Does your company work for the public authorities? The Royal Decree of 9 March 2022 sets out the modalities of the evolution towards electronic invoicing in the context of public procurement. You will therefore have to send your invoices to these customers in structured electronic format sooner or later. This article provides the information that allows you to comply with this requirement, and at the same time, like many companies already do*, benefit from the opportunity to improve your billing, while contributing to its large-scale adoption in Belgium and Europe.
Do you already have a billing tool?
Sending electronic invoices necessarily involves the use of an IT tool: invoicing software, commercial management software, or even ERP on own computer or shared service (cloud).
Is this tool adequate?
If you are equipped with a billing tool, it must be able to send a structured electronic invoice that complies with the standards that apply to public authorities. To help you determine if your tool is in this case, the public authorities have put in place a procedure allowing the suppliers of these tools to include them in a list of tools that allow e-invoicing to public authorities. Consult the list of these tools in Dutch or French.
NB: Your tool is not on the list? Your IT provider may not be informed of the publication procedure. Do not hesitate to contact him to ask if his tool is compliant, and inform him that it is possible to have his tool included in this list.
If yes: you can send e-invoices to public entities today...
As of 17 April 2019, all European contracting parties must be able to receive a structured electronic invoice in accordance with the European Standard.
Note: the Mercurius portal helps you keep control of your billing flows. Indeed, it allows you to ensure their reception (for all your institutional clients) and to follow the treatment by the customers.
...and your other business customers!
You also send invoices to private companies, but you don't know if they are equipped to automatically process electronic invoices? Don't waste your time in vain research, use Hermes! Made available by public authorities in close collaboration with the private sector, this platform ensures the relay between those who can already send e-invoices and those who are not yet able to receive them. Click here to learn more about Hermes.
You don't have the right tool yet
In this case, while waiting to be equipped, send your invoices via the Mercurius portal. In addition to tracking the routing and processing of e-invoices, the Mercurius portal also makes it possible to manually issue invoices or credit notes to the public authorities that are not yet equipped with the right software.
NB: As the number of organisations with adequate tools increases, this portal function will be less and less needed. At present, 56 % of the administration’s suppliers have already found the solution that suits them (compared to only 25 % 5 years ago), and the remaining 44 % issue only 11 % of the invoices!
We therefore strongly encourage you to acquire an e-invoicing tool, or upgrade the tool you are currently using.
- Mercurius Portal: not yet equipped for e-invoicing? This portal allows you to comply with the obligation, and the time to find the IT solution that suits you.
- Hermes: do you have a solution compatible with e-invoicing? Generalise the sending of e-invoices to all your recipients.
- See the list of tools for e-invoicing to public authorities (this page is available in French and Dutch):
- French: Consultez la liste d’outils permettant l’e-facturation aux pouvoirs publics.
- Dutch: Raadpleeg de lijst van instrumenten voor e-facturering aan overheidsinstanties.
* IMPORTANT: The first column contains the supplier’s business number. This number starts with a ‘0’. In order for this “0” to be clearly visible when using this file, make sure that your tool (spreadsheet) considers the first column as text and not as a number.