Panama starts its electronic invoicing pilot plan

Panama starts its electronic invoicing pilot plan


Panama is moving towards electronic invoicing. On January 11, 2018, Panama’s General Directorate of Revenue (DGI) published the terms and conditions required for the implementation of the Electronic Invoice Pilot Plan that will start in the first half of 2018 and will last for six months. Resolution No. 201-0235 authorizes the use of the electronic invoice exclusively for businesses participating in the pilot plan.

This is a project in which 30 volunteer Panamanian companies representing different sectors will participate in to test the currently developing electronic invoicing system. During the period of time the pilot lasts, the electronic invoices and the fiscal equipment will coexist without being duplicated. Upon completion of the pilot plan, these companies may continue to issue legally valid electronic invoices and the directorate of revenue may receive and validate these invoices.

Once the pilot is finished, the necessary adjustments will be applied to the system and the stages for voluntary widespread use will begin. The tax directorate foresees that the stages for mandatory use will begin in 2019. The adoption of an electronic invoicing system in the country will bring economic benefits for companies such as savings related to physical space and paper. In addition, it will initiate a stage of digitalization and automation in processes involving the reception and integration of invoices. On the other hand, the use of this system eliminates possible human errors committed and generates shorter times for invoice entry and collection which benefits the economic fluidity in companies. 

Characteristics of Panama’s electronic invoice

Some of the characteristics of the Panamanian electronic invoice for the pilot project are:

  • The invoice will be in XML format according to the designated technical specifications.
  • The probative value of an electronic invoice will be guaranteed by a qualified electronic signature from the issuer, backed by a qualified electronic certificate issued by a certification service provider.
  • A unique CUFE code will be required as the unique identification code of the electronic invoice.
  • The directorate of revenue will be in charge of validating if the invoices comply with all the specified conditions.

The importance of the electronic invoice in Panama

On one hand, Panama is currently one of the countries where the large shared services centers of multinational companies for the entire Central American region are concentrated. Many of these companies already use electronic invoicing in other countries at the global level, so as Panama advances in the use of this system it will make it easier for them to continue to use this model in a centralized manner.

A large part of foreign trade and transport activity both from the United States and Europe are concentrated at the shared services centers. Therefore, the implementation of an electronic invoice model will lead to a greater opening up of the country to international operations and to the standardization of processes.

On the other hand, thanks to its geographic location, Panama has a strategic position logistically, which has led the government along with the Inter-American Development Bank to develop a logistics plan with a vision for 2030. The plan seeks to enhance the geographical position of the country as well as existing logistics assets, the Canal and its expansion ports, airports, logistics areas, and rail and border crossings. In summary, the goal is to strengthen the competitiveness of the region amidst the challenge of global logistics operations.

This way, the implementation of electronic invoicing will simplify the issuance and reception of these documents instantaneously and automatically without errors, which will result in great administrative and economic benefits given the volume of invoices that multinationals generate.

Learn about EDICOM’s Global Electronic Invoice Platform

The expansion of electronic invoicing is taking place worldwide and presents a challenge when it comes to complying with the different requirements of each national government. Therefore, it can be costly for companies that operate internationally to implement different electronic invoicing projects in each country.

EDICOM is aware of the business need to simplify and automate these processes globally every time. Therefore, we have developed a global electronic invoice platform to facilitate the issuance and receipt of invoices in an electronic format from any country. It is the solution for those companies that operate in different markets based on a centralized management system and that have to be able to process these documents in accordance with each country’s legislation.

Do you want to know more about the electronic invoice? Our team of experts will be happy to help you. Get in contact with us.

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e-Invoicing Platform

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