The success of e-invoicing in Norway

Norway, along with Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, is one of the countries that has made the strongest commitment to the adoption of electronic invoicing in the B2G area.

Although it is not an EU member, the Scandinavian country has made efforts to comply with the requirements that EU member states follow. An example of this is the Digitaliseringsrundskrivet and Nye obligatoriske IT-standarder i offentlig sector law. This law transposed the European Directive 2014/55/EU.

The evolution of e-invoicing in Norway

Since 2011, all central government entities in Norway have been required to receive and process invoices electronically.

One year later, in 2012, it became mandatory for suppliers to central authorities to issue electronic invoices in accordance with the EN 16931 standard.

According to FOR-2019-04-01-444, as of 2 April 2019, all public entities must receive and process invoices electronically.

In addition, suppliers to public entities will be obliged to send electronic invoices and central government contracting authorities that issue invoices will be obliged to offer PEPPOL invoices to recipients.

The authority responsible for regulating e-invoicing in Norway is Skattetaten (The Norwegian Tax Administration). It authorises all registered PEPPOL access points in the country (there are currently 45 in total) and operates the ELMA registry, a PEPPOL service metadata publisher that contains the identities and receiving capacities of all public entities and private companies that communicate using PEPPOL.

On the other hand, B2B e-invoicing in Norway is voluntary.

How does the e-invoicing model work in Norway?

Norway relies on the PEPPOL network, particularly for cross-border transactions, and uses the PEPPOL BIS 3.0 format. However, Norwegian public bodies also recognise the EHF (Elektronisk Handelsformat) format.

Economic operators can submit e-invoices via their ERPs or authorised e-invoicing solution providers.

The e-invoicing process in Norway is largely automated, as the e-procurement infrastructure is based on the specifications of the PEPPOL interoperability framework and the PEPPOL network itself.

Most public entities have an economic system that can manage their invoices. Invoice flow systems are used for invoice approval prior to payment.

E-invoices do not require an electronic signature and must be archived for 5 years, except for the oil recovery and pipeline industry where the archiving period is 15 years.

Electronic tax reporting project in Norway

All businesses in the country are required to submit VAT reports electronically to the Tax Administration. Starting January 2022, Norway mandates VAT reporting through electronic SAF-T files.

What is the SAF-T file?

The SAF-T format allows for electronic reporting as companies can export data from their accounting books in XML format.

In Norway, this is achieved through the Altinn portal, which serves as a common platform for electronic communication between companies and authorities.

Furthermore, there is a proposal to introduce electronic reporting of all purchases and sales on a transactional level by 2024, as outlined in a discussion paper published by the tax authorities.

From the second quarter onwards, the standard declaration (RF-0002) and the agricultural sector declaration (RF-0004) will be replaced by SAF-T.

Characteristics of SAF-T in Norway

The SAF-T file contains 30 codes, of which 25 are mandatory in the digital VAT return when there is transaction activity related to the specific codes. The Norwegian version of SAF-T is divided into two parts:

  • The Financial part includes the general ledger, customer, supplier, and tax master data, as well as stock movements, product data, and asset register.
  • The Cash part includes locations, cash registers, and cash transactions.

What are the objectives of the SAF-T files in Norway?

The intention behind the SAF-T files is to facilitate tax compliance, streamline control processes and simplify external audits:

  • SAFT- files in Norway act as a means to export accounting data as requested by the tax administration and other interested parties.
  • It functions as a file format for those who are obliged to keep accounts according to the country's accounting legislation.
  • You will be able to transfer data when changing accounting software and from accounting software to other financial systems (tax calculation or business intelligence software.

SERES, an ideal partner for multi-country projects

To comply with international obligations, it is recommended to contract a global e-invoicing solution that is certified in all the countries where your company operates.

The SERES Multi-Country e-Invoicing solution offers several advantages for companies:

  • The solution meets all legal and technical requirements in each country where it is used. Electronic invoicing streamlines workflows between subsidiaries or companies located in different countries.
  • Our service provides a single point of collaboration for internal information exchange, with automatic integration and report generation.
  • Real-time visibility allows for efficient management of treasury, debts, and accounts payable by providing up-to-date information from all subsidiaries.
  • The global operator ensures automatic adaptation without the need for each subsidiary to adjust to a different provider. Additionally, a support and help service is available throughout the activation process.

Do you want to know more about e-invoicing in Norway?

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Key numbers

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+30 years

of experience
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+750 MM

€/year managed
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3 Millions

active users
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+1.000 M

documents/year exchanged
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connected companies
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countries with exchange

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