PEPPOL and what it means for the Irish Public Sector
What is PEPPOL?
PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement On-line. It enables public sector organisations to exchange documents (e.g. orders, invoices) electronically with their suppliers, in a single document format.
It came about as a means of creating a cross-border messaging standard across Europe, and to increase efficiencies in public sector trading by driving down the cost of processing paper-based documents.
OpenPEPPOL, a not-for-profit body, are responsible for the development of the PEPPOL standards and its ongoing implementation.
PEPPOL ‘authorities’ are government entities that promote PEPPOL at national level.
List of PEPPOL Authorities
PEPPOL is traditionally a European-wide initiative, however it has begun to spread outside Europe, and in 2018 Singapore became the first non-European PEPPOL member.
Of the countries that have adopted PEPPOL, some are much more advanced than others. For example, Norway has been heavily induced in PEPPOL since 2011, when it became mandatory for all central government entities to receive invoices electronically in a standard format. There are currently 12 PEPPOL authorities - in 2017 there was 6. Ireland was one of the countries that become a PEPPOL member in 2018.
Ireland and PEPPOL
The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) operates the PEPPOL authority function on behalf of the Irish government.
As a result of Ireland becoming a PEPPOL member:
- Irish suppliers now have greater access to European public sector buyers that use the PEPPOL network.
- The OGP (on behalf of the Irish government) can actively shape the future operation of PEPPOL.
- It demonstrates a willingness to embrace digital technology and ensure cost savings for the Irish public sector.
- It is an important step in Ireland supporting compliance with the European e-invoicing directive (2014/55/EU).
EU Directive on e-Invoicing (2014/55/EU)
The European e-invoicing directive requires all public sector bodies to be able to receive electronic invoices by April 2019. Suppliers are not yet mandated to send invoices electronically to the public sector, however this is set to be implemented in the near future. In any case, adopting e-invoicing now leads to cost savings and increased business efficiencies for suppliers.
The directive was introduced as a response to many different e-invoice formats being used across the various EU countries. These varied formats cause unnecessary complexity and high costs. Standardising invoicing contributes to the removal of technical barriers to trade, increases market access and international trade, enhances cooperation at international level, and helps EU organisations to access global markets.
Celtrino is a founder member of OpenPEPPOL. Having served the electronic business needs of the healthcare, retail and food services sectors for 30 years, Celtrino has unrivalled experience of providing customers with supply chain excellence.
In 2017 Celtrino were awarded a place on the NHS PEPPOL framework. While initially aimed at NHS trusts in England, it is also available for other bodies in the wider UK public sector.
Celtrino have been selected by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to upgrade its digital services infrastructure to support the exchange and processing of the EU directive 2014/55/EU.
To find out more about the directive, and to take the next step to ensuring compliance before April, you can contact us at [email protected].