The Rulebook on the Manner and Procedure of Registration, Recording and Delivery of Electronic Invoices as Well as on the Manner and Procedure of Acceptance and Rejection of Electronic Invoices

Tax Alert, July 2020

The Rulebook on the manner and procedure of registration, recording and delivery of electronic invoices as well as on the manner and procedure of acceptance and rejection of electronic invoices (hereinafter: The Rulebook) was published and it entered into force on 27 June 2020.

This Rulebook envisages the manner and procedure of the aforementioned actions in relation to the electronic invoices, issued by the creditors in commercial transactions, whilst public sector entities are debtors.
We would like to remind you that at the end of 2019, within the amendments to the Law on Terms for Settlement of Monetary Obligations in Commercial Transactions (hereinafter: the Law), the provisions introduced stipulate the registration and delivery of electronic invoices and other withdrawal requests in electronic form, as well as recording of these invoices and other withdrawal requests in electronic form within the Central Invoice Register (hereinafter: the Central Register).

Within these amendments, electronic invoice, in terms of the Law, is defined as an invoice, interim or final payment certificate, or any other corresponding withdrawal request, made as an electronic record, that should contain signature or any other identification mark of the responsible person or person responsible for the invoice issuance or electronic signature in line with the law.

Apparently, obligations in relation to electronic invoices stipulated by the Law and the Rulebook still exclusively pertain to the invoices issued by the by creditors in commercial transactions between the public sector and business entities, or among public sector entities, whilst public sector entities are debtors.

The main Rulebook provisions

In order to define electronic invoices in detail, the Rulebook refers to UBL 2.1 format of the electronic invoice, prescribed by the Directive of the European Union no. 2014/55/ (hereinafter: the Directive), within its part that refers to electronic invoice format, i.e. the data it should contain, as well as the structure of these data.

Accordingly, the Institute for Standardization of Serbia, which provides the public with access to Serbian standards, as well as standards and publications of relevant European and international organizations and other countries and performs their sale, has prescribed by its standard no. SRPS CEN / TS 16931-3-3: 2017 the use of UBL 2.1 format for the exchange of electronic invoices on the Serbian territory.

In short, UBL format of electronic invoice is created using the, so-called, Universal Business Language, that could be considered as a mutual data format language in the field of standard XML business documents’ conversion, that allows disparate business systems to exchange information using this common format.

In line with the Rulebook, registration of electronically issued invoices is performed in the separate database, i.e. electronic invoices system (hereinafter: the System) which is governed by the Ministry of Finance, and their recording is performed in the Central register.

As regards the System, wherein electronic invoices are also being delivered to the debtors, it contains all relevant data on electronic invoices, and it could be accessed through the appropriate web application of the Ministry of Finance (hereinafter: web application).

If a creditor, or debtor, is not registered in the Central Register, the System shall be accessed electronically, by entering the identification data into the System, in line with the internal technical manual of the Ministry of Finance for the work in that System (hereinafter: internal manual).

On the other hand, creditors and debtors that are already registered in the Central Register are accessing the System by entering their username and password for the access to the Central Register. Electronic invoices creditors are being registered in the System by accessing the web application in line with the internal manual.

The date of application 

The Rulebook will be applicable after the establishment of technical and technological conditions for the aforementioned actions in relation to the electronic invoices, and mandatory as of July, 1th, 2021.

Until the establishment of these conditions and no later than June 30th, 2021, the registration of invoices shall be done in the Central Register, in line with The Rulebook on the manner and procedure for registration of invoices or other withdrawal requests as well as contents and manner for keeping of the Central Invoice Register.

For whom this Rulebook is particularly significant

The Rulebook is particularly significant for the business entities that conduct their business activities with public sector entities, considering that they will be allowed to issue their invoices only in line with the Rulebook.

Additionally, this Rulebook is particularly significant since it introduces electronic invoice standard into the Serbian practice for the first time. Considering the general obligation of electronic invoice issuance that is prescribed by the Accounting Law in Article 9 par 3 (and which would be applicable as of January 1th, 2022), we are of the opinion that it is very certain that these or similar standards would be applicable on the transactions between private sector entities, i.e. on issuance of the electronic invoices in regulating private sector relations as well.

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