eInvoicing: The impact of new legislation

In 2010, Odette published its Guidelines to eInvoicing Practices including an overview of national eInvoicing Requirements.

Since the publication of these Guidelines, the legal context has evolved with the release of the VAT EU Directive 2010/45 and its implementation in national legislation of the EU member states. It is now necessary to review the latest industry practices.

Odette has therefore reconvened the original team of industry experts and has started a detailed review of the electronic invoicing practices in the various EU countries. The review will also provide definitions and guidance for Business Controls and reliable Audit Trails which are suitable to ensure the legal authenticity and integrity of eInvoices. 

Since 1st October 2013, for EU cross border supply (where the invoice is exempt from taxes or applies the VAT reverse charge procedure), another challenge is facing the German industry which is now required to provide documented evidence that the goods have physically reached the recipient. 

The following evidence will normally be required:

  • a duplicate of the invoice, and
  • the Entry Certificate ('Gelangensbestätigung) or one of a number of alternative forms of evidence (which mostly require a signature to be obtained)

Signatures on the evidential forms would normally be obtained by the carrier of the goods and there is concern about the potential additional charges that transporters might make for providing this service.

A signature is, however, not required if the Entry Certificate is transmitted by EDI, provided that it is obvious that the transmission originates from within the customer’s domain.

The VDA has, therefore, started to specify a profile for the EDIFACT based Global RECADV message to include the requirements of the Entry Certificate.

It is anticipated that other EU countries will shortly introduce similar requirements and the work in Germany, which should be completed shortly, will be brought to the Odette level for review with the aim of producing a European recommendation.

An update on eInvoicing practices including the findings of the Odette working group will be presented at the Odette2014 Conference in Lyon.