The Council of the European Union has approved a directive to create a common standard for electronic invoicing in public procurement.
The Paypers reported that MEPs voted in favor of the creation of the standard at the start of February 2014, following its endorsement by member states in January, and this has currently been approved by the Council.
A single standard is being introduced to remove compatibility problems between systems. A conversion to e-invoicing could save EUR 2.3 billion annually across the EU. Current use of e-invoicing is between 4% to 15% of total invoices.
The European standardization organsations CEN, Cenelec and ETSI are set to develop the standard. Once published, central government are set to have 18 months to implement it, and local and regional contracting authorities are set to have 30 months.
All public sector buyers will be required to carry out their procurement electronically by 2016.
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