EU: 2009 Final Report of the Expert Group on e-Invoicing

December 3, 2009  |  Electronic Invoicing, Publications

The European Expert group on E-invoicing published its final version of its report. The Expertgroup had been mandated to design a European e-Invoicing framework, contributing to the uptake of open and interoperable e-invoicing solutions within the European Union (EU). The report does not represent the views of the Commission nor the views of –some- individual Expert group members.

The EEI Platform supports the European Commission and the EU E-invoicing Expert group by this online survey that you can fill out after reading the report.


The report together with information on the consultation is available at:

The Framework = Recommendations

The proposed framework is presented as a set of coherent recommendations designed to promote the uptake of e-invoicing and which requires a response by identified stakeholders.

The EEIF sets out a vision for the future European e-invoicing environment and presents a target picture as an objective for all stakeholders:

-          Within five to eight years structured e-invoicing will become the predominant invoicing method throughout Europe. All sectors and market segments will be fully engaged.

-          The legal and tax environment for the conduct of e-invoicing will have been harmonized across all Member States and trading parties will have access to clear, easy-to-use and unambiguous guidance as to achieving compliance. Electronic invoices will be treated on an equal basis with traditional paper-based invoices.

-          Trading parties will have a wide choice of solutions and services to support einvoicing, which may be conducted on a bilateral basis directly between counterparties, or through service providers of various kinds. Trading parties will be able to conduct structured e-invoicing in a highly convenient and secure manner.

-          Standards for invoicing and related processes will have been widely adopted; in particular the UN/CEFACT Cross-Industry Invoice (CII) v.2 will have been implemented by the majority of trading parties. Other standards and formats will remain in use and appropriate facilities for format conversion will be readily accessible.

-          European enterprises will have made further substantial investments in cost efficient procurement, payments and accounting processes and the supporting ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems and services. Such processes will require minimal manual intervention, and. ERP systems will be fully capable of generating einvoices both for direct transmission between trading parties and for service provider processing.

-          End-users and SMEs in particular will be using low-cost and user-friendly solutions and services that can be easily accessed and integrated with internal systems as well as being interoperable with external systems. The absence of IT skills and resources will not act as a roadblock to e-invoicing adoption. Users will be able to reuse investments and business habits to the maximum degree possible.

-          E-invoicing will have acted as a spur to the dematerialization and digitalization of other usiness documents and processes and to the reduction of administrative burdens on businesses. The ecosystem will be open and capable of maximum flexibility and evolution supporting both European enterprises and linkages to global supply chains. The report gives guidance for the implementation of the recommendations at Member State and EU level.

Further information:

Report of the Expert Group on e-Invoicing and information on the consultation
EU Single Market thematic website on Europa - E-Invoicing page
European Commission Directorate-General for Entreprise and Industry - E-Invoicing page

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