Legislació Europea

The European Parliament and Council voted on the 16th of April 2014 the Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement. This Directive sets the legal framework for the establishment of a European standard (EN 16931) and requires Member States to adopt it so that it will become mandatory for all contracting authorities and entities to receive and process eInvoices complying with the European norm.

The eInvoicing European standard was formally published in 6 parts by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) with the main objective to allow any company in the EU to communicate electronically with any European governmental institution.

All eInvoice systems used by public administrations in Member States shall be upgraded and implement the standard before November 2018 when the EU Directive starts ruling. The European norm EN 16931 accepts three different formats, which public administrations will be obliged to process:

  • UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice

    XML-based eInvoicing technical specification developed by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. It can be used to create message syntax which can be exchanged globally between trading partners.

  • XML.UBL invoice as defined in ISO/IEC 19845:2015: OASIS UBL 2.1

    Royalty-free library of standard XML business documents supporting digitization of the commercial and logistical processes for domestic and international supply chains. Version 2.0 of UBL was approved as a specification from the OASIS committee (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) in October 2006 and is publicly available.

eInvoicing a Europa

A growing number of European governments are committed at fostering eInvoicing adoption. For instance, The Netherlands Government is simplifying the national legal framework for the adoption of the common standard, while other governments have developed simple tools for the exchange of eBusiness documents.

At a European level, EU governments are engaged in PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine), a major initiative with the objective to allow any company in the EU to communicate electronically with any European governmental institution for the entire procurement process. At the same time, the European Commission is running ePRIOR, an eInvoicing pilot system with the main goal to gain real-life experience with eInvoicing and to share the lessons-learned with Member States and any other interested stakeholders.

eInvoicing in Catalonia

Since January 2015, it is mandatory to present invoices in electronic format to Spanish public administrations. The eInvoicing format admissible by Spanish administrations is Facturae, although some administrations also admit EDIFACT or ERP integrated solutions.

In Catalonia, we find two main eInvoicing platforms: Cambra eBusiness, managed by Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, and PimeFactura, managed by PIMEC. Both platforms are connected with e.FACT, the Catalan Delivery Point for electronic invoices maintained by CAOC, and FACe, in the case the receiver is another Spanish Public Administration.

eInvoicing Catalan system