New e-invoicing developments in the European Union for 2017

einvoicing european union 2017

European Union Member States are obliged to implement European e-invoicing between the public sector and its suppliers by November 27, 2018. Directive 2014/55/EU is a ruling designed to facilitate cross-border trade relations by the creation of a common standard that will be interoperable. Once e-invoicing becomes widespread throughout the European Union, the economic savings are expected to reach 2.3 billion euros.

Given the proximity of the regulation coming into force, some countries have brought the 2018 deadline forward and are now gradually rolling out B2G e-invoicing with public administration suppliers. Here we take a look at new features and updates in several European Union countries with active projects already up and running around e-invoicing.

In Spain, a Royal Decree was announced in December 2016, whereby some 62,000 businesses meeting certain requirements were required to submit their VAT statements electronically as of July 1, 2017. The system, designated Immediate Information Sharing , proposes electronic VAT bookkeeping in order to encourage the electronic exchange of tax documents and strengthen control of tax affairs. You can download the White Paper on SII – Immediate Information Sharing  here to find out all the details.

Italy has updated its FatturaPA system to the new version 1.2. The format used for exchanging e-invoices with government agencies has been extended to also allow e-invoicing between private companies from January 1, 2017. Starting next January 9th, the Exchange System will only accept e-invoices in the new 1.2 format, under the updated rules.

In France, January 1, 2017 is the starting date for mandatory e-invoicing with public administrations for larger companies and the former Chorus Portal tool will be replaced by Chorus Pro. French legislation sets a timetable for progressive adaptation, with medium-sized businesses due to join the scheme in 2018. Since September, 18 public institutions are working on the pilot project, with the collaboration of Edicom to facilitate their incorporation to the system. Download the White Paper on e-Invoicing in France to find out all the details of this ‘dematerialization’ project.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) is rolling out an eProcurement initiative whereby all transactions, purchasing processes and communications with the British public health sector are carried out electronically. March 31 is the deadline for suppliers to adapt to the receipt of orders from NHS access points, and by September 30, 2017 they must be able to manage their billing with this system. All these exchanges will take place within the PEPPOL network. If you would like more detailed information on the aims of this initiative and the deadlines for rollout in companies, we recommend you download this free white paper on the NHS eProcurement Strategy (available in English and Spanish).

In the Netherlands, from 1 January 2017, the central government will only require e-billing from suppliers with contracts signed as of January 1, 2017, through its own platform, known as Digipoort. Suppliers with contracts signed prior to this date are under no obligation, but may voluntarily decide to submit their invoices electronically at any time they see fit. To connect to the Digipoort platform, it is advisable to obtain a solution integrated with your company’s ERP to make the process transparent and agile.

Germany is currently working on a draft bill of the law scheduled to regulate e-invoicing in public procurement at federal level and currently pending its final approval. Aside from this, regional and municipal authorities will also be launching their own rules on e-invoicing. The standard planned in Germany would be a hybrid format designated “ZUGFeRD”, designed to serve both large, small and medium-sized businesses. This hybrid format would consist of a PDF A3 and an embedded XML, so that it can be viewed easily, while simultaneously providing the option of integrating the necessary data into the ERPs of businesses wishing to automate the process.

In Poland, as of January 2017,  companies with fewer than 250 employees and a business turnover of more than 2 million euros must submit their records to the Tax Authority electronically, in compliance with the SAF-T standard. Specifically, they are required to send the tax agency the file called VAT evidence or JPK_VAT. The obligation affects all companies registered in Poland for tax purposes, even though they may have no physical office in the country. Poland is pursuing a progressive adaptation to this system. Larger companies have been adapted since July 2016 and in January 2018 it will be the turn of SMEs and micro businesses.

In Belgium, the Flemish Government also steals a march on the European directive and is asking its suppliers to send and receive their bills electronically through its Mercurius platform as of January 1, 2017. Governments in Belgium have opted to use the PEPPOL standard, which promotes the use of a single XML standard (UBL 2.1) through the PEPPOL network. Edicom can connect to this network to deliver e-invoices to any European public administration.

Portugal has published Ordinance No. 302/2016, which regulates the standard XML format and allows easy export of a predefined set of accounting records in a readable and common format, designated SAF-T. The ordinance came into force on January 1, 2017, except for the data structure cited in Article 3, which takes effect on July 1, 2017.

EDICOM, certified PEPPOL platform Access Point

Accreditation as a PEPPOL Access Point or authorized third party enables Edicom to link up with the PEPPOL platform, through which private companies and governments in Europe can exchange any kind of e-documents.

Moreover, Edicom has a global Public Administrations HUB that ensures connectivity with any public body, transparently for the user and adapted to the legal and fiscal requirements of each country. Communications with any public body are automated through this HUB.

Edicom also has a Permanent Observatory on e-Invoicing worldwide, to ensure constant updating and knowledge of the regulations in each country affected and adaptations of our platforms to the specifications of the source and destination countries, thanks to our acknowledged experience in international markets.

How to send e-invoices to the Public Administration in France?

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As each day goes by, suppliers to the Public Administration in France are increasingly closer to implementing electronic invoicing. As of next January, this system will be mandatory for large companies as well as central and regional official bodies. The process will continue gradually until 2020, with the incorporation of small and medium-sized companies. In total, the measure will affect thousands of taxpayers who are now asking themselves how they need to issue their invoices to the public sector in order to comply with Ordinance Nº 2014-697.

As the obligation affects very different profiles, from small businesses to large corporations, the regulation provides for different e-invoice sending options. We can distinguish them around two main typologies: automated solutions and manual solutions. Let’s take a look at how they work.

Manual solutions

This is the perfect option for suppliers to the administration that generate a low billing volume and have a very limited technological capacity. There is no need to implement anything to achieve fiscal dematerialization.

We find three different ways of manually issuing e-invoicing:

  • Web Portal

Taxpayers choosing this option need to key in the invoice twice: once in their own accounting and again in the Chorus Portal. This process thus requires time and can give rise to errors. For this reason, it is only advisable for businesses issuing fewer than 100 invoices annually.

  • Importing to Chorus Portal

Similar to the first option, but instead of keying in the invoice, the taxpayers can import it directly from their own systems. To do so, they must first generate a signed PDF file. In other words, the process is slightly shorter, but the security is low as the format is unstructured. This is why it is only recommended for companies generating between 100 and 1000 invoices annually.

Automated solutions

This type of solutions is designed for multinational corporations, those issuing more than 1000 bills annually, or those wishing to progress towards digital management.

In this case, the AIFE (Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’Etat) allows the use of two types of XML schema. On one hand, INVOICE UBL V2 and, on the other, UN/CEFACT CII (CCTS/NDR v3.0). Both are structured formats that provide strict security assurances and enable automatic generation and forwarding of messages to the public sector. In addition, they make integration between systems and applications possible.

Transmission takes place by EDI, with direct and secure indication protocols. With automation, the time employed in complying with tax obligations is cut, minimizing errors, improving productivity and, in consequence, increasing economic saving.

EDICOM has developed EDI solutions designed for businesses already using this technology that need to adjust to the current requirements, as well as those that have yet to implement a solution. In either case, the e-invoice issuing process is carried out immediately, in these 5 phases:

  • First of all, the platform captures the data automatically from the company’s ERP.
  • The information is then transformed into XML format.
  • The next step consists of validating the data to ensure that the file contains all the information required by the AIFE and the recipient administration.
  • Then, EDICOM connects with the Chorus Portal through the Public Administrations HUB, so all the invoices can be transmitted automatically.
  • Finally, the link with Chorus ensure traceability of the e-invoices. Companies can consult the status of their documents in real time through their own ERP.

The spread of e-invoicing among the public sector and its suppliers will lead to a significant lowering of economic costs compared to the traditional billing process. Total yearly savings are expected to be around €710 million. To find out more about this system, you can download the White Paper on e-invoicing with the Public Administration in France (available in French and English).

Enhanced implementation of GDSN and PEPPOL Standards as part of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy

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The deadlines set by the UK Department of Health (DoH) for rollout of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy are looming. So, next September 28 thousands of organizations affected by the strategy developed by the DoH will be attending the PIH Show, with the aim of finding solutions to this technological leap.

To this end, EDICOM specialist Vera Kabout, will be giving a talk in which she explains how to address implementation of this strategy successfully. And she will do so taking into account one of the great challenges faced by companies affected by the NHS e-Procurement Strategy: compliance with GDSN and PEPPOL standards.

The talk is scheduled for 11:35 and framed within the e-Procurement and Standardisation section. Vera Kabout will take advantage of the occasion to highlight the benefits of these two standards (PEPPOL and GDSN) as part of the NHS paperless strategy. She will also give some tips for suppliers and hospitals to help achieve the greatest benefits from the e-Procurement Strategy. Among them, she will mention aspects to be weighed up when choosing a technology provider, such as the fact that they should be an accredited Data Pool and Access Point.

An integral solution

In addition to the conference, visitors to the PIH Show will also have the chance to get to know EDICOM’s proposal for this technological quantum leap at stand 238. There, our team of experts will be presenting a comprehensive solution for compliance with the NHS e-Procurement Strategy.

Through the EDICOM Health platform, integrated in their ERP or internal management system, businesses automate electronic data interchange and product synchronization with their trading partners in line with the standards and requirements demanded by the strategy. To this we must add that it is an internationally scalable solution with 99.9% availability guaranteed.

How to attend the PIH Show?

The PIH Show takes place on September 28 at the London Olympia. Two days later, the deadline set for delivering a plan to the DoH that ensures compliance with the GS1 and PEPPOL standards will be reached. By then, companies affected by the initiative must also have joined an Access Point.

The EDICOM team will be at the event to facilitate the implementation of these electronic processes for suppliers and hospitals. The talk by Key Account Manager Vera Kabout is headed Enhanced implementation of GDSN and PEPPOL Standards as part of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy and can now be consulted in the PIH Show agenda. Organizations affected by the strategy can attend free of charge, once they have registered for the event.

Looking forward to seeing you at the PIH Show

Looking forward to seeing you at the PIH Show

EDICOM is taking part in next week’s big UK healthcare event: the PIH Show. The event is being held on September 28 at the Olympia in London from 9 in the morning. Around 4000 professionals involved in the healthcare sector value chain will be attending the sessions, seeking technology solutions and responses to the NHS e-Procurement Strategy.

The initiative by the Department of Health (DoH) is the most ambitious public e-procurement project launched in Europe. The aim is for business relations between all NHS trusts and their suppliers to become 100% electronic. Results anticipated include greater efficiency, enhanced security and an economic saving between £5000 and £8000 per bed.

Answers to NHS e-Procurement Strategy at stand 238

During our participation in the PIH Show, EDICOM will be at stand 238 to present a comprehensive solution fully adapted to the technological requirements of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy developed by the DoH. Bear in mind that stakeholders making up the UK public healthcare supply chain are facing a technological leap on three levels:

  • Synchronization of communications between hospitals and their service providers through an electronic data catalogue.
  • Exchanging orders, shipping notes and invoices electronically by means of the XML-PEPPOL standard.
  • Encoding of product master files with GS1 coding (GLN and GTIN) which will serve to identify and monitor the movement of goods throughout the entire NHS supply chain.

This adaptation also entails other essential requirements to ensure safety and interoperability in communications, with which technology providers must comply. EDICOM is ready for all of them:

  • The firm holds GS1 certification as a Datapool, which enables it to operate in the GDSN network (the one used in product data synchronization).
  • It is an accredited PEPPOL Access Point, so has connectivity to the NHS EDI platform.

These certificates such as GDSN Datapool and PEPPOL Access Point, coupled with strong technological capabilities, have enabled the EDICOM team to develop a complete solution for the NHS e-Procurement Strategy. The solution consists of a platform integrated with the company’s ERP, which automates communications in accordance with the standards required.

Moreover, we should add that it is a scalable solution for other B2B2G projects worldwide. EDICOM has extensive international experience in EDI initiatives with the public sector and particularly in the field of health. Notable success stories in this area include those of the Andalusian Health Service in Spain or creation of the B@M Pharma platform, which helped us become a benchmark for the pharmaceutical industry today. In fact, large laboratories such as Lilly, Bayer or Merck, among many others, now place their trust in EDICOM technology.

More about NHS e-Procurement Strategy in this White Paper

How to take part in PIH Show?

Procurement in Health (PIH) Show kicks off at 09:00 am on September 28 and runs until 16:30. At the meeting, attendees can visit the various stands and take part in several conferences and workshops. To do so, all you need to do is register for PIH Show free of charge through the event website. You can also arrange a meeting with EDICOM experts using this contact form to see a live demonstration of the solution.

How does PEPPOL help NHS hospitals and suppliers?

How does PEPPOL help NHS hospitals and suppliers?

The e-Procurement Strategy rolled out by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) requires healthcare authorities and their suppliers to adopt two standards: GS1 and PEPPOL. The latter is the one to be used for exchanging e-messages, in other words, for invoices, purchase orders and delivery notes. But why is it necessary to adopt this system?

First of all, it’s important to know what PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement On Line) is. It is an initiative to consolidate a common standard in the e-communications of businesses and European Public Administrations. The aim is to enable interoperability among different stakeholders, regardless of their location or the systems they utilize.

As EDICOM expert, Javier Garcia explains: “Operating with PEPPOL is based on a communications network with its own features,” where partners must “exchange their documents through an Access Point”. Or, likewise, by a third party authorized to connect with PEPPOL, such as EDICOM.

PEPPOL implementation in the NHS

Currently, NHS supply chain management operates inefficiently, giving rise to uncontrolled stock and an increase in prices, resulting in excessive economic costs. With the e-Procurement Strategy, the Department of Health (DH) plans to incorporate an electronic data interchange or EDI system between the NHS and all its suppliers to put an end to this problem. This way, invoices, orders and delivery notes will be managed electronically, with their consequent automation.

It is in this process that the adoption of PEPPOL is necessary. The e-Procurement Strategy affects hundreds of companies and organizations of very different types, so the use of PEPPOL acts as a solution to ensure interoperability and alleviate this differentiation. An advantage that can also help businesses in the commercial scope, by facilitating internationalization and participation in public tenders.

In addition, implementing PEPPOL is a security guarantee. This common standard has the support of the European Commission and demands strict technology and legal requirements for its Access Points. In this regard, it is essential that companies affected by the NHS e-Procurement Strategy obtain from their provider the certification that accredits them as such.

Deadlines for adopting PEPPOL

Migration to the NHS paperless strategy is being done gradually to facilitate the technological leap for businesses. Even so, the deadline for PEPPOL adoption is looming closer. By September 30th, suppliers must join the PEPPOL access point and submit a project plan that ensures compliance with this standard to the DoH.

Six months later, on March 31, the deadline for businesses to adapt to receiving orders from NHS access points will be reached, and by September 30, 2017, they must be able to manage all their billing with this system.

The solution

EDICOM, service provider certified by PEPPOL as an Access Point, has developed a data interchange solution that meets all the requirements set out by the NHS e-Procurement Strategy. It also has an e-catalogue authorized by GS1 as a Datapool.  This means it is possible to centralize everything in compliance with the DoH on a single platform, enhancing efficiency and cutting economic costs

If you would like to know more about implementation of this technological quantum leap, download the White Paper on the NHS eProcurement Strategy.