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E-invoicing, SCF & E-procurement

Europe is expected to exchange over 7 bln e-invoices in 2015

Tuesday 26 May 2015 | 09:44 AM CET

E-invoicing in Europe continues to follow the growing trend already appreciated in 2014, edicomgroup.com reports.

In the Billentis report, International Market Overview & Forecast, predictions for 2015 see the volume of e-invoices exchanged between companies and governments reaching 4.6 billion. For consumers, the figure will be around 2.7 billion. Norway, Sweden and Denmark are the front runners leading this technological leap.

Implementation of e-billing throughout the European Union is backed by several government initiatives promoting its use in the B2G area. As of March 2015, the entire Italian public sector and its suppliers must issue their invoices in this format. Spain and Slovenia have also issued similar mandatory rulings. Moreover, Switzerland and Estonia are next in line to join the system in 2016. France will do so in 2017 and Sweden is looking into the convenience of making the system obligatory in its own public sector.

In addition to state regulations that have arisen in recent years, the EU also proposes to remove paperwork from Administrations as another objective on the Digital Agenda. Directive 24/2014 requires member states to implement e-procurement for public tenders, which should be effective throughout the Union by October 2018. This measure affects hundreds of thousands of government offices and millions of suppliers, so the generalization of e-invoicing in the coming years is assured.

Penetration of this billing mode is currently over 40% in the leading countries, i.e. Norway, Sweden and Denmark. However, on the majority of occasions it is done by sending a PDF, and not by issuing a digitally signed structured data file, as stipulated in the latest European Directive 2010/45/EU, defining a European framework for e-invoicing. Nevertheless, it is true that in recent years, the initiatives rolled out by most European states, especially in the public sector, are encouraging the use of safer, more reliable and fully traceable structured systems.

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