E-invoicing is the transfer of electronic invoices between suppliers and buyers. It is mandatory for business-to-business and business-to-government transactions in Greece. Through the Peppol network, suppliers can send and receive e-invoices globally using the Peppol BIS Billing 3.0 and European standards.
E-invoicing has simplified the way businesses and governments engage. Greece has made it easier for businesses and competent contractual authorities to create, manage and process e-invoices across the globe.
Businesses that need to work with the government need to hop onto the e-invoicing train. Getting on board means that you comply with EU invoicing standards, comply with local tax authorities, and can connect with contracting authorities globally. It is a one-stop-shop for business-to-government and business-to-business transactions.
In this article, you will learn why e-invoices are better than paper invoices, the e-invoice requirements in Greece, how Peppol e-invoicing works, and how Storecove can help you with your e-invoices.
General information about e-invoicing in Greece
E-invoicing adoption and compliance fall under the Ministry of Digital Governance and the Directive 2014/55/EU.
The directive outlines the structure of e-invoices processing and transmission. This directive is the European standard for e-invoicing among private and public entities. The government adopted this directive (under Law 4601/2019) and made e-invoicing mandatory across local, regional, and national contracting authorities.
In 2020, the National Gazette (Issue B, 457) published the Ministerial Decision (1017/14.02.2020) outlining the recommended format for B2B e-invoices. This format complied with both European e-invoicing and PEPPOL standards.
Another gazetted Ministerial Decision (A.1035/18.02.2020) specified the rules and regulations for suppliers using e-invoices.
The government also established two joint ministerial decisions to ensure that the country’s e-invoicing semantic model aligned with European specifications. This was paramount because it ensured that e-invoices were interoperable with Peppol e-delivery networks.
To streamline implementation, the General Secretariat for Information Systems of Public Administration (GSIS PA) partnered with the General Secretariat of Fiscal Policy and stakeholders like the Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority.
Under this partnership, Greece enabled e-invoicing across 5 platforms:
- “MyData” taxation app under the Independent Authority of Public Revenue.
- An informational website on public procurement.
- The Contracting Authorities Registry with information on more than 2,300 competent contracting authorities that can process invoices
- An e-invoice distribution app for contracting authorities
- Information technology systems for processing, managing, and clearing e-invoices.
What are the e-invoicing requirements in Greece?
- Full compliance with Greek Accounting Standards by all entities
- Ebook data should be transmitted to the Independent Authority of Public Revenues (AADE). This applies to limited liability, general partnership, private capital, SA, and limited/general partnerships branches.
- Exclusive access of e-invoice transmitting networks via Peppol Access Point. Any entity issuing invoices should have a validated Peppol ID and a set connection to send to government agencies in Greece. This includes Peppol AP for public administration authorities.
- Enterprising Resource Planning (ERP) systems or accounting systems that allow you to create and process e-invoices
According to the CEF Digital Platform, the EU Directorate-General for Informatics manages the technical aspects of the e-invoicing DSI (Digital Service Infrastructure).
Then, the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Small & Medium Enterprises is responsible for implementing EU policies concerning e-invoices.
How to start e-invoicing in Greece
If you are a business entity (supplier) with a public procurement contract, here is the step-by-step process flow for using e-invoices.
- Prepare your e-invoice using accounting or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
- Get the e-invoice validated before sending it to the client. Check with your Interoperability Center for validation services.
- The e-invoice service provider then registers this invoice on the MyData app. This is primarily for taxation purposes. The Independent Authority of Public Revenue will refer to this digital financial information.
- Verify that the e-invoice complies with the standard semantic model by the EU and national guidelines by the Joint Ministerial Decision and Peppol Interoperability specifications.
- Submit the e-invoice via the Peppol network to the access point.
- The Interoperability Center then receives the e-invoice and validates that it complies with EU and national e-invoicing standards.
- Once validation is complete, the Interoperability Center will transfer the e-invoice to the contracting authority. If there’s no contracting authority, it may route the e-invoice to the public institution’s IT system.
- The contracting authority (or public body) receives the e-invoice and processes it according to its procurement practices. At this stage, the authority may send you messages to update you on the processing status of your e-invoice. These messages will be delivered via the Interoperability Center.
Differences between e-invoices and paper invoices
E-invoices are slightly different from paper invoices. First, paper invoices are manually handled, delivered, and exchanged in their physical form.
Also, paper invoices contain detailed data such as item descriptions, quantities, unit price, and total amounts.
Lastly, the recipient of a paper invoice must manually read the data and take (manual) action such as initiating the payment process.
Even when the paper invoice is scanned and sent electronically as a digital image or PDF, you still have to view it manually and input the details into your organization’s payment system.
Why do you need to switch to e-invoices?
E-invoices eliminate the physical element of paper invoices. With e-invoices, you can:
- read and exchange the invoice electronically,
- archive in electronic storage or cloud storage devices,
- import their data into payment systems, and
- read and visualize the invoice electronically.
What’s important to note is that having an invoice in any of these forms JPG, TIFF, PDF, MS Word, or OCR does not make it an electronic invoice.
A valid e-invoice has two features:
- It uses the correct structure (Peppol BIS Billing 3.0 for Greece).
- Its transfer begins from the seller’s system.
How Peppol e-invoicing works
Peppol provides safe network platforms for governments and businesses to exchange documents. It is an initiative of the European Commission that was established in 2008.
Peppol is quite easy and safe to transfer e-invoices. Here are the steps:
- Register for a Peppol ID. Since you cannot register directly (on the website), you can get your Peppol ID through an access point, like Storecove. Once you sign up, you can access any Peppol user globally, no matter their access point.
- Create an e-invoice using your accounting software.
- Validate your Peppol ID by providing your company information. The validation process can take at least 1 day.
- Choose how to connect your ERP or accounting software with the access point.
If you’re using Stovecove, you could opt for a secure email via SPF to connect your software. You can also use a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) connection or an Application Programming Interface like the MyDATA REST API.
- Once you’ve chosen your connection, you are set. You can transfer e-invoices across this secure network.
E-invoicing Solution for Greece
E-invoicing makes the work of creating, transmitting, processing, and paying invoices very quick, easy, and safe. It works best when you connect to a global e-invoicing network through platforms such as Peppol.
Whether you have a company, an ERP company, or a government agency, Storecove has a package just for you.
We can help you:
- connect with global e-invoicing networks;
- connect your ERP to these global networks;
- send e-invoices to government institutions;
- support your legal compliance with e-invoice regulations.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you transition into e-invoices seamlessly and painlessly.
More information about e-invoicing in Greece?
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