E-invoicing Trends Across the Middle East and North Africa

Dilara İnal
June 24, 2020

Update: 20 November 2023 by Dilara İnal

E-invoicing systems in the Middle East and North Africa are undergoing significant transformations, aiming to modernise the financial landscape and improve fiscal transparency. Recent updates have seen numerous countries implementing electronic invoicing solutions designed to streamline tax collection and reduce VAT fraud.

E-invoicing Trends in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in e-invoicing, leading the way in the Middle East. The country has advanced to the second phase of its e-invoicing mandate where B2B invoices require clearance from the tax authority. As of November 2023, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has announced eight waves of its Phase 2 integration – targeting taxpayers with varying annual turnover thresholds.

While Israel is not adopting a mandatory e-invoicing regime, the country is moving towards requiring taxpayers to submit their invoice data electronically. This move aims to tackle the issue of fictitious invoices. The Israeli invoicing model, a continuous transaction control (CTC) clearance system, is slated for a phased implementation starting in 2024.

The United Arab Emirates has also joined the movement, announcing its ‘e-billing system’ to implement mandatory e-invoicing for B2B transactions in phases.

In other jurisdictions in the region, Oman is poised to implement mandatory e-invoicing in 2024 and Bahrain has invited technology vendors to construct its central platform for an upcoming e-invoicing system. Lastly, Jordan is reported to be exploring the adoption of a mandatory e-invoicing regime.

E-invoicing Trends in North Africa

Egypt introduced a mandatory e-invoicing system for B2B transactions in 2020 with a phased roll-out schedule but, as of April 2023, all companies in Egypt are covered by this mandate. In addition to e-invoicing, there is an e-receipt system in Egypt for B2C transactions.

Tunisia’s mandatory e-invoicing system, which rolled out in 2016, covers B2G and some B2B transactions. Also, Morocco is expected to join the ranks of countries where mandatory e-invoicing applies.

With the VAT landscape in the Middle East and North Africa rapidly evolving, tax digitization regulations necessitate close and continuous monitoring.

Read our E-invoicing Guide for more in-depth information about electronic invoicing’s development and adoption, globally.


Update: 24 June 2020 by Selin Adler Ring

The concept of e-invoicing as a vehicle for increased tax control and cost reduction, continues to spread into new areas of the world. The number of countries adopting e-invoicing regimes are rising in the Middle East and North Africa as both governments and businesses by now are well-aware of the benefits. While some countries in these regions have already embraced e-invoicing, others are on their way to adopt Continuous Transaction Controls (CTC) systems. Even though the countries in these regions follow different approaches, the initial goal is the same: digital transformation of tax controls.

E-invoicing Trends in the Middle East

In the Middle East there are many moving pieces. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar have already permitted e-invoicing. Following the introduction of VAT in January 2018, Saudi Arabia also started promoting a national electronic invoicing platform called ESAL. Oman and Qatar have yet to implement VAT but once they have, e-invoicing will be even more significant for these countries and they’ll take inspiration from other countries in the region that are moving towards CTC regimes.

In Jordan, the tax authority is conducting research to analyze CTC regimes in different countries, which is a strong signal that they too may very soon announce their intention to introduce a new CTC e-invoicing system.

Israel has recently revealed its new CTC regime plans and advised accounting software vendors to prepare for the upcoming CTC regime. After Israel’s adoption of a CTC regime, developments in the region will accelerate in a domino effect.

E-invoicing Trends in North Africa

Tunisia is a pioneer for e-invoicing. Since 2016, electronic issuing of invoices has been regulated in the Finance Law and e-invoicing is mandatory for larger taxpayers. The Tunisian e-invoicing regime requires e-invoices to be registered by a government appointed authority and therefore falls within the CTC framework.

Another country quickly moving towards a CTC framework is Egypt. The Egyptian Government has for some time been assessing best practices for CTC regimes. Finally, in April 2020, a decree mandating e-invoicing for all registered businesses was published in the country. However, the details of the e-invoicing system are yet to be disclosed. The technical controls and conditions to be adhered to and the stages of implementing the e-invoice system will be defined by the Egyptian Tax Authority.

Morocco has also been watching different e-invoicing systems. After Egypt’s e-invoicing initiatives, the Moroccan Government is a likely candidate to make a similar move towards mandating e-invoicing for taxpayers registered in the country.

It’s clear that e-invoicing, in all its shapes and versions, is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular across the Middle East and North Africa where the introduction of CTC regimes is expected in the coming years. Although there are likely to be similarities in the measures taken, each country has its own unique characteristics when it comes to taxation, tax control challenges and legal culture, and as a result diversity in each regime should be expected.

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Dilara İnal

Dilara works as a Regulatory Consultant at Sovos. Before joining Sovos, Dilara worked as a lawyer in tax law and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in financial law at Istanbul University.
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