Effects COVID-19: Extension of deadlines for implementation of electronic invoicing in public contracts

Decree-Law no. 111-B/2017, of 31 August, which made the 9th amendment to the Public Contracts Code, approved by Decree-Law no. 18/2008, of 29 January (“PCC”), grafted a new article – 299-B, under the heading “Electronic Invoice”, which established the obligation for all co-contractors, with the exception of co-contractors of contracts declared secret or accompanied by special security measures, to issue electronic invoices.

In view of the complexity inherent in the implementation of electronic invoicing, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, Decree-Law No. 123/2018 of December 28 provided for the phased implementation of this mechanism, admitting that co-contractors were only required to issue electronic invoices from April 18, 2020 and, where micro, small and medical companies were concerned, from January 1, 2021.

However, considering the international public health emergency declared by the World Health Organization on January 30, 2020, as well as the classification, on March 11, 2020, of the COVID-19 disease as a pandemic, and taking into account the complexity inherent to the implementation of electronic invoicing in public procurement, particularly aggravated in the current pandemic context, Decree-Law n. 14-A/2020, of April 7 was approved, which, seeking to mitigate the potential impact on co-contractors, in the context of public procurement, extended the deadlines for electronic invoicing set out in Decree-Law no. 111 -B/2017, as amended by Decree-Law no. 123/2018.

The new deadlines for the use of electronic invoicing by public co-contractors are therefore as follows:

1. December 31, 2020: when not classified as micro, small and medium enterprises;

2. June 30, 2021: when classified as small and medium enterprises;

3. December 31, 2021: when classified as micro enterprise and for public entities as co-contractors.

Jane Kirkby, lawyer and partner at BAS

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