Including nutritional information table on foods to be compulsory from December

Including nutritional information table on foods to be compulsory from December

For the past two years, foodstuffs traded in the European Union have been obliged to display labelling with information on the product, such as the list of ingredients or allergens. This is laid down in Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 which, from next December 13th, also makes it obligatory to provide the nutritional information table on food including calories, fat, saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.

As happened in 2014 with ingredients and allergens, this obligation not only affects traditional stores, as it also applies to e-commerce or remote sales. The regulation states that consumers must be made aware of this nutritional information and other labelling details before making their purchase.

In consequence, suppliers and distributors are faced with a challenge: how to keep food product information synchronized so that the data shown to the consumer on the web portal are updated at all times. The aim of the regulation is to improve safety in relation to allergies and intolerance and raise awareness towards the consumption of unhealthy foods. In fact, the nutritional information table must show the percentage per 100 g or millilitres, so that users can compare the amounts in different products and choose the ones that most suit them.

 

Which products must comply with the obligation?

Regulation 1169/2011 states that all drinks and processed foods that are packaged are required to provide nutritional information on their labels. However, alcoholic drinks of more than 1.2% per volume of alcohol, unpackaged foods and unprocessed products that include a single ingredient are exempt from the ruling. A complete list of these products can be found in annex V of the regulation.

Foods that are liable and which do not comply with the regulations can result in fines for manufacturers and producers ranging from 5001 to 600,000 euros, depending on the type of offence that may have been committed.

 

How to adapt to the regulation?

To facilitate compliance, EDICOM has designed a solution that enables suppliers and distributors to synchronize their product information in real time. This is the EDICOMData e-Catalogue.

With this solution, suppliers record and update the nutritional information on their food products in standardized format, while distributors, who act as catalogue subscribers, access the data in real time.  In addition, the EDICOMData solution presents these data in a structured format for integration in the company’s information system or the online store content manager. This way, the process is not only simpler and faster, but is also more secure, as the nutritional information on the foods received by the consumer is updated at all times.

One step closer to e-invoicing in Costa Rica

One step closer to e-invoicing in Costa Rica

On February 14, Costa Rica is starting up its e-invoicing pilot project, which will include six large taxpayers and plans to spread this system throughout the country. The announcement of the breakthrough comes after the issuing on 7 October of Resolution DGT-R-48 on Authorization for use of e-invoicing and associated electronic documents. In addition, on November 3 the selection criteria for taxpayers required to issue e-invoicing once the pilot plan starts up were also published in the official state gazette.

The Directorate General of Taxation (DGT) has now defined the mandatory features for e-documents. The formats and technical specifications are detailed in the annexes and XML structures listed in the DGT web portal. In addition, the method for delivery, validation and preservation of electronic receipts is also stipulated (mandatory for a 4-year period).

Who will be required to issue e-invoicing in Costa Rica?

For the moment, the DGP has not revealed how migration to e-invoicing will take place, although it is foreseeable that it will be done gradually, in stages, as occurred in practically all the Latin American countries where e-invoicing use is now compulsory. Nevertheless, there is still no definite timeframe. What will be announced on December 15 will be the list of taxpayers required to start issuing e-invoicing from the start of the pilot scheme in February 2017.

In this regard, the DGT selection process will take into account the criteria published in the Gazette on November 3. Among them, the income level and activity sector of the taxpayers. These taxpayers will receive notification by email in the case of large companies, or through the Gazette for smaller taxpayers.

However, taxpayers who are prepared to face this technological leap can apply to join the pilot scheme voluntarily. To do so, they must send an e-mail to fe@hacienda.go.cr.

A system with great benefits

The spread of e-invoicing in Costa Rica will bring benefits, both for the public sector and private companies. With this technology, the DGT will be able to improve control and reduce tax evasion, as all the business transactions will be declared in real time. In addition, taxpayers will simplify tax compliance and automate part of their administrative procedures, which will increase productivity and cut economic costs. In fact, the savings from e-invoicing may reach 90% compared to the traditional process on paper.

Polish SMEs obliged to adapt to SAF-T standard in January

Polish SMEs obliged to adapt to SAF-T standard in January

Poland is introducing certain changes to simplify compliance with taxpayer obligations and progress towards e-systems. Since last July 1, the biggest companies have to declare their VAT records and other accounting documents to the Tax Agency remotely, in accordance with SAF-T standard specifications. Now, as of next January, small and medium-sized businesses will also be required to do so, and as a result must adapt their systems to this obligation as soon as possible.

 

Which companies are required to use SAF-T?

The Polish Tax Authority has set a schedule for migration split into three phases, based on company size and revenue. Larger companies already switched over in July. The next deadline, to be reached in January 2017, requires electronic submission of VAT records (VAT evidence) from companies with the following features:

  • Having more than 10 employees and fewer than 250.
  • With a turnover exceeding 2 million euros and less than 50 million.

It must be noted that the obligation affects all companies registered in Poland for tax purposes, even though they may have no physical office in the country. Moreover, these two criteria are applied to the company in its entirety, regardless of the fact that part of the workforce may be in other locations.

One year after the SMEs join the system, it will be the turn of microbusinesses. Businesses with fewer than 10 workers and a turnover of less than €2 million must migrate to SAF-T before January 2018.

 

What does complying with SAF-T standard involve?

The SAF-T standard includes a total of seven files. The majority will only be declared to the Tax Agency occasionally, when required, and are not compulsory for SMEs until July 2018. The one which must be sent as of January is designated VAT evidence or JPK_VAT, an XML-format e-document that includes the sales and purchases VAT records of the company. This file will be declared monthly, by day 25 of each month.

EDICOM has already developed an e-solution that automates generation and sending of the JPK_VAT file. Now businesses can easily comply with the Polish regulation, while simplifying their transactions with the Tax Authority.

Chorus Portal Pro 2017 test run in pilot project

Chorus Portal Pro 2017 test run in pilot project

France is now into the final stretch of e-Invoicing rollout. As of last September 20, 18 public institutions are voluntarily taking part in the pilot project for Chorus Portal Pro 2017, the billing management tool due to replace the current Chorus Portal from next January. EDICOM is also working with these public bodies to facilitate their incorporation to this system. The aim of the test period is to check that dematerialization is on schedule  to be up and running by the deadline set in Ordinance Nº 2014-697.

The French government ruling requires large companies of more than 5000 employees to adopt e-invoicing on a mandatory basis from January 1 in their business relations with the Public Sector. In other words, all public bodies must also be ready to use this paperless system by the same deadline. Thereafter, the legislation sets out a schedule for gradual adjustment depending on the size of the companies, finally reaching smaller businesses in January 2020.

 

 

Chorus Portal evolution

In 2012, the AIFE (Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’Etat) developed the Chorus Portal to centralize the management of electronic invoicing sent to the Public Sector. Now, with the upgrade to Chorus Portal Pro 2017, also known as CPP 2017, the agency aims to improve the tool, making it operational with the massification of e-invoicing.

The Chorus Portal Pro platform was created to fulfil two functions. On one hand, it will concentrate all the invoices sent by suppliers to the administration. In other words, it is a HUB responsible for centralizing the receipt of documents and distributing them to the corresponding public agency for processing.

On the other hand, the tool will act as a free website for issuing electronic invoices. The solution is designed for small businesses without technological capabilities, but it is not an option for companies with larger billing volumes. This is because, unlike EDI solutions, where the entire process takes place automatically, in this case the issuance and subsequent control of invoicing must be carried out manually.

 

Outcomes of dematerialization

Although not much information on the pilot project status has been released yet, the AIFE has stated that the initial results are positive.  In any case, the Chorus Portal Pro is expected to eventually process around 100 million electronic invoices each year. When mass widespread use of this system is achieved, Secretary of State Christian Eckert has stated that the resulting savings will reach 1000 million per year.

 

How to issue e-invoicing in France?

With less than two months to go until B2G e-billing becomes mandatory in France, large companies should get ready to address this dematerialization as soon as possible and reap all the benefits use of the technology can provide, such as increased efficiency and saving on economic costs.

To streamline adaptation, EDICOM has developed an e- invoicing solution adapted to the technical and legal requirements of the French legislation. This platform integrates with your ERP and lets you fully automate the dematerialization process. In addition, it is a scalable solution ready to issue electronic invoices in more than 60 countries around the world, so that multinationals can centralize all their tax compliance in a single tool.

Use of the electronic invoice becomes more widespread in Colombia

Use of the electronic invoice becomes more widespread in Colombia

After six months, Colombia’s tax and customs administration completed its pilot project for electronic invoicing. The country is entering the next stage in the process, which is to make the use of e-invoicing more widespread. Colombia’s tax administration expects that a significant number of taxpayers will be using the e-invoice by 2017.

During the testing phase, which began this past April, 59 businesses from different sectors participated. The objective was to identify improvements that could be made to the billing model proposed by the tax and customs administration before more taxpayers begin using the e-invoice technology.

According to the data provided by the tax and customs administration, 70,000 invoices were issued during the pilot program, which lasted for six months. In general, the tax and customs administration affirms that 84% of the project was carried out successfully. However, Colombia has many challenges to face before expanding the use of the e-invoice.

 

What are the next steps?

For the moment, the tax and customs administration is expected to certify providers authorized to offer e-invoicing services. These providers have passed all of the system tests and comply with the regulations of Decree 2242. EDICOM is involved in this project and participated in the pilot project as well. EDICOM has successfully passed each of the required tests within the tax administration’s time period. Furthermore, EDICOM is a leader in e-invoicing compliance solutions in other countries such as Mexico.

In regards to mandatory e-invoicing, the tax and customs administration published a list of companies which must begin using the e-invoice during the first phase of the process. Like other Latin American regions, Colombia set a schedule of progressive adaptation while taking the technological and economic development of companies into account.

 

Why is the use of the e-invoice becoming more widespread?

Today, Colombia doesn’t use the e-invoice as much as other countries. Although the e-invoice has been available since 1995, it is estimated that only 2% of companies in the country utilize it due to the difficulties posed by the current model. The e-invoice expansion project will address this problem by using a more operational billing schema.

This paperless system has already taken place in other countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile. With this expansion, the tax and customs administration expects to obtain the same results as the aforementioned countries. The e-invoice will help combat high rates of tax evasion, promote finance mechanisms such as factoring, simplify tax compliance and reduce economic costs.