31 August 2007 | Antony Barton
A European electronic invoicing (EEI) network could reduce supply chain costs across Europe by ?243 billion (£165 billion), according to a new report.
The European Commission is set to establish a steering committee to manage the introduction of the EEI, which should allow businesses to send invoices and receive payments electronically across EU member states.
A report from the EC's Informal Task Force on e-invoicing says a system in Denmark has saved approximately ?100 million to ?134 million (£68 million to £91 million) a year. It says the proposed network is essential for economic globalisation: "Making value chains more efficient reduces cost; improving the certainty of the environment in which they operate makes them more competitive. Therefore achieving value chain efficiency and certainty is a foundation for innovation."
The report says the commission must establish the committee by the end of this year. It should document EEI business requirements and manage the introduction of EEI services in Europe. It adds the committee should comprise stakeholders from the public sector, small and large businesses, service providers and standards bodies.
It also says the EEI framework could be ready by 2009.