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.
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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.
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.
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.