Electronic invoicing and procurement: new legislation

In April 2019 the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 were amended to include a new regulation 113A and 113B, implementing the recent EU directive on electronic invoicing. Contracts must now include a term requiring the authority to accept and process an electronic invoice which is undisputed and complies with the standard for electronic invoices (if no clause of this sort is included in contracts, it will be implied!).

Contracts awarded by "sub-central authorities" (i.e. such as higher education institutions, NHS and local government bodies) are exempt from this requirement until April 2020, except where they act or have acted as central purchasing bodies, in which case the provision is now in force. More information about what a "central purchasing body" is and "centralised" and "ancillary" purchasing activities can be found in the glossary on our Procurement Portal.

The Crown Commercial Service has just published Action Note 03/19 reminding authorities of the new requirement. Central government bodies are required to include the follow model clause in contracts:

"1. ELECTRONIC INVOICING

1.1 The Authority shall accept and process for payment an electronic invoice submitted for payment by the Supplier where the invoice is undisputed and where it complies with the standard on electronic invoicing.

1.2 For the purposes of paragraph 1.1, an electronic invoice complies with the standard on electronic invoicing where it complies with the European standard and any of the syntaxes published in Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1870."

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