Nota bene: The information in this post is fictional and was an April fools’ joke.
Yesterday afternoon the EU passed a long awaited directive (2022/64/EU), becoming effective today, requiring all EU member states to make Peppol CTC mandatory for national e-invoicing initiatives from 1 October 2022.
The fast move follows the conclusion of a public consultation, launched by the commission in January last year, which was tasked with identifying ways to further combat VAT fraud and improve supply chain sustainability in the wake of the recent pandemic. [In 2019 the European Commission calculated the total value of lost VAT revenue to be approximately 135 billion EUR]. The directive also notes that the drastic step has been taken in order to provide consistency and combat the proliferation of disparate, uncoordinated regulations that have been introduced across the continent over the past few years.
Though the EU Commission’s desire to push member states towards a consistent approach to continuous transaction control (CTC) has long been known, the proximity of the deadline outlined in the new directive has come as a surprise to many. Similarly, the breadth of the proposed mandate – covering all B2B, B2C and B2G transactions in Europe – far exceeds what many commentators predicted.
What the new directive means for businesses
While introducing the new mandate so quickly will mean big changes for governments, the opportunities for businesses are impressive. Many countries have already introduced mandatory e-invoicing requirements for suppliers of public bodies in recent years. In addition many countries plan to introduce further requirements for B2B and B2C e-Invoicing, following the success of the Italian model introduced in 2019. However, in most countries these existing and upcoming regulations are non-standardised implementations, using custom Web Service interfaces and custom XML standards for invoice transmission.
With the introduction of the new directive (2022/64/EU) businesses can simply use Peppol in order to fulfil these requirements – independent of the country they operate in.
The significance of the date
Following the shock announcement yesterday, much of the reaction has centred around the tight timescale and the deadline of 1 October. However, more important than this deadline is today’s date: 1 April. April fool! We hope this didn’t cause you to panic too much!