In November 2021, a Draft Royal Decree was published by the Chancery of the Prime Minister of Belgium, aiming to expand the scope of the existing e-invoicing mandate for certain business to government (B2G) transactions by implementing mandatory e-invoicing for all transactions with public administrations in Belgium. This obligation was already in place for suppliers of the centralised public entities of certain regions (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia). However, going forward, it will include all public entities in all Belgian regions.
A phased approach
More specifically, the roll-out for mandatory issuance of e-invoices by the suppliers of public institutions in Belgium will be carried out in the following phased approach:
- September 2022: e-invoices for public contracts more than EUR 214,000 must be issued within six months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Gazette and on the first of each month.
- March 2023: e-invoices for public contracts equal to or greater than EUR 30,000 must be issued within 12 months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Gazette and on the first of each month.
- September 2023: e-invoices for public contracts less than EUR 30,000 must be issued within 18 months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Gazette and on the first of each month.
- Contracts with a value of less than EUR 3,000 are exempt.
As a result of the transposition of the Directive 2014/55/EU, all Belgian government bodies are already obliged to be able to receive and process e-invoices within public procurement. This new national legislation expands the Directive’s scope and mandates the issuance of e-invoices by all suppliers to the federal government.
The journey continues towards a B2B e-invoicing mandate
These B2G developments are not the end of the story. They are just the beginning. The Belgian Minister of Finance, Vincent Van Peteghem, announced in October 2021 that the government intends to extend the existing B2G e-invoicing obligation to also cover B2B transactions. Nevertheless, official sources have not yet communicated formal information specifying details of the mandate and its following implementation. Rumour has it that a legislative proposal for the B2B e-invoicing mandate was going to be published during 2022 with the implementation process happening in 2023.
However, considering the European Parliament Resolution last week which strongly favours harmonised and mandatory e-invoicing in the EU, Belgium will likely hold its horses at least until the Commission produces a proposal for how to manage e-invoicing and reporting in the Union.