Upcoming requirements that EU countries will introduce in 2023 and beyond.
Article

E-invoicing Europe roadmap

17 August 2023

While electronic invoicing in Europe is evolving rapidly, only Italy has implemented mandatory e-invoicing for B2G, B2B, and B2C sectors.

The European Union is pushing for the adoption of e-invoicing in all three areas, introducing a raft of reforms, and outlining new obligations regarding implementing and using B2B electronic invoices by 2028.

Unimaze analyzes the e-invoicing Europe roadmap in this article and highlights the upcoming requirements that EU countries will introduce in 2023 and beyond.

Reasons Some EU Countries Are Yet to Introduce Mandatory e-Invoicing

Electronic invoicing offers numerous business benefits. Further, EU member states that have implemented the e-invoice have achieved the following:

  • VAT revenue and better transactions control
  • Business automation and digitization
  • Improved interaction between public administrations and businesses
  • Faster payments by public administrations, which is a good thing for businesses

But why isn’t B2C and B2B e-invoicing mandatory in every EU country?

The primary reason is the European Directive No. 2006/112/EC, also known as the VAT Directive, specifically Articles 218 and 232.

These articles state that invoices with the EU can be in paper or electronic format. In addition, the recipient must give consent to receive an e-invoice. As a result, introducing mandatory e-invoicing requires a nod from the European Commission via a special derogation.

Italy obtained the derogation in 2018, 2021 and an extension till 2024.

EU member states like Poland, Germany, Spain, and France have applied for derogation. Even so, European Directive No. 2006/112/EC will delete the requirement to apply for derogation in 2024, paving the way for mandatory e-invoicing in Europe for B2B and B2C sectors.

The Status of e-Invoicing in Europe

At the moment, several European Union nations implemented e-invoicing mandates for public administration (B2G) partially or fully.

Countries where B2G electronic invoicing is mandatory include the Netherlands, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Portugal, France, Spain, Serbia, and Luxembourg.

Countries in the European Union where B2G e-invoicing obligation is partial include Germany, Austria, and Belgium. Austria has excluded certain contract types and transactions, such as insurance, from mandatory electronic invoicing.

The B2G e-invoicing mandate in Belgium only affects Brussels and Flanders administrations.

In Germany, all central administrations must issue electronic invoices, while their counterparts in federal states must refer to specific regulations in their regions. As a result, electronic invoicing in Germany is fragmented and heterogeneous.

Still, most federal states in Germany have implemented mandatory B2G invoicing or plan to introduce it by 2024.

Read more about the status of e-invoicing in Germany.

The E-invoicing Europe Roadmap: Upcoming e-Invoice Obligations

While the B2G mandate in the EU is almost in place across all member states, no country has yet introduced regulations directing how to issue and receive B2C and B2B e-invoices.

However, this is about to change, and businesses that need to invoice a client in Europe must comply with each nation's technological and regulatory requirements.

Unimaze analyzes various EU countries, upcoming e-invoicing requirements, and the dates to look out for.

  • Belgium: The rollout for mandatory B2B e-invoice in Belgium is at an advanced stage, with the implementation likely to start in 2024.
  • Denmark: The introduction of e-invoicing for B2B businesses in Denmark was approved in May 2022 and is set to become mandatory from January 2024, with full implementation expected to be complete by January 2026.
  • Serbia: After implementing mandatory e-invoicing for B2G and G2B transactions in 2022, plans are underway in Serbia for B2B e-invoices in 2023.
  • Romania: Starting in July 2022, Romania partially adopted a B2B e-invoicing mandate for goods most disposed to tax fraud. From 2023, the country plans to extend the e-invoicing system to the entire sector.
  • Finland: The country will introduce B2B and B2B electronic invoicing by 2025.
  • Bulgaria: The government and tax authorities are crafting a proposal to have the country ditch paper invoices of e-invoices by 2025.
  • Poland: The country has already introduced e-invoicing through a national platform known as KSef. While electronic invoices in Poland are optional, the government plans to make them mandatory from July 2024.
  • Slovakia: Consultations are ongoing to draft a law that mandates e-invoicing for public entities in 2023 and B2B obligation by 2025.
  • Spain: The country is introducing B2B e-invoices in phases. The first implementation phase is already underway, while the second phase is expected to be complete in the next three years.
  • France: Starting in 2024, France will roll out the B2B obligation in a three-phased plan that should be complete by 2026, involving large companies and, eventually, all businesses.

Technology and Solutions for Electronic Invoicing in Europe

A key driver of the e-invoicing Europe roadmap is the solutions and technologies different countries have adopted.

While standards like the Peppol network, related UBL, and XML format are pretty much the same in many member states, the strategies countries have taken to implement e-invoicing differ.

Most nations have chosen a national platform that complies with the European standard to enable them to manage and process electronic invoices.

Italy, for instance, has the SDI platform, while France’s national format to process the electronic invoice is PPF. Germany has the ZRE platform, and Poland uses KSef.

Countries that don’t have a national platform rely on the UBL format managed by OpenPeppol. The Netherlands and Belgium use the Peppol network to leverage greater interoperability for cross-border transactions.

Electronic invoicing laws in European countries allow economic operators to use service providers like Unimaze for e-invoicing and reporting.

Partnering with a certified cloud e-invoicing provider allows businesses to stay compliant with e-invoice regulations in their countries, streamline processes like procure to pay, and meet digital reporting requirements.

Compliance Mandates and the SAF-T Protocol

Even as EU countries introduce e-invoicing, they must deal with other constraints and systems like Continuous Transaction Control (CTC) to ensure greater traceability by helping manage digital tax compliance.

Most member states use the SAF-T protocol to manage data tax communication to authorities.

SAF-T allows seamless data communication to the nation’s tax authority according to the law by having a structured path of various profiles based on the country of reference.

European Countries that Use SAF-T include:

Unimaze is Your #1 B2B e-Invoicing Solution in Europe

As the E-invoicing Europe roadmap takes shape, it is time for B2B business to align their operations with the upcoming mandates.

Unimaze electronic invoice solutions are designed to help economic operators in Europe manage active and active invoicing cycles in compliance with European standards.

Our e-invoicing products are fully managed and interoperable with European billing systems and accounting software.

We guarantee quick implementation, scalability, reliability, and regulatory compliance with your country of operation laws. Further, we continuously update our solutions to match the evolving regulations.

B2B businesses in Europe can leverage Unimaze electronic invoicing to process large volumes dedicated to their AR and AP billing cycles.

Our solutions include the following:

Next Steps

Book a meeting to talk to one of our experts to learn more about Unimaze e-invoicing solutions and how to use them to ensure your business complies with the upcoming electronic invoice in Europe.

Book a Meeting

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