European Union designates UBL 2.1 as benchmark in public procurement


The European Union has taken a step further in Strategy 2020, designating Universal Business Language (UBL) version 2.1 as a reference for public tender. In recent years, the EU has been on a drive to better exploit the potential of information and communication technology in order to promote innovation, economic growth and progress. In this regard, strengthening interoperability and common standards emerges as a major priority.

Last May, we heard about a Directive on e-invoicing in public procurement, designed to establish a European standard to promote cross-border transactions. Now the Official Gazette has published an executive decision from the Commission identifying UBL version 2.1 as a reference in public procurement.

The decision came into force on November 21 and is the result of an agreement with the European Multi-Stakeholder Platform for ICT Standardization and experts in the sector. These bodies assessed the standards in accordance with the requirements set forth in Annex II of Regulation 1025/2012 and issued a positive rating.

UBL (Universal Business Language) 2.1 uses XML format and operates a policy framework that simplifies automation of document exchanges.

The executive decision of the European Union constitutes a boost for interoperability. Standardization is essential to ensure proper operation of digital initiatives and achieve maximum benefits. This has now become a priority, not only for the EU but also for countries worldwide

96% of transactions in Chile now take place via e-invoicing

Day by day, implementation of e-billing in Chile is gradually making headway. Currently around 70% of big businesses already comply with Law n° 20.727, which rules that all large companies with annual incomes above 100,000 UF, approximately $2,340 million US dollars, may no longer issue documents on paper for tax purposes and are required to take up the new electronic system.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (SII), 7 out of 10 companies are already complying with the new rules, a figure they expect to rise to almost 100% by the end of the year. Right now, up to 86% of these large corporations are either obeying the current legislation or already engaged in switching over to the new system, with the corresponding technical certification process to be able to implement it.

Good news for e-invoicing in Chile, which has now become compulsory, first of all for the large companies making up the biggest business sector in terms of turnover in the country. However, the SII also highlights how the combined forces of the big hitters already working with e-invoicing and those currently in the certification process already represent 96% of all transactions taking place throughout the territory.

Small and medium-sized businesses are next in line to comply with the e-billing legislation in Chile, as of August 2016. Finally, it will be the turn of micro-businesses as of February 2017. Benefits of this new system include simplicity, time-saving and efficient control of tax-related matters.

Law n° 20.727 on electronic invoicing in Chile does away with the need to have invoices stamped at the SII offices, allowing savings on the time traditionally spent going there and back and waiting to carry out the transaction. In turn, it also means a breakthrough in document management by removing the need for physical storage of documents – no more printing on paper – so the risk of them being mislaid becomes negligible.

Making it easier for citizens to comply with their obligations in terms of tax payments, improving economic and business processes between companies, and VAT payment deferral, now shifted from the 12th to the 20th of each month for payments via Internet, are other advantages of e-billing. With this law, corporations can no longer issue documents of this legal validity on paper, unless covered by any of the causes for exception defined in the law per se.

How to roll out an EDI solution in only seven steps

How to roll out an EDI solution in only seven steps

Electronic Data Interchange, EDI, enables you to automate communications between businesses and their trading partners, in addition to providing extra security conditions. In consequence, the risks associated with loss of documents or information leakage are minimized and less time is spent handling these processes. All of this means great economic savings, which is leading companies worldwide in all sectors to roll out this type of solutions.

EDICOM France experts Emmanuel Loury and Emmanuel Laplante held a conference on the benefits of EDI technology at the latest edition of Salons Solutions  According to our technicians, rolling out an EDI solution should consist of seven steps:

  • Defining the objectives: What does the company want to achieve with this solution? To cut costs? Optimize processes?
  • Setting out the previous requirements (technical features, equipment availability, needs, etc.)
  • Determining who the partners will be, both internally (subsidiaries and branches) and externally (clients, customers, suppliers, logistic operators, administrations, etc.)
  • Choosing a provider
  • Creating the implementation tool (developing mappings, configuring the framework and partners, integrating the EDI tool with the ERP…)
  • Carrying out the appropriate trials
  • Following up the solution (technical support, project scalability…)

In addition to following the seven steps, it is necessary that everyone involved in the initiative should take an active part in it. On the internal side, the project director must coordinate with the IT department as well as administration and finance, logistics, marketing and sales. Moreover, fluid communication with the EDI provider is essential.

With all these key points covered, rolling out an electronic data interchange solution can be done quickly and with success assured. This way, the business can take maximum advantage of the benefits this technology system provides.


Watch video

If you did not have the chance to attend our technicians’ workshop at Salons Solutions, you can do so now virtually by clicking on this video.

E-invoicing goes ahead in Costa Rica

Factura electrónica Costa Rica

Costa Rica was one of the first countries in Latin America to roll out electronic invoicing, along with Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil. However, unlike them, Costa Rica so far has not brought out any regulations requiring the use of this technological system. Since 2009, Costa Rican taxpayers may voluntarily use electronic invoicing in their business, provided they comply with the tax obligations, technical specifications and XML structures set forth in DGT Resolution – 02 – 09.

In recent years, the Directorate General for Taxation has stated its intention to make the use of e-invoicing mandatory for some professionals. As of 2013, it was foreseen that some independent professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers or dentist would be required to adapt to this system. However, in the end the project did not come to fruition.

Now, Costa Rica’s Finance Ministry is immersed in the draft review process concerning the legal and technical specifications for electronic billing, with the advisory services of GS1 Costa Rica, as well as a group of experts in the rollout of e-invoicing platforms on the continent, with EDICOM among them. With this new legislative framework, the government intends to eliminate the shortcomings from the current e-billing schema which limit its use on a massive scale, with a view to achieving a universal system that will lower running costs for companies, while providing greater fiscal control over business transactions with the administration.

The new e-signature and e-billing project includes the creation of a system that enables the gathering, processing and monitoring of invoice information. Although as yet unpublished, it is scheduled for release early next year. In addition, as declared by Director of Taxation, Carlos Vargas, to newspaper El Financiero, “electronic invoicing may become mandatory in 2015”.


An International e-Invoicing platform

EDICOM has developed an international e-billing platform, which automates a company’s entire e-invoice processing cycle, including the creation, issuance, receipt and storage of invoices in accordance with the requirements laid down by the Administration of each country, including Costa Rica.

Moreover, our e-billing platform provides important added value services, fostering efficiency in the day-to-day management of a company’s business processes, for example:

  • Invoice publication service: The EDICOM e-Invoicing Platform automates the publication of invoices generated in a web portal, which can be accessed by users who do not have an e-solution for invoice reception. This way, 100% of your clients can receive documents in electronic format, considerably shortening the invoice payment cycle.
  • Invoice reception service: EDICOM has portals for suppliers, a customized service whereby the vendor community can send out purchase orders and record their invoices. This way, receipt of all business documents in electronic format is guaranteed, automating 100% of your business management in a single technological platform.

Hacienda prepares electronic VAT management system

Gestión electrónica del IVA

On October 20, the Tax Agency issued a communiqué introducing a modernization strategy for Value Added Tax (VAT) management. The so-called SII (Suministro Inmediato de Información) Instant Information Service will provide Hacienda with real time information on commercial transactions carried out by taxpayers using the system. As a result, returns and rebates will be streamlined and checks can be made more quickly and effectively.

The SII comes into force on 1 January 2017, in order to give companies sufficient time to adapt to the initiative. The initial statements released by the Tax Agency announced that the system will be mandatory for a group of approximately 62,000 taxpayers consisting of large enterprises, corporate VAT groups to and subscribers to the monthly tax rebate regime (‘Redeme’). In total, this group represents 80% of VAT taxpayers’ billing in Spain. Moreover, according to information provided by the Tax Agency, all other taxpayer will be able to join the SII voluntarily.


How will this new model work?

With the SII system, taxpayers must submit details of invoices issued and received to the Tax Agency no later than 4 days after each billing. This means that the “record books” will be managed through the Tax Agency website. Another new feature is that in order to automate the submission of invoicing records, the option of making summarized entries will no longer be possible (even in the case of sales receipts).

This initiative will also enable the Tax Agency to prepare the fiscal data, following a similar scheme to income tax (IRPF). This way, taxpayers can use them to file their VAT returns in a simpler way.


What are the advantages?

  • The tax declaration process is simplified, cutting down on errors and providing greater legal security.
  • The obligation to file informative statements using models 347, 340 and 390 is no longer in force.
  • The term for submission of periodic self-assessments is extended by 10 days so that taxpayers can check the details of the operations imputed to them.
  • Tax Agency checks can be carried out more selectively and quickly, thanks to information on the operations being available practically in real time.

EDICOM’s Permanent Electronic Invoicing Observatory is currently studying the changes that may be necessary in companies under the new electronic system, designated “Suministro Inmediato de la Información” (Instant Information Service), and waiting for the Tax Agency to publish basic information on the system’s technical features. Features such as communication protocols, or the schema of the e-documents to be generated, as well as the data encryption processes which these documents must undergo.

We must not forget that this is yet another initiative towards a paper-free Administration, which is set to take another great technological leap soon, with the implementation of Facturae.