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    E-invoicing for suppliers

    Change of address of registered office of the Ministries of the Flemish Community

    If the address of the registered office of the Ministries of the Flemish Community (CBE-number O316.380.841) automatically appears on your e-invoices, please note that as from 9 November 2017 this address will change from Boudewijnlaan 30 bus 50, 1000 Brussels to Havenlaan 88 bus 50, 1000 Brussels.

    If you as a company - in the context of your contract for one of the authorities - are required to send an e-invoice, this page offers you information to help you do this as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    1. The obligation is an opportunity

    Authorities require e-invoicing within the framework of European Directive 2014/55/EU. The Government of Flanders has been asking for e-invoices from its suppliers for all contracts since 1.1.2017. This obligation is an opportunity for you as a company. Take advantage of it to digitise your entire invoicing process and thus take an important step towards further digitisation
    Make a choice that is strategic and carefully thought through.

    2. Policy of the Government of Flanders

    End-to-end e-procurement

    The Government of Flanders is committed to fully digital processing of public contracts and their related processes: end-to-end e-procurement. E-invoicing is an important module in this digital processing.

    On 12 July 2013, the Government of Flanders decided that the entities of the Government of Flanders must be able to receive e-invoices as from 1 January 2015.  The electronic receipt of invoices must be the standard working method as from 1 January 2017. See the BVR [Decision of the GF] of 12 July 2013 and the note (dutch) pertaining thereto.

    On 16/12/2016, the Government of Flanders took a new decision on e-invoicing.

    From 1 January 2017 onwards, for all new public contracts, the supplier must issue a compliant e-invoice. For invoices for orders less than €8,500, micro-enterprises could be given an extra year's time.

    European Directive on e-invoicing

    With this policy, the Government of Flanders anticipates European Directive 2014/55/EU on e-invoicing. With this directive, the EU commits its governments to stimulating the use of e-invoicing. Having observed that there is not enough e-invoicing, it aims to encourage the spread of e-invoicing in the B2B environment by making it compulsory to issue e-invoices for government contracts. 

    The European Commission published the European standard for e-invoicing on 17 October 2017. Member States now have time until 18 April 2019 to implement and apply it. This means that from that date onwards no e-invoice that complies with that standard may be rejected. For local authorities, time will most likely be given until 18 April 2020 (to be decided by the federal government when adopting the European directive into law).
    E-invoicing to government bodies will then be a fact.

    The Governments of Flanders and Belgium are anticipating that directive. The Government of Flanders decided that, as from 1 January 2017, only e-invoices may be issued for all new public procurement contracts.

    The Federal government decided that e-invoices must be issued for all newly-published public procurement contracts as from 1 January 2018.

    The Government of Flanders offers information and support to businesses during the transition to electronic invoicing.

    3. Free information sessions

    The Government of Flanders has been organising monthly information sessions on electronic invoicing since 2015. These sessions are free and take place at different locations in Flanders. To date, more than 6,000 companies have taken part. 
    During these information sessions, you will receive information about:
    - the benefits of e-invoices,
     - the policy of the authorities,
     - the different scenarios for getting started

    The next information sessions will be held on:

    • Wednesday 9 October 2019, from 10:00 to 12:00, in the VAC Ghent
    • CANCELLED - Wednesday 16 October 2019, from 10:00 to 12:00, in the VAC Ghent

    Sign in to e.procurement@vlaanderen.be, with an indication of the name of your company, company registration number, e-mail address, the name and position of the participant. The information sessions are free of charge for companies.

    4. Select the appropriate option for your company

    Going for electronic invoicing means that you are choosing the most appropriate option for your company. Do you have lots of outgoing invoices, or not so many? Do you have many government customers? Do you have an ERP or do you create invoices in Word, for example?

    Several scenarios are possible:

    TYPE OF BUSINESS
    company with…

    OPTION

    MORE INFO

    CONTACT

    ESTIMATED LEAD TIME

    ASSESSMENT

    ERP

    PEPPOL- choose Access Point (AP)

    See 5a

    Your AP

    3 months

    B2B and B2G
     international
     strategic

    ACCOUNTING/INVOICING SOFTWARE

    PEPPOL-
     check whether your software package is ready

    See 5b

    Your software supplier

    1 week

    B2B and B2G
     international
     strategic

    WORD, EXCEL, PDF…

    PEPPOL- Choose App

    See 5c

    Your app supplier

    1 week

    B2B and B2G
     international
     strategic

    A FEW INVOICES, ONLY TO GOVERNMENT

    Mercurius PORTAL

    e.procurement@vlaanderen.be

    1 day

    B2G only
    Belgium only
    time-consuming

    Short-term

    Temporary

    B2B = Business 2 Business, invoicing between companies
    B2G = Business 2 Government, invoicing between companies and government bodies

    5. Using the PEPPOL-model

    The Flemish and Federal government opted for the PEPPOL model, together with AGORIA and the VBO. This is the smartest way to do e-invoicing. You will find more information about the choice of PEPPOL on PEPPOL and MERCURIUS (dutch).

    Using the PEPPOL model offers you the guarantee that you will be able to work with the European standard and that you can e-invoice in both the B2G and the B2B environment.
    The PEPPOL model is a thoroughly reliable model that reduces manual work and only works with ACCESS POINTS. In Belgium, there is an authority which supervises the proper use of this model. This authority role has been assumed by the Federal Government (BOSA).

    Any business can use this PEPPOL model. How you use this is of course dependent on the volume of your invoices and your financial system, invoicing or accounting software.

    5A. A company with an accounting or invoicing software package

    If you use an accounting or invoicing program for receiving and sending your invoices, then the chances are that your program is already able to send an e-invoice. 
    Check whether your software program is on the list of accounting and invoicing programs that send PEPPOL e-invoices to the (Flemish) government successfully.

    Most accounting and invoicing programs have chosen an ACCESS POINT in the PEPPOL model. 

    Consult this list to see if your program can send a PEPPOL invoice (List 2)

    Based on this list you can determine which scenario is applicable:

    5B. A business without invoicing software.  You create invoicing in Word, Excel, PDF and Mercurius portal etc.

    Does your company still create invoices in Word or Excel, and subsequently send as a PDF?  
    Over the past few years, numerous invoicing programs have entered the market, which specifically target companies with low invoice volumes.  
    We highly recommend comparing these applications, contacting the relevant providers and getting started. This will enable you to prepare your business for the digital future.

    Invoicing packages:

    • Expedite invoice creation
    • Don’t require an e-ID for sign-up
    • Provide you with excellent support
    • Eliminate the double-entry of invoice information
    • Enable you to monitor your invoices
    • Allow you to invoice the authorities, as well as your own private customers
    • Are user-friendly and efficient

    View the list of these e-invoicing packages.

    5C. A company with an ERP

    Companies with a lot of invoices often have an ERP.  ‘XML’ and ‘UBL’ are familiar terms to the IT staff of such companies. Perhaps you already work with a service provider for your e-invoicing? 
    These steps need to be taken:

    • 1

      Creating the PEPPOL invoice

      The following scenarios are possible:

    • 2

      Choosing an ACCESS POINT

      Companies with an ERP-system in scenario 4A1 and 4A2 must select an Access Point. An XML cannot be sent by e-mail to a recipient financial [department].  Nor will a point-to-point connection be made. 
      The PEPPOL-authorised ACCESS POINTS can be found at: 
      http://www.peppol.eu/adoption/access-point-providers

      There are two possible scenarios.

      • First scenario
        Your chosen ACCESS POINT (AP) has never sent an e-invoice to the ACCESS POINT of the Flemish and Belgian government yet.
        ==> Your ACCESS POINT will be invited to:
        (1) Carry out PEPPOL compliance tests;
        (2) Send documents to the government’s AP. 
        These tests are conducted under the coordination of BOSA.  Contact peppol@bosa.fgov.be
         as soon as this is completed successfully (see steps 3 and 4).
      • Second scenario
        Your chosen access point sends all the successful e-invoices to the AP of the Flemish and Belgian authorities. Continuation: Steps 3 and 4.

        What ACCESS POINTS send all the successful e-invoices via PEPPOL to the government?
        How can you as a company evaluate and contact them?

      Bestand List of ACCESS POINTS IN PEPPOL which successfully send e-invoices to the government, with contacts and additional information (List 1)

    • 3

      Applying the Business Requirements

      If you as a company send an e-invoice to the recipient, you also want that recipient to be able to process it correctly.  After all, this gives you the guarantee of prompt payment. 
      Senders and Recipients decide which 'business requirements' the e-invoice must meet.  Because very often the same requirements (an example is the order number) are formulated, the government has streamlined and clarified its business requirements.

      You will find these government Business Requirements:

      To know what business requirements you must apply, you can get in touch with your content contact person at your government customer or at the central e-invoicing team via e.procurement@vlaanderen.be.

    • 4

      Conducting end-to-end tests

      For suppliers with large invoice volumes, an 'end to end' test is recommended.  Even though the European Directive on e-invoicing will allow you to send an e-invoice immediately without testing, prior testing offers you the guarantee that sending e-invoices will be successful right from the start.   
      Contact e.procurement@vlaanderen.be and tell them that you wish to perform a test.  You will receive additional information and guidance.  
      After successful testing, you can start sending e-invoices!  Thousands of suppliers to the government are doing this already.

    5D. Overview of the apps working in PEPPOL

    COMPANY PROFILE

    LIST OF APPLS WORKING IN PEPPOL

    With ERP

    See list 1

    With accounting or invoicing program

    See list 2

    Word, Excel, PDF, paper…

    See list 3

    6. Which Flemish government bodies can you reach via the PEPPOL model?

    This list will help you to find out to which government bodies you can send your e-invoice (List 4).

    7. Database of all Belgian receivers of PEPPOL-documents

    You can find this database at:
    https://digital.belgium.be/e-invoicing/PeppolSearch.html

    8. Which companies send e-invoices with PEPPOL?

    In Bestand this list you will find the suppliers who send e-invoices to the Flemish government (List 5). Note, however, that this list is never complete…

    9. Need more support?

    Perhaps you as a company would like more information or fine-tuning?  If so, please send an e-mail to e.procurement@vlaanderen.be

    We will then contact you as soon as possible.