In 2019, an EU Directive on electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) was implemented, that mandated European public sector bodies to be compliant in order to receive and process e-invoices from their suppliers.
EU Directive 2014/55/EU was created by the European Parliament and Council to eliminate common barriers to the uptake of e-invoicing, and to enhance adoption. These barriers mainly concerned difficulties surrounding cross-border transactions, due to individual European Union Member states having their own unique e-invoicing regulations and standards.
The Directive calls for the definition of a common European standard (EN) on e-invoicing. This includes the semantics of the essential information contained in the invoice, as well as a list of syntaxes (format/language) used for the transmission of the invoice. The EN ensures that all European public sector buyers and suppliers can receive and send e-invoices across Europe using a single standardised format.
As a result the Directive accelerates the creation of a de facto shared digital market between all EU member states and allows for much easier cross-border trading.
To whom does it apply?
The Directive has now been transposed into law in all EU member states. As a result, all European public sector bodies are mandated to be able to receive and process e-invoices from their suppliers
In Ireland this incorporates all government agencies, both central and sub-central. Central government agencies had until April 2019 to be compliant. Sub Central government agencies have until April 2020.
The following are the sub-central Irish government bodies that must become e-invoicing compliant.
- – Educational agencies: Including universities, ITs, colleges, schools, department agencies
- – Health agencies: Including department agencies, hospitals, Section 38 and 39 agencies
- – Semi-state bodies or any other agencies subject to procurement law
Celtrino and the EU Directive
In early 2019 Celtrino were selected by the Irish Office of Government Procurement (OGP) as the exclusive provider of e-invoicing services to the Irish public sector. We have already successfully enabled the Irish central government agencies to receive e-invoices prior to their deadline of the 18th April 2019.
Celtrino are the rank 1 provider to sub-central government agencies and are currently busy setting them up in advance of their deadline of April 2020.
As well as being a requirement, in accordance with the directive, there are also real business benefits of compliance – from less time spent on manual tasks to much more predictable cash flow. Depending on the level of automation, the net benefits can be savings of between €4 – 12 per invoice (EESPA). It really is so simple and inexpensive to become compliant.