There are two months until the end of the time limit imposed by the Government for companies with more than 250 employees to transform their billing into paper for an electronic system. According to SERES, despite the requirement to start on April 18, the State itself does not set an example, revealing that only 151 Portuguese public entities activated the electronic system, the majority continue to issue and process on paper.
It should be recalled that according to Directive 55/2014 / EU, which was transposed to Portugal, Public Administrations are now obliged to receive invoices in electronic support. Large companies, with more than 250 employees, are required to issue electronic invoices. The Government established April 18 as the limit for companies to adapt, considering that since the same day in 2019, both the Central Government and Public Institutes have been forced to receive electronic invoices.
Despite this apparent delay, Portugal is in the lead in the use of electronic invoices in Europe, also according to SERES, together with Spain and Italy. It was mentioned that a set of specifications and standards were defined to facilitate the electronic exchange of documents between countries on a global scale, the Peppol (Pan-European Public Procurement Online). Between 2008 and 2012, multilateral agreements were created to create a common structure.
After the update of the companies in April, the next step in the adoption and mandatory use of the electronic invoice, the 1st of January 2021. The remaining suppliers of the Portuguese Public Administrations will also be obliged to issue electronic invoices within the scope of B2G.
The European Commission estimates that between 2015 and 2017, the use of electronic invoices by EU companies generated savings of 920 million euros. The measures that have been forcing the adoption of this alternative in public contracts will increase this value exponentially and standardize rules.