The implementation of eInvoicing in France has been work in progress for several years. In 2014, the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance published Ordinance No. 2014-697 of 26 June 2014 for the development of eInvoicing, and with this it was established that eInvoicing had to be used for French public procurement. In other words, the companies issuing invoices to French public administrations must issue electronic invoices, and the French public administrations must receive and accept them electronically as well.
This new way of invoicing, whose implementation is promoted by the Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’Etat, AIFE, was named Facture Demat, and its application data is split into four groups in terms of the entities covered by it.
Thus, the schedule introducing B2G eInvoicing in France was staggered on the basis of the size of companies. It started by making this mandatory in January 2017 for public administration suppliers with more than 5,000 employees. It will gradually be made mandatory for an increasing number of groups until January 2020.
- 01/01/2017 for any company with more than 5,000 employees
- 01/01/2018 for any company with 250 to 5,000 employees
- 01/01/2019 for any company with 10 to 250 employees
- 01/01/2020 for any company with fewer than 10 employees
Following this line, Decree No. 2016-1478 of 2 November 2016 was approved in 2016, which specified certain features of eInvoicing in public procurement and B2G electronic invoicing. These included the single French invoicing portal for the interchange of electronic invoices: “Chorus Pro”. This helps public sector suppliers to submit their invoices and check on the current status of their invoices and payments.
To adapt to the capabilities and needs of the interested suppliers, the portal offers three sending methods: the manual uploading of invoices directly to the platform, the downloading of PDF or XML invoices (signed or not) from the portal and EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) with direct connection or through a service operator.
The French portal Chorus Pro accepts both the OASIS UBL 2.1 standard for eInvoicing as well as CII UN/CEFACT. Similarly, the French e-Invoicing and Public Procurement Forum (FNFE-MPE) and the German forum (Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland - FeRD) have developed the Factur-X standard, which is a format based on EN 16931 and complies with Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in the European Union.
With the widespread use of eInvoicing and the elimination of paper invoices in organisations, France expects that by 2020, approximately 95 million invoices will be issued electronically each year, with an economic saving of €710 million every year, €335 million of which will be for the private sector.
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SERES has written a White Paper on “Electronic Invoicing in Europe” which sets out in detail the progress that is expected for eInvoicing in Europe (Albania, Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine).
It is the perfect guide to understand what your company is facing if it wants to use eInvoicing globally.