On 27 December 2019, the Italian government issued a decree delaying and establishing new dates for when the NSO platform would go live. The Purchase Orders Routing Node platform (Nodo di Smistamento degli Ordini, NSO) had initially been scheduled to be effective on 1 October 2019.
The NSO is the Italian government owned platform through which purchase orders from the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) must be exchanged. The mandate affects all suppliers trading with entities associated with the SSN, including foreign companies and suppliers of goods and services that are not part of the health sector. The suppliers impacted by this mandate will be required to receive and send e-orders to and from public entities associated with the SSN.
The delay was inevitable
It’s no surprise that the go-live date has been moved. In the months leading up to the original 1 October 2019 deadline, there have been a number of last-minute technical issues suggesting that a delay would be likely. Whilst the Italian Ministry of Finances website stated that the mandate would be delayed, clarity and official details for the new dates didn’t come through until the last days of 2019 – several months after it was originally intended to be in force.
The former 1 October 2019 deadline has been replaced by new dates based on the type of supply performed to entities associated with the SSN. According to the new decree, purchase orders for the supply of goods to entities associated with the SSN must be exchanged through the NSO platform from 1 February 2020 and for services, the purchase orders must be exchanged through the platform from 1 January 2021.
Notwithstanding this obligation, the Decree also established a grace period during which invoices may still be paid by the Public Administration even if no prior purchase order has been transmitted through the NSO platform. For the supply of goods, this grace period runs until 1 January 2021; whereas for the supply of services, the grace period runs for one further year until 1 January 2022.
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