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Document 32014L0055

Electronic invoicing in public procurement

Electronic invoicing in public procurement

As part of the process of modernising public administration in Europe, European Union ministers have agreed a law which aims to facilitate and encourage the use of e-invoices for public procurement contracts, particularly for companies working on contracts in another EU country.

ACT

Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

SUMMARY

EU countries adopted new laws on public procurement in 2014. In tandem, they adopted a law which should result in a greater uptake across Europe of e-invoicing by contractors for work that they do for, or goods that they deliver to, the public sector.

E-invoicing by a business in one EU country for work done for or goods delivered to a public authority in another has been hampered by problems of a lack of interoperability, i.e. incompatible e-invoicing systems in different countries.

The law applies to invoices falling within the scope of the public procurement directives (i.e. most contracts) but does not apply to contracts falling within the scope of Directive 2009/81/EC in the fields of defence and security, where the procurement and performance of the contract are declared to be secret or must be accompanied by special security measures.

COMMON INTEROPERABLE STANDARD

A European standard on electronic invoicing is to be developed and tested by the European standardisation organisations within 3 years of the directive’s entry into force. Once the standard becomes available, all public authorities across the EU will be obliged to receive and process e-invoices complying with it.

The standard should make it possible to set up user-friendly (easy-to-understand and easy-to-use) electronic invoicing systems. The standardisation exercise will take into account specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as smaller contracting authorities and contracting entities, which have limited staff and financial resources.

The standard will also be suitable for use in commercial transactions between businesses, as well as in the area of public procurement.

IMPLEMENTATION

Once the new standard has been published, EU countries’ central government contracting authorities have 18 months to implement it. For local and regional contracting authorities, this period can be extended to 30 months.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2014/55/EU

26.5.2014

27.11.2018

OJ L 133 of 6.5.2014

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain works contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security, and amending Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC (Official Journal L 216 of 20 August 2009).

Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (Official Journal L 94 of 28 March 2014).

Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (Official Journal L 94 of 28 March 2014).

Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC (Official Journal L 94 of 28 March 2014).

13.10.2014

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