Commission announces new invoice rules
By The Holland Times Tue. 12 March 2013
Every day across Europe, dozens of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) go bankrupt as their invoices are not paid. As a result jobs are lost and business opportunities remain unexploited, stalling our return to economic growth. The European Commission has today announced a new directive to ensure invoices across the EU get paid on time.
To end late payments the European Union therefore adopted Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions. By 16 March 2013, Member States, including the Netherlands, will need to have integrated the revised Late Payments Directive into their national law.
It obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days. Businesses should pay their invoices within 60 calendar days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and if it is not grossly unfair to the creditor.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "SMEs find it particularly difficult to stand up for their right to prompt payment. Late payments mean SMEs lose time and money, and disputes can sour relations with customers. This damaging late payment culture has to end. It is now time for Member States to implement the Late Payments Directive into their national law - giving SMEs the vital support they need in these difficult times and helping them fulfil their key role in European job creation.”
(Photo: Bruce Chung)