B2G e-Invoicing in Europe: Directive 2014/55/EU

Following Directive 2014/55/EU, all European government agencies must be able to receive electronic invoices from 18 April 2019.

B2G e-Invoicing compliance across Europe

Following Directive 2014/55/EU, all European government agencies must be able to receive electronic invoices from 18 April 2019. The e-Invoicing project in the European Union falls within the scope of the Digital Agenda and is part of the European Single Market strategy. The main aim is to have a competitive market that powers interoperability and trade between companies.

Legal Framework

Legal Framework

Regulated by Directive 2010/45/EU, focusing on the need to guarantee the origin and authenticity of electronic documents. Each Member State will draft its transposition of the law to adapt the e-invoicing model to its legislative framework.



  • 18 April 2019: Deadline for contracting authorities and entities to receive and process electronic invoices.
  • 18 April 2020: Above deadline can be extended for sub-central contracting authorities and entities.
European formats

European formats

CEN approved two standards to be used in any european electronic communications:

  • UN/CEFACT XML message.
  • UBL invoice and credit note messages.

The PEPPOL European network

PEPPOL stands for Pan European Public Procurement On Line. It is a set of specifications designed to facilitate public procurement between businesses and administrations regardless of where they are or the systems they use. It is a common and interoperable standard, key to rolling out cross-border e-Procurement.

Use of the PEPPOL network is becoming increasingly common in the public and private spheres as an accessible and interoperable model that allows any business to engage in cross-border public procurement processes.

EDICOM is PEPPOL Access Point certified and makes it possible to connect with any European public administration.

B2G e-Invoicing status in different European countries

FatturaPA in Italy

  • Mandatory since 2014.
  • The e-Invoice format is an XML called FatturaPA.
  • Connectivity is through the Sistema di Interscambio (SdI) national online hub via web services.
  • e-Invoicing issuers and recipients must safeguard e-documents for at least 5 years.
  • Emilia-Romagna was the first region of Italy to adopt PEPPOL in public procurement. The regional authorities have been sending and receiving e-invoices since January 2016.
  • The health sector has earmarked 2019 as the year to implement the electronic purchase order that will make it mandatory for providers to use the PEPPOL network via the NSO (Nodo Smistamento Ordini) national platform.

Free White Paper: e-Invoicing Italy

Chorus Pro in France

  • Mandatory use of e-Invoicing with the French public administration has been extended in phases from 2017 to 2020 according to the size of the company.
  • Two types of XML file are permitted: INVOICE UBL V2 and UN/CEFACT CII (CCTS/NDR v3.0).
  • Electronic invoices must be sent to public bodies through Chorus Pro, the portal developed by AIFE which centralises the reception and processing of all e-invoices addressed to the French public sector.
  • Although the legal obligation stipulates preserving invoices for six years, it is common practice for issuer and recipient to keep original documents for at least a decade.


Facturae in Spain

  • Using e-invoices with the public administration has been required since 15 January 2015.
  • The mandatory file format is an XML called Facturae.
  • Public sector suppliers must send e-invoices to the PGEFe (General Entry Point for Electronic Invoices).
  • A digital signature is mandatory for invoices addressed to the public administration.
  • Original e-documents must be preserved by the recipient for at least five years.

B2G e-Invoicing in Portugal

  • e-Invoicing with the public administration will be required as of April 2020.
  • The format will be UBL 2.1, approved European standard.
  • Connection will be made through the AS2 protocol or via Web Services.
  • Mandatory documents: Invoice, credit note and debit note.
  • Archiving: Invoices must be kept for 10 years by both issuer and recipient.

More information

NHS e-Procurement Strategy in the UK

  • The UK has started its electronic public procurement project regulating electronic processes with the health sector.
  • The NHS establishes two requirements: use of the PEPPOL network and a GDSN e-catalogue to synchronise product data.
  • The project entails the automated interchange of invoices, purchase orders and despatch advice messages.

Free White Paper: NHS

X-Rechnung in Germany

  • Germany is set to adopt the PEPPOL network for its public procurement processes.
  • The country has its own format called X-Rechnung, compatible with European standards. The PEPPOL format may also be used.
  • Archiving is mandatory for 10 years, starting at the end of the year when the invoice is issued.

Mercurius platform in Belgium

  • e-Invoicing has been mandatory for new contracts with Flemish public sector suppliers since 1 January 2017. It became compulsory for businesses engaging in a tender above €135,000 on 1 January 2018 and the federal government will accept e-invoices only as of 2020.
  • The format used is PEPPOL.
  • Invoices are received over the Mercurius platform which provides access to all governments.
  • Invoices must be kept for seven years.

Digipoort in Netherlands

  • e-Invoicing has been required for suppliers with signed contracts since 1 January 2017.
  • The Netherlands has a proprietary format called Digipoort OHNL 2.0 but PEPPOL can also be used.
  • Invoices are issued over the Digipoort platform.
  • They must be kept for seven years.

B2G e-Invoicing in Poland

  • Poland is developing a proprietary e-Invoicing platform to be the sole invoice entry point.
  • The country will use this network and the PEPPOL format.
  • Invoices must be preserved for five years.

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Guarantee authenticity and integrity of your invoices

The European eIDAS regulation (Regulation 910/2014) establishes a legal framework for e-identification mechanisms. Certification as a qualified trust service provider means that EDICOM can give electronic transactions the trust mechanisms that guarantee authenticity and integrity, such as:

Qualified digital signature

Qualified digital signature

Electronic time stamping

Electronic time stamping

Long-term electronic archiving with legal value

Long-term electronic archiving with legal value

And what if you want to start a B2B e-Invoicing project?

Our international platform can help you connect with any company, complying with the established requirements.

Manage your e-Invoicing globally

Managing e-Invoicing projects with different partners from different countries is possible. The EDICOM Global e-Invoicing Platform can adapt to national laws and apply all local requirements (digital signature, formats, archiving, etc.).

Our Global e-Invoicing Observatory is tasked with gathering knowledge on existing models and ensuring a service that is permanently updated to the regulations in each country.