Belgium joins a growing list of countries expanding the mandatory use of electronic invoices for all B2B transactions. Like many other EU member states, Belgium mandated the use of eInvoices for business to government transactions in 2014 in line with EU Directive 2014/55/EU.
Businesses are obliged to send structured electronic invoices to all public sector customers using the PEPPOL standard. Since 2019, all public sector bodies have been required to receive and process invoices electronically, marking the buy-side transition to full B2G eInvoicing.
Since January 2020 supply-side eInvoicing has been mandatory too.
eInvoice Platforms in Belgium
All of this takes place on the Mercurius platform in one of two ways: via EDI using the Peppol BIS3.0 format, or for those lacking access to the Peppol network via a certified Peppol access point, there is an option to input invoice data manually on the Mercurius platform.
Mercurius is complimented with Hermes, a related platform that can transform structured EDI files into a human-readable format (XML in PDF).
The Belgian Minister of Finance announced earlier this November that all invoices between businesses in Belgium will need to be sent using the same system from 2022. Given that all businesses and now all tax-paying individuals must now be registered on the Mercurious platform, there is speculation that B2C e-invoicing will come into future legislation.
Exact dates and terms of reference for B2B e-invoicing in Belgium have not yet been supplied, but businesses operating in or selling to businesses in Belgium are advised to ensure that an EDI capability and a connection to the Peppol network are put in place in the coming months to ensure continuity as the regulations change.