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28 January 2014 | Will Green
EU politicians and national governments have endorsed a draft directive covering the creation of a single standard for e-invoicing in public procurement.
The standard will mean compliant e-invoices sent by a company will ultimately be accepted by all European public authorities.
Commissioner for internal market and services Michel Barnier (pictured) said the move would “contribute to eliminating barriers to cross-border public procurement” and could generate savings of €2.3 billion (£1.9 billion) across the EU.
The European Parliament and Council and have reached agreement on the draft directive and it was endorsed by member states on Friday. There will now be a vote by MEPs, expected by April, before it is adopted.
“Provided that the e-invoices sent by a company are compliant with the forthcoming European standard on e-invoicing in public procurement, they will ultimately be accepted by all public authorities throughout Europe,” said Barnier.
“Supporting modern and efficient public administrations in the EU is a priority for the European Commission. The new rules will greatly simplify the processing of e-invoices for both governments and businesses including SMEs.
“By agreeing on the establishment of a common EU standard for e-invoicing in public procurement, interoperable with existing national standards and ensuring acceptance of e-invoices sent in this standard, we have prevented the creation of a new barrier to the single market and reduced complexity for all parties involved.”
E-invoicing is part of wider plans to digitise public procurement processes across the EU.