Scope and timeline
Croatia is one of the few countries in Europe to have chosen to mandate the use of e-invoicing in public procurement processes as outlined in Directive 2014/55/EU and within the transposition deadline of April 2019. The Croatian mandate covers both the issuance and receipt of e-invoices in B2G transactions. Other countries – Malta, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland – have also been early adopters of the Directive but have yet to mandate the issuance of e-invoices by suppliers. These countries have instead adopted the minimum rule in the Directive which is to make receiving and processing of e-invoices mandatory for the government.
B2G e-invoicing implementation timeline for Croatia
- From 1 December 2018 all contracting parties must accept and process e-invoices if received from their suppliers in public procurement procedures;
- From 1 July 2019 e-invoicing will be mandatory in public procurement procedures.
All invoices issued in public procurement must meet the European standard EN 16931-1:2017, issued by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) on 28 June 2017. The Croatian government recommends the use of the OASIS UBL 2.1 standard for B2G public procurement, however, the Cross-Industry Invoice (CII) is an accepted alternative.
A central platform
A central (state) platform, Servis eRačun za državu, has been created for the exchange of e-invoices that fully comply with the European standard. The platform will receive all the e-invoices addressed to the government; it will function as a PEPPOL access point which will connect public contractors (directly), sectoral contractors (directly) and information intermediaries with their clients (modified 3-corner model of e-invoice exchange). The platform is operated by the Financial agency (FINA), a state-owned service provider under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts.
What lies ahead
FINA platform is also capable of sending and receiving B2B e-invoices. So, will the Croatian B2G e-invoicing IT infrastructure pave the way for the introduction of B2B e-invoicing mandates in Croatia? And will Croatia – and other European countries with mandatory B2G e-invoicing already in place, such as Spain and France – follow in Italy’s footsteps, extending their e-invoicing mandate from B2G to B2B? Certainly, other conditions must also be met, such as a proper legislative framework and a VAT gap significant enough to justify the reform but ultimately, we believe this is possible given the paradigm shift in tax compliance and real-time tax controls in Europe.