Taking advantages of e-Invoicing

Electronic invoicing has become very important in the modernization of European health systems. Electronic Invoicing is part of the eProcurement lifecycle and acts as a precursor in the automation and optimisation of procurement processes. Its widespread use is the result of several factors: European initiatives and programs that support the deployment of these technologies, the emergence of regulations such as the European Directive 2014/55/EU and other national ones aligned with it, the acknowledgement of improvement of accounting procedures, the improvement of hardware and software technologies, among other factors. However, among all the positive effects produced by electronic invoicing, it is worth mentioning the possibilities offered using a European standard format, which will facilitate relations and transparency between public administrations and providers throughout Europe.

According to the CEF program, the following are the benefits of electronic invoicing from Data collected via online questionnaire (Q25. What are the main benefits brought by the implementation of the invoicing Directive to contracting authorities in your country?) completed by national representatives of elevenEU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden):

1.   Reduction of costs and operational savings. (i.e., cost of paper, mailing costs)

2.   Reduction of administrative burden.

3.   Reduction of processing errors.

4.   Reduction of environmental impact. (eliminating paper usage)

5.   Reduction of time-to-payment (or payment terms Faster payment processes toward suppliers.)

6.   Manual handling when sending or receiving.

7.   Review and approval of invoices.

8.   Entry of data into ERP systems.

9.   Accounting key assignment.

10.   Balancing (reduced error in data entry).

11.  Enhanced payment monitoring and procurement automation (  Archiving, handling, and storage.).

14.   Ensure the right authentication of the business and, in general, of security.

For further info:

Link

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The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of UPV and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

The current status of Electronic Invoicing in Portugal

Portugal implemented the use of eInvoicing procurement according to the directive 2014/55/EU, and is mandatory use for the commercial actions between the government and its suppliers (B2G), from April 18th, 2020.  To close the circle, the Ministry of finance, responsible for the accomplishment of this law in the entire territory,  emitted the Decree-Law 123/2018 of 28 December,  to the mandatory use of electronic invoicing to the suppliers according to the following schedule based on the size of the company:

  • Large companies must start eInvoicing by 31st December 2020
  • Small, and medium-sized enterprises must start e-invoicing electronically by 1st July 2021.
  • Micro-enterprises will begin e-invoicing on 31st December 2021.

The management of the eInvoicing falls under the responsibility of Entidade de Serviços Partilhados da Administração Pública, or eSPap, through the Plataforma Eletrónica de Compras, eSPap platform. This institution was designated by the portuguese Ministry of FInance, was established by Decree-Law n.º 117–A/2012, June 14, to secure the development and provision of shared services within the public administration and manage the national procurement system.

Portugal is represented in the Govein19 by Centro Hospitalar Póvoa de Varzim/ Vila Do Conde, E.P.E (CHP Varzim).

For further info:

From Portuguese main aInvoicing authority:

https://www.espap.gov.pt/spfin/Paginas/spfin.aspx#maintab5

From  CEF Telecom Platform:

https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/eInvoicing+in+Portugal

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of UPV and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

The current status of Electronic Invoicing in Poland and the mandatory B2B eInvoicing

The implementation of electronic invoicing led by the European Commission is progressing by leaps and bounds. Countries aware of the importance and impact of this technology on their economies, and in general, on citizens’ daily lives, companies and public administrations work to facilitate the conditions of its deployment, making resources available to the stakeholders, and making decisions when necessary.

Poland is one of the countries in the project consortium, and eInvoicing was adopted, and it is in force since 18 April 2019. Furthermore, the government of this country has decided to take a step forward and make B2B (Business to Business) electronic invoicing mandatory as of 2023. This step is the result of a legal project presented by the Ministry of Finance.

The implementation process will begin in October with a voluntary phase that will become mandatory in 2023.

The National Electronic System (KSeF) will be the platform for the issuance and reception of electronic invoices, and it falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Development (previous Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology) and Institute of Logistics and Warehousing).

Applicable syntaxes:

  • UBL 2.1
  • UN/CEFACT CII
  • Peppol BIS INVOICE

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of UPV and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

The eDelivery CEF Building Block supports eInvoicing Hermes Project

For a more efficient deployment of eInvoicing in Belgium, the Hermes project is developing a temporary solution to sending parties, allowing them to send structured eInvoices only. European  suppliers can now send structured electronic invoices to all their Belgian customers, including those who are not yet able to process them automatically, transforming it into a PDF format invoice.  The Hermes system  is able to know whether a recipient can receive an eInvoice or needs a PDF.  The solution  will no longer be necessary once the organizations and institutions have up-taken their ERP systems.  

The Hermes project is removing a critical bottleneck in the adoption of eInvoicing that hinders the operations among actors. After the project implementation, Peppol Access Points will receive and process eInvoices under the European Standards. According to Federal Public Service Policy and support (BOSA), there are almost 1.8 million economic operators encoded as PEPPOL in the eDelivery Network that will take advantage of Hermes project results. The European Standard on eInvoicing mandatory for contracting authorities since April 18th, 2020.

The CEF eDelivery Building Block, along with the Belgian Government are currently working on uploading the records into the CEF eDelivery Service Metadata Locator (SML) Service, a necessary procedure for the proper operation of the HERMEs project.

The Belgian system is deployed in the following platform:

https://digital.belgium.be/e-invoicing/

For further info:

https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/2021/02/15/eDelivery+supports+project+to+implement+universal+eInvoicing+in+Belgium

https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/eInvoicing+in+Belgium

https://einvoice.belgium.be/en/article/send-structured-invoices-all-your-customers-hermes

https://einvoice.belgium.be/en/article/hermes-new-ally-development-e-invoicing

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of UPV and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

The GOVEIN2019 project has been extended

The HaDEA agency (European Health and Digital Executive Agency) and the project consortium, headed by the project coordinator, EDICOM, supported by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), have agreed to extend the implementation of the project entitled GOVEIN2019 – European Hospitals adopting the and Invoicing Directive.

The project will end on October 31 of the current year, according to the amendment to the financing Agreement signed.

The objective of the GOVEIN-19 project is to update electronic billing solutions in 11 public hospitals (6 in Hungary, 3 in Belgium, 1 in Portugal and 1 in Poland) and in 4 private health entities (2 Hungarian electronic service providers, and 2 Belgian private hospitals), facilitating the implementation of the Electronic Invoicing Standard in line with the requirements of Directive 2014/55 / EU (Electronic Invoicing Directive).

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the Project Consortium and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

What are the standard formats used by public procurement in Europe?

Public procurement is regulated by European Directive 2014/55 / ​​EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement that foresees the use of two formats following the EN 16931 Semantic Model, UBL and CII:

UBL 2.1 (Universal Business Language) FORMAT

Universal Business Language (UBL) is an open library of standard electronic XML documents.

The UBL regulation is focused on the specific automation of financial information exchange. The conception of the project that took place in 1998 has been materializing during the last two decades and has had a great acceptance among the countries of the European Commission.

Syntax binding to UBL (Defined in EN 16931 part 3.2)

<Invoice>
    <cac:AccountingSupplierParty>
        <cac:Party>
            <cac:PartyLegalEntity>
                <cbc:RegistrationName>Seller name</cbc:RegistrationName>

CII (Cross Industry Invoice) FORMAT

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) is a subsidiary, intergovernmental body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Syntax binding to UN/CEFACT (Defined in EN 16931 part 3.3)

<rsm:CrossIndustryInvoice>
    <rsm:SupplyChainTradeTransaction>
        <ram:ApplicableHeaderTradeAgreement>
            <ram:SellerTradeParty>
                <ram:Name>Seller name</ram:Name>

For further info:

Link to CEF Digital e-Invoicing Building Block

GOVEIN2019 – European hospitals adopting the eInvoicing Directive

The Govein19 Action aims at uptaking the eInvoicing solutions in 15 public hospitals (8 from Hungary, 5 from Belgium, 1 from Portugal and 1 from Poland) and in 4 Healthcare private entities (2 Hungarian providers, 2 Belgian private hospitals), facilitating the implementation of the European eInvoicing Standard in line with the requirements of the Directive 2014/55/EU (eInvoicing Directive).

This action is based on previous similar projects co-financed by the CEF program, such as EDIHOSPGOVeInGOV2EU, and HOSP&INVOICE, also coordinated by EDICOM. This characteristic represents an advantage since it will allow reusing the eInvoicing and eDelivery tools developed in the past Actions, such as the EDICOM B2B Cloud Platform which will be integrated with the ERP systems of the Portuguese and Hungarian hospitals. This will allow enabling the connection between hospitals and healthcare providers from other Member States through the PEPPOL network, also reducing costs of implementation.

Project Details:

Agreement No. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1928469

Action No. 2019-EU-IA-0046

Start date: 01/01/2020

End date: 31/10/2021