Finally, the EU E-invoicing Directive 2010/45/EG Explanatory Notes are here!

October 13, 2011  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing

Stop all discussions, speculations and distractions: the EU E-invoicing Directive 2010/45/EG Explanatory Notes are! Never heard off? Well, the Explanatory Notes are an extra set of explanations on the new Invoicing Directive (2010/45/EU).


Published a year before the date this new directive is to be implemented, the purposes of the Explanatory Notes are:

  • providing a better understanding of the Invoicing Directive (2010/45/EU)
  • allow Member States to transpose the legislation in a more uniform way
  • to provide business with the necessary information to adapt to the new rules in time
  • letting you understand the meaning of certain issues contained in the articles. Neat!
  • provide practical help

Things you should know

Before you read about the rest of the Explanatory Notes, you should know that:

  • it consists of 45 pages
  • the explanatory notes are a collaborative work, the result of discussions with both
    Member States (DG Taxud) AND businesses (CEN E-invoicing III).
  • the explanatory notes are not legally binding: They do not represent the views of the Commission nor is the Commission bound by any of the views expressed therein
  • the notes are not comprehensive: only certain invoicing issues have been included for
    which it was thought desirable to provide explanations
  • They are a work in progress

EU E-invoicing topics covered by the Explanatory Notes

The Explanatory Notes cover four main area’s: the requirements for paper and electronic invoices, issuing invoices, content of invoices and storage of invoices. Per area, the Explanatory Invoices cover several topics:

A. The requirements for paper and electronic invoices

  1. Invoices must reflect an actual supply
  2. Definition of e-invoices
  3. Customer acceptance
  4. Authenticity of origin
  5. Integrity of content
  6. Legibility
  7. Choice of means of ensuring authenticity of origin, integrity of
    content and legibility
  8. Business controls
  9. Reliable audit trail
  10. Advanced electronic signature and EDI
  11. Point in time of issue and end of storage period
  12. Storage of invoices

B. Issuing invoices

  1. Which Member State’s rules are applicable?
  2. Applicable Member State’s invoicing rules for exempt supplies
  3. Invoicing rules for exempt financial supplies
  4. Self-billed invoices

C. Content of invoices

  1. Sequential numbering
  2. Cash accounting
  3. Exempt supplies
  4. Conversion of the VAT amount in to the

D. Storage of invoices

  1. Storage period
  2. Translation and languages used on invoices
  3. Medium of storage

In a next post we will highlight the most interesting parts.

Download the Explanatory Notes

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1 Comment

  1. Happy to hear that the EU E-invoicing Directive will be available and that the directive will help Organizations to properly set up an efficient and effective Electronic Invoicing Initiative. It’s been long overdue!

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