The first legislation requiring electronic invoicing for working with European public administrations came into force in February 2005. Denmark became the first European country to impose the mandatory sending and receiving of electronic invoices in B2G relations.
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Electronic invoicing has been a reality in Sweden since 2008, when Ekonomistyrningsverket - ESV (Sweden’s National Financial Management Authority) established mandatory electronic invoicing for the agencies of Sweden's central government.
From 1 January 2019, less than a month away, all companies that want to work with the Portuguese public administration will have to do so electronically, which entails the digitisation of the country's B2G relationships.
When we talk about the format for electronic invoicing, this refers to the structure of the file which supports the invoice itself and its legal content. In the case of Spain, the Tax Agency has established XML, which is used in the Facturae structure, previously known as AEAT-CCI, as the official format.
The European Digital Agenda has been promoting eInvoicing as a priority technological development within the common market for many years, as it is considered a driving force which facilitates internal relations between the different countries.
In 2015, the Ministarstvo gospodarstva, poduzetništva i obrta (Croatia’s Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts) started work on the “Croatian eInvoicing Business-to-Administration Exchange Project”, financed by the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility), with the aim of boosting and promoting the use of eInvoicing by the country's public and private entities.
As in many other countries in Europe, Austria has been promoting B2G eInvoicing for several years. Electronic invoicing was regulated as far back as 2012, when the Austrian Bundesministerium Finanzen published its Austrian ICT Consolidation Act (ICTKonG). Section 5 of that Act established the requirement to use electronic invoicing in the country’s public procurement: a fact which included the national and international suppliers working with the country's federal authorities.
As in the rest of the European Union, Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council will be applied in Belgium in 2019 as they aim to implement eInvoicing in the public administration.
Following the publication of Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, many European Union countries are modernising their own invoicing systems and promoting the generalised use of eInvoicing, especially in the realm of public procurement (B2G). Poland is not being left behind and, although there is currently no legislation on B2G eInvoicing, the government recommends the use of e-invoices and is working on approving Draft legislation which transposes the European Directive on electronic invoicing. This is expected to be ready by November 2018.
With the aim of achieving uniformity in the services provided to the public and improving their efficiency and effectiveness, the Spanish government decided to promote the use of eInvoicing in the country using a model which pushed all of the public administrations towards the digital transformation.