In Europe, electronic invoicing is present in all countries and much of the success of its use is due to the regulatory impulse by the different governments to accelerate its implementation through compulsion. Such is the success of the B2G e-invoicing that the use of it is being extended to the B2B field. In this post, we will see which European countries are already adopting this new modality of invoicing between companies.
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From 18th April, 2019, the public administrations of all EU Member States are compelled to electronically receive and process their invoices. This concerns any B2G (Business-to-Government) and G2G (Government-to-Government) trades and transactions within the European Union.
The 2014/55/EU regulation is aimed at standardise a common European e-invoicing format, so that any public or private supplier is able to work with European public administrations seamlessly. Developing cross-border trade falls under the main EU goals.
Estonia, like many other European countries, has decided to implement mandatory eInvoicing for the country’s public procurement. This decision is included in the modification of the Accounting Act that was published on 27 December 2016, which established that all contracting authorities (central, regional and local) must accept and process machine-processable invoices as of 1 March 2017.
Mandatory electronic invoicing with Czech institutions was established in the country on 1 October 2016, the year in which European countries such as Switzerland and Croatia also made it mandatory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.