Belgium: Public sector to receive e-invoices from April 1

Belgium: Public sector to receive e-invoices from April 1

03/04/2019

Directive 2014/55/EU comes into force on April 18, 2019. As of this date, all European public administrations must be able to accept invoices in electronic format from their suppliers. But Belgium is going even further, bringing the deadline forward to April 1.

From April 1, all central, regional and local public entities must be able to receive and process electronic invoices from their suppliers. This requirement also extends to all those organizations subject to public procurement laws (hospitals, schools, etc.).

In Belgium, e-invoicing was rolled out in 2013 and its compulsory nature has been spreading, to meet different requirements: new contracts, in accordance with the tendered amounts.

Suppliers to the Belgian administration can submit their e-invoicing in two ways:

  1. Through the PEPPOL network.
  2. Through their national platform, Mercurius. Also manually using a submission form available on the Mercurius platform, for Belgian operators only. Mercurius is the technology platform managed by the federal government. It consists of central HUB that receives all the e-invoices from suppliers and forwards them to the corresponding public institution.

The Belgian government has opted for the PEPPOL interoperability model and from April 1, 2016 decided to integrate the Mercurius platform into this European interoperability framework. 

Connection to the PEPPOL network has to be done through an authorized third party, in other words, a provider accredited as a PEPPOL Access Point.

Like Belgium, many countries have implemented the PEPPOL standards in their e-administration projects. EDICOM has been an accredited PEPPOL Access Point since 2015, by the OpenPEPPOL association and is an Access Point acknowledged by the entity Belgian PEPPOL Authority (PA).

As an Access Point, we are able to provide connectivity with any other Access Point to transform the documents into the corresponding rules and standards and forward them to the recipient correctly.  But in addition, as an Access Point, EDICOM provides significant advantages to its clients, including:

  • Certification of the company SMP (Service Metadata Publisher) server, allowing it to manage its own identifier infrastructure in the PEPPOL network connected to the SML (Service Metadata Locator).
  • Wide-ranging experience in international e-Procurement projects with PEPPOL currently being developed in Europe, such as the NHS (UK National Health Service) and its e-Procurement Strategy; the Emilia-Romagna project for electronic data interchange between health agencies and their suppliers; or in Norway for the exchange of documents in the public hospitals network.

e-Invoicing in Europe

The entry into force of the directive is a step forward towards interoperability through use of a common language to develop e-invoicing. This standardization broadens the market opportunities of companies intending to become suppliers of any administration within the European Union.

There is no doubt that the use of e-invoicing in relations with the Public Administration means an opportunity to facilitate transactions in the B2G field at European level. But any opportunity also involves challenges, in this case both for public bodies that must provide the necessary technical means to receive and process invoices in e-format with the syntax set by the European Committee for Standardization, and for businesses, which need to know the forwarding system and the legal requirements to be applied to e-invoicing.

A technology provider such as EDICOM has global capacity to work in different scenarios of the European Union and beyond. Although we are talking about a single market, the fact is that it is indispensable to control the technical and legal requirements in each country to be able to operate efficiently. 

Likewise, EDICOM is a specialist provider of EDI technology (Electronic Data Interchange) and offers a wide range of electronic data interchange solutions ranging from e-invoicing to any business document (despatch advices, delivery notes, purchase orders, inventories, price catalogues… etc.).

EDICOM solutions automate the generation, transmission and recording of any e-transaction, interacting with any ERP, so that orders and despatch advices, electronic invoices, etc., are processed without human intervention.

The solutions are scalable to other regions worldwide and also have capacity for extension to B2B projects. EDICOM provides an integral solution with different EDI capabilities, compliant e-Invoicing and VAT Compliance worldwide. This means that clients can access different services and apply them to their management in line with their company’s needs.

In short, counting on EDICOM as a technological partner you can:

  • Operate in Belgium with full guarantees as a public administration supplier; as well as with another 70 countries and their administrations inside and outside the European Union.

Undertake any global project, guaranteeing optimal connection for electronic data exchange and tailoring it to the company’s needs thanks to scalable solutions.

e-Invoicing Platform

A single solution that lets you issue electronic invoices in any country worldwide

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