Dutch Government aims for mandatory B2G e-invoicing in 2016

Based on the EU directive 2014/55/EU all public contracting authorities have to able to receive e-invoices as from 2018. And this implicates that suppliers that deliver to a public contracting authority have to be able to send e-invoices.

At the Dutch Invoice Conference 2016, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that in anticipation of this Directive, B2G e-invoicing will be mandated as of –late- 2016. In anticipation of converting the EU Directive into national legislation, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs decided that new contracts with suppliers will contain the mandated B2G e-invoicing principle.

Sending e-invoices to Dutch public authorities: the format

Until the new EU e-invoice syntaxes are available, the Dutch government allows for two UBL syntaxes. The first one is UBL-OHNL. UBL-OHNL is a UBL dialect specifically developed for Dutch public authorities. The other one is UBL-SI (SimplerInvoicing). Another syntax that is currently allowed is XML-SETU.

Mind you, the Dutch central public authorities can only receive and process UBL-OHNL e-invoices. Other public authorities are allowed to receive e-invoices in UBL-SI. Somewhere in 2018-2020 all public authorities should be ready to –also- receive the new EU-UBL invoice (as well as other EU syntaxes).

B2G e-invoicing in The Netherlands

Apart from different formats these next few years, there are also several ‘channels’ that have to be uses, apart from the ‘type’ of public body you are dealing with. Again, there is a distinction between the central public authorities and the other (local) authorities.

E-invoices to the Dutch central government and central public authorities

E-invoices to the central governments and its central public authorities can be provided

  • Through Simplerinvoicing, a network of 9 e-billing service providers, based on PEPPOL. SimplerInvoicing is connected with Digipoort (see below). E-invoices that are not yet in UBL-OHNL are processed in the network before they are forwarded to Digipoort.
  • Directly through the governmental e-invoice hub, called Digipoort*, Through Digipoort you are connected to the central IT infrastructure of the (State) Government where message traffic is handled. A direct connection with Digipoort is mainly for companies that send a lot of B2G invoices.
  • Via a webform: www.papierloosfactureren.nl. For small companies that only occasionally send B2G e-invoices.

E-invoices to other that central public authorities and (other) public contracting authorities

For these authorities another regime is applicable. If they want to, they are allowed to use the same channel as the Dutch central goverments (I.e. Digipoort, SimplerInvoicing, webform). However, they are also allowed to receive UBL-SI/UBL-OHNL/SET U invoices by e-mail.

In a recent project, called ‘UBL Chain Test’, over 60 of the biggest SME bookkeeping provides were facilitated to be able to send UBL e-invoices (to each other and to public authorities). These 60 providers account for an 80% market share in the SME, making the UBL Chain Test project a huge enabler for lowel contrating authorities within the Dutch B2G e-invoicing mandate.

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