Electronic Invoicing in Benelux
Benelux made up of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg continues its electronic invoice adoption process. Currently, it has developed e-invoicing for public administrations as indicated by European directives. To increase its adoption Belgium and the Netherlands have begun to mandate that supplier to public administrations use electronic invoices. However, the exchange of electronic invoices between private companies is voluntary and is contingent on acceptance by the recipient.
The electronic invoice in Belgium advances at various speeds
The electronic invoice in Belgium is developing at different speeds depending on the region. Flanders is the most advances region, but all the federal and regional administrations are obligated to receive electronic invoices.
The Electronic invoice mandate for the Federal government was established in January 2020, through a decision made by the council of ministers. The first phase of adoption only included suppliers with tender contracts worth more than 135,000 Euros.
This mandate exists for suppliers of centralized agencies in the regions of Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia. The e-invoicing mandate will now be extended to all suppliers of public institutions in the country. The obligation will be adopted gradually, and according to the size of public contracts.
The Federal Government’s platform is called Mercurius, and it is connected to the PEPPOL network in the PEPPOL BIS 3.0 format. All government organisms have access to the Mercurius platform to receive invoices. Public administrations can also connect through their own Peppol ID or another connection method.
The digital signature is not mandatory and invoices must be archived for 7 years.
The use of electronic invoices for B2B transactions is voluntary, although the federal government has stated that it will make it mandatory. The government has not announced a centralized platform or a timeline for its implementation. It will almost certainly be adopted gradually.
The Netherlands, no further e-invoicing developments
The Netherlands made it mandatory to electronically invoice public administrations in 2017.
Currently, central public administrations and consolidating authorities are both mandated to be able to receive and process electronic invoices. Suppliers with contracts dating after 2021 must issue electronic invoices, those with contracts from before can voluntarily comply.
The central public administrations are connected to the Digipoort central platform that is connected to the PEPPOL network. Currently, electronic invoices can be sent in PEPPOL BIS 3.0 format. EDICOM is certified as an authorized supplier of PEPPOL services for electronic invoicing in the Netherlands by the Dutch PEPPOL authority Nederlandse Peppolautoriteit (NPA). Any company can use EDICOM’s platform to send and receive invoices through the PEPPOL network.
Like the public administrations i Belgium the local public administrations tend to connect through their own Peppol ID.
Since January 2021 the PEPPOL authority (Nederlandse Peppol Autoriteit) belonging to the ministry of internal affairs has stated that the digital signature is not mandatory and that invoices must be stored for 7 years.
Private companies can user electronic invoices as long as their clients accept the invoice and it meets the legal requirements.
Luxembourg, mandatory B2G electronic invoicing
On December 13, 2021 the Luxembourgish government published a national regulation launching the gradual obligation to send electronic invoices to government institutions through the PEPPOL network.
The implementation will be gradual and based on the size of the company. The deadlines are below:
- 5/18/2022: Mandatory B2G e-invoicing for large companies
- 10/18/2022: Mandatory B2G e-invoicing for medium companies
- 03/18/2024: mandatory B2G e-invoicing for small companies
Electronic invoices must be sent through the PEPPOL network using the PEPPOL-BIS 3.0 standard.
The development of the electronic invoicing model is under the Ministry of Digitalization and Government IT Center (Centre des technologies de l’information de l’Etat - CTIE). The government intends to make the issuance of electronic invoices manually through a website and a web form that will facilitate its use for companies with a low invoice volume.
Regarding digital reporting compliance, the Luxembourg tax authority can demand that companies send the FAIA electronic file with a company’s accounting information in case of an audit.
Electronic invoicing provides an advantage to any company that looks to compete for public contracts. Therefore, working with an International electronic invoicing solution opens the door to the Benelux countries: Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
EDICOM’s electronic invoicing platform has connections with more than 70 public administrations around the world.
Amongst the many services it offers it guarantees a connection to the PEPPOL network as a certified PEPPOL Access Point. Making it the perfect solution to transact with public administrations in Benelux. EDICOM’s solution also enables any other kind of connection (AS2, Webservices, SFTP…) that other local public administrations may choose as is allowed in Belgium.
On the other hand, EDICOM guarantees the continuous evolution of the platform to new legal and technical requirements imposed by governments and tax authorities. This is an essential service since national electronic invoicing systems are in a state of constant evolution.
EDICOM coordinates GOVEIN2019 project (Action No: 2019-EU-IA-0046)
*The contents of this publication belong solely to EDICOM GROUP and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.