e-Invoicing in Norway
Since 2011, all central public institutions in Norway must receive and process eInvoice. The Norwegian government added to this in 2012 that suppliers of central government organizations also send eInvoices under the European eInvoice standard.
According to regulation 444 issued by the Norwegian government, from April 2, 2019, all public procurement authorities are required to receive and process eInvoices. Suppliers of public institutions are also required to send eInvoices. Besides, eInvoices are in line with Directive 2014/55/EU on public procurement using EHF/Peppol BIS Billing and the Peppol eDelivery network. Additionally, the central government contracting authorities issuing invoices are mandated to offer to send EHF/Peppol BIS Billing 3.0 invoices to business recipients.
eInvoicing Platform and eInvoicing Management Solutions
Norway is dependent on both the Peppol BIS 3.0 standard and the Peppol eDelivery Network — particularly for cross-border transactions. Both economic operators and contracting authorities in Norway rely on Peppol Access Point (AP) service providers to achieve compliance with national regulations. These service providers offer solutions for creating, submitting, transmitting, receiving, and processing eInvoices. A list of eInvoicing service providers is publicly available. All transactions can be handled through a single provider. For this reason, there is no need to establish new partner bilateral connections. In the Norwegian public sector, the main eInvoicing management solutions are Unit4 /Agresso, VISMA, Basware (Contempus) and SAP. There are more than 60 different Peppol BIS compliant solutions used in the private sector.
Approach for receiving and processing eInvoices
Economic operators can submit eInvoices either by using their internal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or accounting systems or by using approved eInvoicing solution providers. The Norwegian eProcurement infrastructure is built around the Peppol Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) and the Peppol eDelivery Network. In addition to the Peppol BIS document format, EHF (Elektronisk Handelsformat) format is also recognised by public bodies. Both are based on UBL (Universal Business Language). The Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) receives invoices on behalf of nearly 200 of the country’s central government entities.
The Norwegian Digitalisation Agency authorises Norwegian-registered Access Points (AP). The Agency operates the ELMA registry (a Peppol Service Metadata Publisher), with nearly 200,000 receivers by January 2021, containing the identities and receiving capabilities of all Norwegian public entities and economic operators that communicate using the Peppol eDelivery Network.
Today, most public entities have an economic system that can handle Peppol invoices. The electronic follow-up systems (invoice flow systems) are used for the approval of the invoice before it is paid. While most of the payments are done electronically for all sub-central levels, the use of eOrder is still at its beginning. The use of Peppol has made the public administration more interested in the use of electronic solutions. The possibility to automate more processes by using eOrder, eCatalogue and eInvoice together is a goal for the public administration.
eInvoicing implementation in sub-central level contracting authorities
As of 2 April 2019, it is compulsory for all contracting authorities, central and non-central public bodies, to be able to receive and process eInvoices. Likewise, public entities’ suppliers of such public entities are required to send eInvoices.
The eInvoicing strategy in Norway is Peppol-based. It is used by 99% of the contracting authorities in 2020. The non-domestic eInvoices are received through Peppol formats and networks. The target benefits of implementing eInvoicing at the sub-central level are the cost and operational savings, the reduction of administrative burden and the contribution to process automation.
Norway has fully implemented the European standard on eInvoicing. Whilst EHF is used exclusively between Norwegian organisations, the Peppol BIS format is used for both cross-border and national transactions, with CEF Digital estimating that the Peppol format is currently used by approximately 99% of contracting authorities.
In the early 2010s, public institutions met with eInvoice, and the Norwegian process spread over the years. In 2019, receiving and processing eInvoices became mandatory throughout the country. Offering different eInvoice solutions for entrepreneurs, Norway is one of the leading countries in Europe in terms of eInvoice diversity.