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    Obligatory use of e-invoicing - provision of specifications, amendment specifications

    E-invoices can be sent without having to draw up a formal contract between the sender and the addressee. However, given the fact that the Government of Flanders wants to impose the use of e-invoicing, a specific provision is required.  Partly because it is necessary that the contractor must be informed on some important details, it is also important to finalise this.

    New contracts

    When a public administration starts to e-invoice at the beginning of a new public contract, this model provision must be used in the contract as a provision for the invoicing mode.

    Some specifications must be added under c), 1. See relevant instructions.  This provision aims to provide the contractor with all necessary information to send e-invoices for your contract.

    From 1 January 2017 onwards, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) is the standard reception method for invoices within the Government of Flanders.

    We refer to e-invoicing as an e-invoice in a structured XML-format, not a PDF-invoice.

    a) E-invoicing through the Mercurius platform

    E-invoices must be submitted electronically through the Mercurius platform. This federal platform ensures that all authorities can be reached for e-invoicing and is based on a European framework of agreements: Peppol.

    For more information on the e-invoicing project and the support that is offered, please visit

    More information on the Mercurius platform, the technical format of the e-invoice and Peppol can be found on

    b) Start to e-invoice

    There are several ways to send your e-invoice to the public administration:

    • By implementing an integrated e-invoicing solution within your company. You need an Access Point (AP) which is Peppol Compliant (see earlier). This AP ensures that your e-invoices are send using the Peppol-network to the AP of the Government of Flanders, the Mercurius platform.  Additionally, you will be able to reach other governments as well as private companies trough the Peppol-netwerk with the same e-invoicing solution.
      There are several solutions at your disposal: e-invoicing service providers, accounting packages, ERP-packages, invoicing software, software companies, etc.  For surveys and contact details, please visit:
    • By manual input of your invoice data in the Mercurius portal, which can be used free of charge:

    Before starting to send e-invoices to a Government of Flanders entity, please sign in once as a supplier on

    In this way, the Government of Flanders project team can provide you with the required support.  Numerous professional federations organise study days or information sessions on electronic invoicing.  Please contact your professional organisation.

    Please take into account that it takes some time to prepare starting to e-invoice. 

    For more information, please visit:

    c) Contents of the electronic invoice

    1. In addition to the data that are obligatory in accordance with the VAT code, the electronic invoice must definitely contain the following data which are essential for its treatment:
      • KBO number (Crossroads Bank for Enterprises number) of the contracting authority: … (If necessary, you mention the KBO numbers per legal person for a combined contract, or you indicate that every customer who takes a certain amount from the framework agreement will mention his KBO number when ordering or when applying for an invoice) (The KBO number of your entity can be found in this list ) (For entities without legal personality which fall within the scope of the ‘Ministry of the Flemish Community’ is the following:  380.841)
      • Purchase order: this is determined at the time of closure of the contract, or in the starting order or the request for an invoice. (Delete what is not applicable to your contract)
      • (Possible other data that you want to see on the invoice)
    2. In case you use an integrated solution for e-invoicing, the format of the e-invoice must be in compliance with the Peppol format (UBL 2.1). Information on this format and the required date can be found at See ‘Peppol invoice profile’ as well as business agreements with the Government of Flanders.

    The above-mentioned essential information must be filled according to the business agreements of the Government of Flanders:

    In case you use the free Mercurius portal, the data must be filled out as follows:

    • KBO number/ Global Location Number (GLN) of the public administration: Invoice heading - business number (appears automatically after selecting the client)
      (For the Flemish Community or the Flemish Region:)  Remark: selectect ‘Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap’
    • Purchase order: Invoice heading - Order number
      Remark: only fill in the number, without 'IO' or any other supplement
    • All other data: Invoice heading - Remarks
    1. The contractor shall ensure that the e-invoice is free of viruses, macros or any other harmful instructions. Files that contain viruses, macros or any other harmful instructions shall be deemed not to have been received.


    It is also advisable to point out to tenderers in the specifications or on the front page that e-invoicing is obligatory. 

    Obligatory e-invoicing: from 1 January 2017 onwards all invoices which are submitted in the framework of this contract must be sent electronically. More information on e-invoicing is also available at


    Current contracts

    When a public administration effectively starts to e-invoice throughout the public contract, it is advisory to draw up an amendment. 


    The contractor starts to send e-invoices through the Mercurius platform from (date) onwards.
    The contractor shall ensure that the e-invoice is free of viruses, macros or any other harmful instructions.
    Files that contain viruses, macros or any other harmful instructions shall be deemed not to have been received.

    If you have any further questions, please visit