The e-Invoice as security in Colombia

The e-Invoice as security in Colombia

The Ministry of Trade and Industry of Colombia has joined forces with the major e-invoicing service providers, among them EDICOM, with a view to developing a factoring project. The meeting is framed within the working group set up a few months ago to carry out the pilot project for widespread use of e-billing in the country. The group brings together the leading providers of tax data transfer software, big businesses from different production sectors and representatives from the DIAN tax authority.

The aim of this new tax initiative is to ensure that the new electronic invoice acts as a security when companies ask for an advance on their payments from credit and financial institutions.

Factoring as a funding mechanism is increasingly used worldwide by businesses to cope with lengthy invoice payment terms, as in many cases companies are obliged to wait for up to 90 days. Through factoring, the banks advance these payments to businesses in exchange for a small commission, which improves the liquidity of companies.

In this regard, countries like Chile or Peru have taken advantage of e-invoicing to boost this funding mechanism. Through it, financial and credit institutions can quickly check the validity of invoices and even exchange them online internationally. In other words, the process becomes much simpler and quicker.

For now, Colombian businesses will have to wait until the project for the e-invoice as security gets the green light. The Ministry plans to release the draft version soon and estimates that a 6-month term will be needed before the final decree comes to light.  Even so, it is already foreseen that those taking part in the transaction will be the issuer of the e-invoice, a registration authority that validates it (selected by the DIAN) and a final holder, which will be the financial or lending institution.


Factoring status in Colombia


Despite the benefits it provides, factoring today is still an underused system in the country. In 2014, the business of buying and selling bills in Colombia accounted for 8 billion pesos, but only some 40,000 SMEs benefited from this system, compared to the 600,000 operating in Colombia. These figures from Confecámaras have to be placed in the context where, in that same year, some 98,000 production units cancelled their mercantile registration, mainly due to the lack of liquidity.

Taking the figures into account, factoring, driven by the spread of e-invoicing, emerges as an opportunity for Colombian businesses to tackle the economic issues caused by payment delays. Soon, we shall have further details on its application.

Peru latest to implant electronic air waybill (e-AWB)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) project to remove paperwork from cargo processes continues to grow. The latest country to join the electronic air waybill scheme, known as e-AWB, is Peru. With this measure, the National Customs and Tax Administration (SUNAT) intends to promote supply chain optimization in air transport.

From now on, air waybills will be transmitted electronically. This will lower economic costs, by doing away with traditional management of files on paper, while reducing the number of errors and avoiding the habitual delays in freight loading processes. With the e-AWB, stakeholders involved in freight transport will have continuous monitoring of information in each of the phases, so planning will be more effective.

Another advantage of the new electronic air waybill promoted by IATA is that the data will be more accurate and there will no longer be legibility issues. In addition, the former requirements stipulating storage of these paper documents will no longer hold. In other words, the airlines, freight forwarders, customs authorities and customers will all benefit from a more secure, efficient and faster system.


Teamwork project


As noted by the SUNAT in a public communiqué, the tax agency has been backing the initiative and encouraging use of the e-AWB since last February. To this end, there has been a joint effort with IATA, AETAI and the World Customs Organization (WCO). In fact, as part of the SAFE Framework initiative, the SUNAT and WCO have set out “an international agreement containing 17 standards to enhance security in the logistical supply chain, trading facilities, the fight against corruption and tax collection.” The next step for the SUNAT will be to modernize its IT systems, setting up a communication system in the XML standard recommended by the WCO.

With this measure, Peru joins a global project that is gaining ground in all continents, saving tons of paper each year. Currently, international penetration of the e-AWB is around 39%, and by late 2016 the IATA expects it to reach 56%.


Data flows better electronically


At EDICOM we have developed EDICOMAir, our e-Air Waybill platform, which automatically generates the freight information based on the XML standards set by the IATA. In addition, our solution incorporates data translation mechanisms that let you take the former sector messaging in Cargo IMP format and automatically and transparently generate the new Cargo XML messages regulated by the IATA. These sensitive documents are then sent via secure private communication networks (VANs) to freight forwarders, airlines and customs authorities, providing real-time traceability.

Among the communication possibilities provided by EDICOM’s technological infrastructure, we highlight the connectivity through our Public Administration HUB, a powerful multiprotocol communications module that lets you connect directly and securely with the customs authorities of each country using the new IATA model to declare the standardized Cargo Manifest file.


Paperless revolution makes headway in Italy: PEPPOL settles in Emilia-Romagna

Paperless revolution makes headway in Italy: PEPPOL settles in Emilia-Romagna

The Emilia-Romagna initiative is framed within a common European context where each country is rolling out technological projects designed to improve the efficiency of relations between public providers and administrations that engage their services. Beyond the obvious benefits of modernizing the administration, these initiatives are also promoted through regulations in the form of European directives that require Member States to address these technological challenges. For example, Directive 2014/24/EU, which governs the creation of an interoperable platform for e-procurement and bidding at European level, or Directive 2014/55/EU, which obliges member states to establish electronic billing systems based on a common European standard.

In this regard, the Emilia-Romagna region has gone beyond e-invoicing and has set up a dematerialization flow which is mandatory for orders and shipping notes exchanged between healthcare organizations and their suppliers.

 “As of June 30, these processes must be electronic and in PEPPOL format. This way, transactions are simplified, but in addition the region positions itself at the forefront of the e-Procurement initiatives soon to be rolled out in Europe,” explains Javier Garcia, the EDICOM manager monitoring this Italian project.

PEPPOL is a European initiative that aims to consolidate a single standard shared by all businesses and Public Administrations of the Union. As Javier Garcia explains, “dematerialization processes are becoming widespread in many countries, but interoperability among them continues to be a challenge.” This is why Emilia-Romagna decided to use a common and open standard for all stakeholders in the supply chain, namely the UBL PEPPOL format.


How does this dematerialization process work?


The Emilia-Romagna Healthcare eProcurement initiative is backed by the Intercent-ER Agency and regulated by Resolution n.287, which was published in March 2015. In the regulations, the authorities set out the technical features of this new model and the deadlines for adaptation.

 “Operating with PEPPOL is based on a communications network with its own communication protocols. Trading partners must use the UBL-PEPPOL format and exchange their documents through an Accredited Access Point, such as EDICOM, to interoperate in the PEPPOL Network. This way, the data transfer is executed between two Access Points which have successfully passed the corresponding technical certification trials, which in the case of the Administration, is run by the Intercent-ER Agency”, explains EDICOM manager Javier Garcia.

Now, with the dematerialization project up and running, issuing electronic orders takes place in two phases:


  • First, the public body sends the order details to Intercent-ER.
  • Second, Intercent-ER forwards the document in PEPPOL format to another Access Point, such as EDICOM, where it is translated into the standard required by the recipient and delivered to them.


For shipping notes or despatch advices, which can also be electronic, the process is as follows:


  • The supplier sends the document to the Access Point provider, such as EDICOM.
  • From there, it is forwarded to Intercent-ER, which translates it into PEPPOL format and delivers it to the relevant public body.


These actions take place in real-time, so that issuing and managing these documents is speeded up. This also means that response times between the Administration and its suppliers are shortened. “With this project, companies will see their economic costs are reduced, as well as the number of errors that occur in these tasks. Moreover, implementing PEPPOL facilitates participation in public tenders and even continental trade, as the PEPPOL system is becoming increasingly widespread,” affirms Javier Garcia.


The future


Although the dematerialization project currently only affects the public healthcare system of Emilia-Romagna and its suppliers, it is foreseeable that these electronic processes will continue to spread to other sectors. In fact Resolution n.287 already left the door open to this end, despite not specifying the deadlines.

We must also bear in mind that, in addition to the shipping notes and orders considered in the regulation, the entire Italian public sector and its suppliers have been obliged to use e-invoicing since 2015. In other words, as it stands today the bulk of commercial documents in the Emilia-Romagna healthcare system are already dematerialized.

 “In the near future we will see how the digitization of these processes extends to more public bodies in this region, but also to other areas of Italy, such as Lazio,” adds Javier Garcia. In addition, we should add that these initiatives for e-procurement with PEPPOL are also being rolled out in other European countries such as Sweden, or in the United Kingdom through the NHS e-Procurement Strategy.

e-Invoicing situation in Latin America [White Paper]

e-Invoicing situation in Latin America [White Paper]

This year around 30 billion e-invoices will be exchanged worldwide, states the latest report from Billentis. Of these, 11 billion will be in Latin America alone, a figure much higher than that of other regions. The fact is that countries across the American continent have been at the forefront in use of this technology for years. The reason? The majority of Treasury Departments in countries like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina or Chile require the use mandatory e-invoicing from their companies.

For multinational companies that decide to start operations in LATAM, this requirement may have some complications. This is because the system may have different requirements in each country and failure to comply with them may incur penalties, or simply prevent companies from doing business. So, the EDICOM team has drawn up a free guide to e-billing in Latin America (available in English, Spanish and Portuguese) with the main details of the current model in each area.


e-Invoicing situation in Latin America


Today, the tax authorities of almost all countries in this area are promoting the use of e-invoicing as a method to prevent tax fraud and simplify compliance. Nevertheless, the stages of development reached are different in each country.

The most advanced in this technology are Mexico and Brazil. There, almost 100% of invoices are electronic and the system is mandatory for all taxpayers. Moreover, these states are now tending towards digitization of other tax processes, such as e-accounting.

Another country leading the way in widespread use of e-invoicing is Argentina. There, this technology is expected to become mandatory for almost all taxpayers by the end of 2016. Chile is also part of the group of regions leading the pack. In fact, it was the first Latin American state to roll out the system. However, for a long time, until 2014, it was an optional technology. Since then, the Chilean tax agency has set out a mandatory plan for gradual adoption for companies, due for completion in 2018.

Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay have decided, following Chile’s example, to implement e-invoicing gradually, depending on the sector and the technical or economic capabilities of businesses. A similar plan is due to be rolled out in Colombia in the near future. In this country, e-invoicing is not yet mandatory, but the pilot project for adoption of this technology has already begun, with the aim of making it compulsory from 2017.


What information is included in this White Paper?


The White Paper drafted by EDICOM’s e-billing specialists explains the background and characteristics that define this technology in Latin America.  We must bear in mind that, although each country has a different regulatory framework, the Latin American model has certain features common to all States. Among them, the fact that it is compulsory in the majority of cases.

In addition, this document includes a guide with the most significant aspects of the e-billing model in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. This way, companies doing business in these markets can quickly see if the mandatory nature of the ruling affects them and what the technical characteristics are.

The White Paper on e-invoicing in LATAM also recommends a list of best practices for easy and simple implementation, as transparent as possible for the regular working processes of the companies concerned.

Would you like to know more? Download our free Expert Analysis on e-invoicing in Latin America (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese).

Procurement in Healthcare Show: Key health sector event in UK

Procurement in Healthcare Show: Key health sector event in UK

On 28 September in London a landmark event for the United Kingdom’s health sector is taking place: Procurement In Healthcare (PIH) Show. The event will bring together technology providers, such as EDICOM, and all stakeholders involved in the healthcare-related value chain. A total of roughly 4000 professional visitors is expected, mainly from the public sector, seeking to optimize processes, making them more efficient and secure.

Organizations taking part include the Department of Health (DoH), the National Health Service (NHS) and all their member trusts and bodies. Remember that this event is being held with e-Procurement Strategy adoption process fully underway. With this initiative, the British public health service and its suppliers will be managing their business relationships totally electronically from now on.


Find all the NHS e-Procurement Strategy details in this White Paper


Technology at the service of health


To implement this new strategy, hospitals, laboratories and supplier companies must take a technological leap forward. To this end, EDICOM has developed a platform fully adapted to the regulatory requirements, including the use of EDI systems and PEPPOL and GS1 standards. The aim is to ensure the migration process to the new e-procurement system takes place smoothly as possible, respecting the phases scheduled by the DoH for suppliers to be able to exchange the key data set forth in this strategy electronically.

However, we must bear in mind that this is a B2G project of considerable scope for companies, affecting different internal management applications (logistics, trade, fiscal). This is why it is so important to count upon an expert supplier from the outset, both in the use of data transfer and integration technology and the health sector and its peculiarities. In this sense, EDICOM has a lengthy track record in the development and rollout of B2B and B2G platforms, linking up hospitals, laboratories and healthcare sector businesses throughout Europe, for example the electronic communication system of the Andalusian health service and its network of suppliers. The system has optimized the healthcare supply chain, resulting in lower costs and better care to patients in a community with more than 8 million potential users of public health services.  If you like, you can find out more about our success story by downloading our Business Case.


EDICOM will be sending a team of EDI specialists for the healthcare sector, who have previously worked with benchmark companies worldwide such as Bayer, Lilly,  Roche, Abbot or Pfizer, among others.

During the event, you will find us at Stand 238. You can use this form to arrange a meeting with our team at the event, where we will show you the steps to take for successful implementation of the new NHS e-procurement system.


How to take part?


PIH Show is a free event for industry professionals. However, it is imperative to register beforehand through the event website.

The conference will be held on September 28 at the Olympia in London, from 9:00 to 16:30. In addition to checking out the various stands, visitors can attend the different conferences scheduled in the PIH Show agenda.