e-Invoicing in Czechia
The Law on Public Procurement, which entered into force on 01.10.2016, transposes EU legislation on public procurement into Czech national legislation, including Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement (e-Invoicing). Article 221 of the said Law stipulates that public contracting authorities shall not reject any e-Invoice issued by an economic operator if it is issued in a format compatible with the European standard on e-Invoicing.
eInvoicing platform and management solutions
The Národní electronicický nástroj (NEN) platform, which launched in 2015, enables central, regional and local public procurement authorities to handle the entire e-Procurement lifecycle. Developed by the Ministry of Regional Development, the platform replaces the Public Procurement and Concession Portal (Portál VZ) envisaged in the 2016–2020 Public Procurement Strategy. The use of NEN, which deployed by the end of 2017, is mandatory for all contracting authorities unless they are authorized to use their procurement vehicles.
Invoicing and processing approach
Public contracting authorities’ use of automated and semi-automated processes for e-invoicing varies. NEN allows connections of internal systems of contracting authorities for the receipt and processing of e-Invoices. The e-Invoicing process is generally considered automatic. One of the formats for e-Invoice in Czechia is the national level ISDOC, which started to develop on 19.03.2009. In addition to this format, EDIFACT and UBL are other formats used.
All economic operators in Czechia must issue eInvoice for B2G transactions with public administrations. To receive e-Invoices, all public contracting authorities are authorized in the B2G context, while the buyer’s consent requires in the B2B context. However, an e-Signature is not required for invoice approval. Finally, the archiving period for eInvoice is ten years, and archiving abroad is permitted under certain conditions.
e-Invoice application at sub-central level contracting authorities
There is no information about the approach used at the sub-central level. Only XML, UBL 2.1 syntax and Czech standard ISDOC are accepted for all exchanges with non-domestic suppliers. In addition to the European standard, the Information System Document (ISDOC) is also used nationally. Communication to SMEs regarding e-Invoice is made through workshops and regular meetings with entrepreneurs at the Chamber of Commerce. There is an archiving process to deal with e-Invoices. However, there is a mechanism that monitors the e-Invoice application only at the central level in Czechia.