All Suppliers of French Public Administrations Must Issue E-Invoices
France finalizes the implementation of e-invoicing across its public authorities. Since 1st January, all suppliers that work with French public institutions must issue invoices in an electronic format.
With the incorporation of microenterprises on 1st January, the fourth and last phase of the e-invoicing rollout in French public procurement has come to an end.
This means that the French government was one of the first to adopt the measures required by the European Union for the incorporation of e-invoicing in public procurement. These measures are set forth in European Directive 2014/55/EU which aims to facilitate public procurement and promote crossborder transactions between Member States.
The Directive compels all Member States to transpose the law into their national jurisprudence. The European Commission has set 18th April as the deadline for compliance. After that all EU public institutions must be capable of processing e-invoices.
The evolution of B2G e-invoicing in France
France was one of the first countries to adopt the European Directive. In 2014, shortly after the European standard was published, the French government undertook its transposition via Ordonnance 2014-697.
In 2016 it dictated Decree no. 2016-1478 and “l’Arrêté”, where all aspects concerning the application of e-invoicing in public procurement were set forth. It also established a gradual implementation timeline comprising of three phases:
- 1st January 2017: Major enterprises had to issue e-invoices to the public administration (companies with over 500 employees and more than €2Mn in annual turnover).
- 1st January 2018: Medium-sized enterprises had to issue e-invoices to the public administration (companies with over 250 employees and more than €1.5Mn in annual turnover).
- 1st January 2019: Small enterprises had to issue e-invoices to the public administration (companies with over 10 employees).
- 1st January 2020: Microenterprises had to issue e-invoices to the public administration (companies with fewer than 10 employees).
As planned in the government timeline, the implementation process ended in January with the incorporation of 100% of public providers in the e-invoicing system.
The B2G e-invoicing system in France
All e-invoices intended for the French public administration must be declared, transmitted, and received via the Chorus Pro portal.
The portal was developed under the auspices of the Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’Etat (L’AIFE). This State agency has the remit to lead and organize the modernization of the financial and accounting management of the State and its government agencies.
The establishment of e-invoicing in the B2G environment is set to bring multiple benefits to the French government. Invoice digitization will greatly streamline procurement processes since, being electronic, they will be immediate, automated, and secure. In addition, the lack of human intervention will minimize errors, creating a more efficient public system. besides all of these benefits, the fact that it falls within the European frameworkencourages the interoperability of all public suppliers. They will now find it much easier to perform operations with EU public authorities.
The EDICOM e-invoicing solution allows invoices to be issued in the format L’AIFE establishes via Chorus Pro. It also includes an exclusive prior validation system to approve invoices before sending them. The platform also integrates messages with acknowledgments of receipt in the company's ERP.