Today, there is no single, straightforward approach to e-Invoicing compliance globally, with the process of e-Invoicing adoption varying greatly between countries. For example, some countries mandate the use of EDI to exchange data, while others require e-signatures. In fact, even the length of time e-Invoices must be archived and stored is often vastly different.
For logistics service providers, this means you run the risk of non-compliance, unless you are familiar with the laws and regulations in every country you operate in. What’s more, you may also incur significant IT costs in setting up, managing, and maintaining individual e-Invoicing compliance requirements per individual country.
As a result of this complexity, logistics service providers planning to implement e-Invoicing processes to comply with local requirements should look beyond basic digitization of their legal and tax requirements.
Instead, they must consider the value of making their entire invoicing process as automated as possible via an integrated e-Invoicing system, built specifically for the unique needs of global logistics companies.
How to ensure your e-Invoicing is compliant
Many countries are increasingly introducing new regulations and laws that define how e-Invoicing should be exchanged between parties. This includes controls on the format of electronic invoices, guidelines regarding direct exchange or exchange via the local tax authority, and varying requirements for archiving, including the storage period, archive location, and archive format.
While no two countries share the exact same legal and tax requirements, there are some fundamental elements logistics service providers should consider when tackling their invoice compliance:
It’s important to make sure that electronic invoices are actually sent by the invoice issuer. You can legally ensure authenticity through the application of electronic signatures or exchange of electronic invoices via EDI.
The content of the message must remain secure and unchanged from origin to destination. IT requirements, such as electronic signatures or EDI, can assist in this process.
Electronic invoices must be generated in a structured format (XML, UBL etc) according to local government mandates, with a requirement that all valid electronic documents remain legible in both its structured and readable format.
Electronic invoices must be archived and made available for audit and tax inspection for a specific length of time per country. Location of storage may also be mandated, potentially restricting the archival of documents outside country of origin.
Operating in multiple countries means complying with many different rules and processes. Having the right tools to navigate these difficulties is paramount.
CargoWise’s integrated invoicing solution can help ensure you meet complex local requirements, giving you the confidence that you are complying with tax rules and regulations, no matter where you’re operating.
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