Portugal and its Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira, AT, have been working on implementing eInvoicing in the country for many years as part of their move towards an eProcurement strategy. The entry into force in 2004 of the Decreto-Lei no. 256/2003, of 21 October 2003 laid the foundations for eInvoicing in Portugal; establishing the technical conditions for the sending, processing, receiving and archiving e-invoices, as well as recommending their use in the country's public administrations.
Portugal's eProcurement strategy included not only the implementation of the electronic invoice, but also the digital transformation covering the entirety of eProcurement. In fact, Portugal is one of the most advanced countries in the area of eProcurement, as since 1 November 2009, all procedures related to public contracts must be electronic, including specifications, submission of proposals, order books, contracts, etc. (Decreto-Lei no. 18/2008), and carried out through the certified ePlatforms.
In 2008, with the aim of achieving more efficient tax inspections, Portugal made it mandatory Portaria No. 321-A/2007 of 26 March to export a standard audit file for tax purposes known as SAFT-PT. This new B2G eCommunication channel allows the exporting of a set of accounting, invoicing and transport records and receipts. SAFT, despite not being an e-invoice as such, was the first stage in the transformation of the B2G relationship in Portugal and provided quick access to tax information, in a standard format which is adapted to the tax inspection procedures.
In terms of eInvoicing, the publishing at a European level of Directive 2014/55/EU resulted in a new move towards standardisation of eInvoicing in the public administrations. On 31 August 2017, Portugal published a new update of the Código dos Contratos Públicos, which, in its article 299.B modified Decree no.18/2008, so that, as of 1 January 2019, all companies that issue invoices to the Portuguese public administrations must do so electronically. In other words, B2G invoicing is mandatory across the country.
This requirement is a great opportunity for the modernisation of the management of Portuguese companies. A total 5,555.9 million electronic invoices were issued in 2017, 3.2% more than in the previous year, and the use of electronic invoices will create an advantage for the country's companies. It will improve their management, automate their processes, improve their cash management, provide financial visibility and generate significant savings by removing the need for manual tasks, paper and postage, allowing the staff who would previously have carried out these tasks to be assigned to other, more productive ones.
Download our Whitepaper
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.