge, as each country has set up its own e-invoicing format. To this end, the Commission issued a Directive in May 2014. Now the European Committee for Standardization needs to work on the search for a common language for all member states.

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