Electronic e-invoicing via Peppol in Luxembourg

luxembourg peppol

What is an electronic invoice?

On 14 December 2021, the Law of 13 December 2021 amending the Law of 16 May 2019 on electronic invoicing in public procurement and concession contracts was published in the Official Journal. It makes it mandatory for economic operators to send their invoices electronically to the State in the context of public procurement and concession contracts. The law came into force on 18 December 2021, in order to make the use of electronic invoicing mandatory in public procurement. The law defines an electronic invoice as: "an invoice that has been issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic form that allows its automatic and electronic processing, any equivalent request for payment that meets those same conditions or any document or message that modifies the original invoice and refers to it in a specific and unambiguous manner that meets those same conditions".

Legal framework for electronic invoicing in public procurement

On 14 December 2021, the Law of 13 December 2021 amending the Law of 16 May 2019 on electronic invoicing in public procurement and concession contracts was published together with the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 13 December 2021 fixing the common delivery network and alternative technical solutions used for electronic invoicing in public procurement and concession contracts. The new law therefore amends the Law of 16 May 2019 on electronic invoicing in public procurement and concession contracts, which in turn transposes into Luxembourg law Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

The Directive was intended, among other things, to prevent the proliferation of standards and file formats for electronic invoicing within the EU and thus to help combat the fragmentation of the European internal market. It provides for the definition of a common European standard for the semantic data model of an electronic invoice and syntaxes, that is to say, XML formats, to be used on a mandatory basis. The European standard and the list of the two permitted syntaxes have been set by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1870 of 16 October 2017 on the publication of the reference of the European standard on electronic invoicing and the list of its syntaxes pursuant to Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European standard on electronic invoicing is EN 16931-1:2017, which is namely published on the site of the ILNAS (Luxembourg Institute of Standardisation, Accreditation, Safety and Quality of Products and Services).

Both the 2019 Law and the 2021 Law apply only to public procurement and therefore only create obligations for the stakeholders in public procurement contracts: on the one hand, economic operators, namely mostly businesses, and on the other hand, the contracting authorities and entities, that is to say, the public-sector bodies which come within the scope of the Law of 8 April 2018 on public procurement, as amended.

On 14 December 2021 the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 13 December 2021 determining the common delivery network and the alternative technical solutions used for electronic invoicing in public procurement and concession contracts was also published in the Official Journal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This Regulation, adopted on the basis of the Law of 13 December 2021, selects as the common delivery network to be used by public-sector bodies for the automated receipt of electronic invoices the European Peppol network, managed and maintained by OpenPeppol, an international non-profit association governed by Belgian law. It also determines that the alternative non-automated technical solutions available to economic operators for manually issuing and transmitting electronic invoices are two types of online forms described in more detail in the section "Technical solutions".

Luxembourg organisations using Billit for e-invoicing


As there is no Luxembourg provider, we have chosen to use the Belgian Peppol access provider, Billit. On our side we’re ready, but it will certainly take some time before the market reaches the critical mass that will enable electronic invoices to be sent and received via Peppol to any company and public administration. 

Impacts for companies

The law intends to make it compulsory for economic operators to issue electronic invoices in the context of public procurement or concession contracts (B2G), with a view to encouraging companies to rapidly acquire the necessary means to issue, transmit and eventually receive electronic invoices.

Important dates to remember

The law provides for a staggered entry into force between 18 May 2022 and 18 March 2023, depending on the size of the companies concerned:

  • to large economic operators, 5 months after the entry into force of the law, i.e. 18 May 2022
  • to medium-sized economic operators, 10 months after the entry into force, i.e. 18 October 2022;
  • small and newly established economic operators, 15 months after entry into force, i.e. 18 March 2023.

Large economic operators

  • balance-sheet total: EUR 20 million,
  • net turnover: EUR 40 million,
  • number of full-time staff employed on average during the financial year: 250.

Medium-sized economic operators 

  • balance-sheet total: EUR 20 million,
  • net turnover: EUR 40 million,
  • number of full-time staff employed on average during the financial year: 250.

Small economic operators 

  • balance-sheet total: EUR 4.4 million,
  • net turnover: EUR 8.8 million,
  • number of full-time staff employed on average during the financial year: 50.

Obligations

  • for economic operators: to issue and transmit only electronic invoices, that is to say, XML files or files containing XML, which are compliant in the context of public procurement;
  • for public-sector bodies: to use the common delivery network for the automated receipt of electronic invoices Peppol and, as long as they do not have their own access point to Peppol, the access point of the CTIE (Government IT Centre);
  • for ministries and state administrations: to use the CTIE’s access point to Peppol.

Beyond this regulatory framework, the transition to electronic invoicing is an important lever for transformation and profitability for all sectors and particularly for business-to-business (B2B) exchanges.

Why use electronic invoicing?

The use of electronic invoicing allows for significant savings and efficiency gains, including the following advantages :

  • speed of processing,
  • significant reduction in processing costs,
  • better traceability of invoices,
  • reduction in disputes,
  • faster payment times,
  • easier consultation and archiving,
  • easier accounting,
  • enhanced data security.

As an obligation for the B2G-area (Business to Government), the switch to electronic invoicing is strongly recommended for all companies that are not yet affected by this law. Indeed, any company will have an interest in going digital and thus gradually standardizing electronic invoicing. This transition will allow companies to benefit from a considerable competitive advantage.

How to use electronic invoicing?

The use of a single delivery network : The common delivery network for all contracting entities for the automated receipt of electronic invoices will be PEPPOL. PEPPOL, for Pan European Public Procurement OnLine, is an invoice exchange network managed since 2012 by the international non-profit association OpenPEPPOL under Belgian law and used by many countries.

Companies will thus have to :

  • use this "delivery network" designated by Grand-Ducal regulation for the transmission of electronic invoices,
  • comply with the European standard.

The European standard EN 16931 1 2017 +A 1 2019 (Edition 11 2019) defines the essential information elements that an electronic invoice must contain in order to comply with legislation, including tax legislation, and to guarantee inter-sectoral, national and cross-border interoperability.

The second part CEN/TS 16931 2:2017 (Edition 06/2017) lists the approved syntaxes / languages:

  • XML UBL (Universal Business Language) defined in ISO/IEC 19845:2015 and maintained by the non-profit organisation OASIS Open;
  • XML UN/CEFACT CII (Cross Industry Invoice) developed by UN/CEFACT, as specified in XML Schemas 16B (SCRDM - CII).

An economic operator has several options to make itself capable of issuing and transmitting compliant electronic invoices via Peppol:

  • renting a Peppol access point like Billit (get started here)
  • setting up an own Peppol access point, an approach that probably only makes sense for organisations of a certain size that have their own experienced and well-resourced IT department
  • use one of the invoicing or accounting (ERP) software packages, which are increasingly numerous given the growing success of Peppol, and which allow by default the sending of compliant invoices via Peppol.

In order to meet the needs of economic operators who do not yet have the capacity to issue and transmit electronic invoices automatically via Peppol, alternative non-automated technical solutions which only allow the manual and individual issue and transmission of electronic invoices will be made available to economic operators before the obligation to invoice electronically applies to the first economic operators.

These alternative solutions will be of two types :

  • an online form allowing the issuing and transmission of a compliant electronic invoice by manually entering in the fields of the form the constituent elements of the invoice and submitting the completed form
  • an online form enabling the issuing and transmission of a compliant electronic invoice by downloading an already compliant electronic invoice and submitting it via the duly completed form. (See Ministry (french) text)

Support for electronic invoicing

It is clear that a large number of companies are not aware of this obligation. The Chamber of Commerce is offering information sessions to raise awareness and to give them the opportunity to exchange views with experts in the field.

In addition to these free webinars, the Chamber of Commerce published a practical guide containing all the useful information concerning electronic invoicing: presentation of the regulatory framework, explanation of electronic invoicing, advantages, testimonies, introduction of the different types of support and a lot of practical information. The Chamber of Commerce will support Luxembourg companies in this digital transition so that it becomes an opportunity to develop services and reduce costs.

Tailor-made support will be offered to implement an electronic invoicing solution in the company with the Fit 4 Digital Packages programme. This support will enable the company to benefit from a subsidy of 5,000 euros delivered by the General Directorate for the Middle Classes of the Ministry of the Economy in collaboration with Luxinnovation and the House of Entrepreneurship.

To be eligible for this support, a company must meet the following cumulative criteria

  • have its registered office in Luxembourg
  • have a maximum of 50 employees
  • have an authorisation of establishment granted by the Direction générale des Classes moyennes
  • not carry out an activity excluded from state aid, as referred to in the regulations

The Chamber of Commerce will also inform companies about the new opportunities for value-added services to be developed in the context of electronic invoicing.

List of public sector bodies that can be reached via Peppol

Please find hereafter the link to the current list of public sector bodies (PSBs) that can be addressed via Peppol and their respective unique Peppol identifiers (EndpointID).

Each member of the Peppol network, as well as its respective unique identifier to be used for addressing it, can also be found in the following directory if the access point responsible for this member has indeed published this information in the Peppol directory: http://directory.peppol.eu

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All PSBs accessing the Peppol network via the Peppol access point provided by the CTIE are automatically and always published and available for consultation in the Peppol directory mentioned above.

List of large and medium-sized economic operators

Please find hereafter the link to a list, generated on the basis of data from the Central Balance Sheet Office managed by STATEC, of large and medium-sized economic operators who are already required to issue and transmit electronic invoices to the PSBs as of 18th May 2022, respectively as of 18th October 2022.

Since not all types of economic operators are legally obliged to file a balance sheet with the Central Balance Sheet Office, the above file, although very complete, is not entirely exhaustive.

Who can help me?

Billit is a certified Peppol Access Point, reach out to us via support@billit.eu for free E-Invoicing - Chamber of Commerce Luxembourg (cc.lu) House of Entrepreneurship

 

The House of Entrepreneurship brings together all the stakeholders involved in the value chain of business creation in Luxembourg and offers a range of services to businesses throughout their life cycle (information on business creation, development and transfer, digitalisation, financing and networking). Contact us by e-mail at digital@houseofentrepreneurship.lu or by phone at +352 42 39 39 840.

Electronic invoicing page (featuring Billit) of the Ministry of Digitalisation (click here)