EU: E-invoicing: European Par…

EU: E-invoicing: European Parliament backs Commission proposal to eliminate barriers to cross-border public procurement

Published on: 21/05/2014

The benefits are numerous: the Directive will contribute to eliminating barriers to cross-border public procurement by ensuring interoperability between national e-invoicing systems which, ultimately, will result in a better functioning Single Market. It will mean faster payments and new business opportunities for suppliers. It will also further reduce the cost and complexity of public procurement in Europe.

In practice, the Directive calls for the development of a new European standard for electronic invoicing. Provided that the e-invoices sent by a company are compliant with the forthcoming European standard on e-invoicing in public procurement, they will ultimately be accepted by all public authorities throughout Europe.

E-invoicing is an important step towards paperless public administration (eGovernment) in Europe – one of the priorities of the Digital Agenda - and offers the potential for significant economic as well as environmental benefits. The adoption of e-invoicing in public procurement alone across the EU could generate savings of up to €2.3 billion a year.

“Supporting modern and efficient public administration in the EU and strengthening the Single Market are key priorities for the European Commission. By developing a new European e-invoicing standard and making reception of e-invoices sent in this standard obligatory for all public authorities, the new rules will contribute to both of these objectives. On the one hand, they will greatly reduce the cost and complexity of using e-invoices for both governments and businesses, including SMEs. On the other, they will remove market barriers and enhance cross-border interoperability between e-invoicing systems. This initiative shows that European policies can be an important driver for simplification and that they can help open up new business opportunities for European enterprises. Finally, switching from paper to fully automated invoicing contributes to the fight against fraud. These are all concrete and tangible benefits which are particularly relevant in the current economic climate,” said Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. “I want to thank the European Parliament, especially the rapporteur, Birgit Collin-Langen, and the shadow rapporteurs for their work on this important file, one of the Key Actions of the Single Market Act II”.

Next steps: Following the Parliament's, vote, the Directive will be formally adopted by the Council before publication in the Official Journal of the EU, entry into force and transposition by the Member States into national law.

Further information:

Original news article - EU Commission