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New e-invoicing developments in the European Union for 2017

11/01/2017

einvoicing european union 2017

European Union Member States are obliged to implement European e-invoicing between the public sector and its suppliers by November 27, 2018. Directive 2014/55/EU is a ruling designed to facilitate cross-border trade relations by the creation of a common standard that will be interoperable. Once e-invoicing becomes widespread throughout the European Union, the economic savings are expected to reach 2.3 billion euros.

Given the proximity of the regulation coming into force, some countries have brought the 2018 deadline forward and are now gradually rolling out B2G e-invoicing with public administration suppliers. Here we take a look at new features and updates in several European Union countries with active projects already up and running around e-invoicing.

In Spain, a Royal Decree was announced in December 2016, whereby some 62,000 businesses meeting certain requirements were required to submit their VAT statements electronically as of July 1, 2017. The system, designated Immediate Information Sharing , proposes electronic VAT bookkeeping in order to encourage the electronic exchange of tax documents and strengthen control of tax affairs. You can download the White Paper on SII - Immediate Information Sharing  here to find out all the details.

Italy has updated its FatturaPA system to the new version 1.2. The format used for exchanging e-invoices with government agencies has been extended to also allow e-invoicing between private companies from January 1, 2017. Starting next January 9th, the Exchange System will only accept e-invoices in the new 1.2 format, under the updated rules.

In France, January 1, 2017 is the starting date for mandatory e-invoicing with public administrations for larger companies and the former Chorus Portal tool will be replaced by Chorus Pro. French legislation sets a timetable for progressive adaptation, with medium-sized businesses due to join the scheme in 2018. Since September, 18 public institutions are working on the pilot project, with the collaboration of Edicom to facilitate their incorporation to the system. Download the White Paper on e-Invoicing in France to find out all the details of this ‘dematerialization’ project.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) is rolling out an eProcurement initiative whereby all transactions, purchasing processes and communications with the British public health sector are carried out electronically. March 31 is the deadline for suppliers to adapt to the receipt of orders from NHS access points, and by September 30, 2017 they must be able to manage their billing with this system. All these exchanges will take place within the PEPPOL network. If you would like more detailed information on the aims of this initiative and the deadlines for rollout in companies, we recommend you download this free white paper on the NHS eProcurement Strategy (available in English and Spanish).

In the Netherlands, from 1 January 2017, the central government will only require e-billing from suppliers with contracts signed as of January 1, 2017, through its own platform, known as Digipoort. Suppliers with contracts signed prior to this date are under no obligation, but may voluntarily decide to submit their invoices electronically at any time they see fit. To connect to the Digipoort platform, it is advisable to obtain a solution integrated with your company’s ERP to make the process transparent and agile.

Germany is currently working on a draft bill of the law scheduled to regulate e-invoicing in public procurement at federal level and currently pending its final approval. Aside from this, regional and municipal authorities will also be launching their own rules on e-invoicing. The standard planned in Germany would be a hybrid format designated “ZUGFeRD”, designed to serve both large, small and medium-sized businesses. This hybrid format would consist of a PDF A3 and an embedded XML, so that it can be viewed easily, while simultaneously providing the option of integrating the necessary data into the ERPs of businesses wishing to automate the process.

In Poland, as of January 2017,  companies with fewer than 250 employees and a business turnover of more than 2 million euros must submit their records to the Tax Authority electronically, in compliance with the SAF-T standard. Specifically, they are required to send the tax agency the file called VAT evidence or JPK_VAT. The obligation affects all companies registered in Poland for tax purposes, even though they may have no physical office in the country. Poland is pursuing a progressive adaptation to this system. Larger companies have been adapted since July 2016 and in January 2018 it will be the turn of SMEs and micro businesses.

In Belgium, the Flemish Government also steals a march on the European directive and is asking its suppliers to send and receive their bills electronically through its Mercurius platform as of January 1, 2017. Governments in Belgium have opted to use the PEPPOL standard, which promotes the use of a single XML standard (UBL 2.1) through the PEPPOL network. Edicom can connect to this network to deliver e-invoices to any European public administration.

Portugal has published Ordinance No. 302/2016, which regulates the standard XML format and allows easy export of a predefined set of accounting records in a readable and common format, designated SAF-T. The ordinance came into force on January 1, 2017, except for the data structure cited in Article 3, which takes effect on July 1, 2017.

EDICOM, certified PEPPOL platform Access Point

Accreditation as a PEPPOL Access Point or authorized third party enables Edicom to link up with the PEPPOL platform, through which private companies and governments in Europe can exchange any kind of e-documents.

Moreover, Edicom has a global Public Administrations HUB that ensures connectivity with any public body, transparently for the user and adapted to the legal and fiscal requirements of each country. Communications with any public body are automated through this HUB.

Edicom also has a Permanent Observatory on e-Invoicing worldwide, to ensure constant updating and knowledge of the regulations in each country affected and adaptations of our platforms to the specifications of the source and destination countries, thanks to our acknowledged experience in international markets.

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