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From January 1, 2023, the exchange of e-Invoices will be mandatory in transactions within the private sector (B2B), which will include all taxpayers of the Law on Electronic Invoicing in the new system. All VAT payers in the economy will have the obligation to receive and deliver invoices through the Electronic Invoice System (SEF), and it can also be used by other companies and entrepreneurs.

The entry of the remaining business entities into the SEF will successfully complete the process of introducing e-Invoices in Serbia, which was led by the Ministry of Finance. The first to enter the system were users of public funds who started issuing and receiving electronic invoices (G2G) on May 1 of this year. Businessmen who do business with the public sector were also obliged to issue invoices through SEF from May 1, and to receive them from July 1 (B2G).

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, said that the introduction of electronic invoices in business operations is one of the most important reform measures in the last 20 years and called on all businessmen in Serbia who are in the VAT system and have not yet started using e-Invoices to do so as soon as possible.

– When it comes to the introduction of electronic invoices we are ahead of France, which plans to introduce them in 2027. We are also ahead of Spain, which will introduce electronic invoices in 2026, and we are ahead of Slovenia, which has adopted the law, but has not yet ratified it in parliament. At the moment, we have over 20,000 users of public funds, the entire country, which is already registered in the Electronic Invoice System and most of the companies – Mali pointed out.

Data show that in the first six months, 4.67 million invoices were exchanged through SEF, out of which a little more than three million were sent to the public sector. So far, more than 184,000 users have registered in the system, 10,675 of which are users of public funds, as well as 173,338 business entities. With the registry of the remaining companies from the private sector which are subject to the law, the number of users will be even greater, and all of them will be able to reduce costs, operate more efficiently and ensure faster collection or refund of VAT thanks to the use of electronic invoices.

At the conference “E-invoices and electronic payments for a more competitive economy”, which was supported by the National Initiative for Cashless Payments, the obligations of the private sector when using SEF were presented, as well as the novelties planned by the Draft Amendments to the Law on Electronic Invoicing. The adoption of the law is expected by the end of this year and the start of implementation as of January 1.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia, Anke Konrad, pointed out that the introduction of the system of e-Fiscalization and e-Invoices represents ambitious, systemic reforms. Properly implemented, these reforms will reduce costs for Serbian companies, as well as contribute to improving the efficiency of public administration.

– The introduction of the system of e-Invoice and e-Fiscalization has been part of the key measures of the National Program for Combating the Shadow Economy since its first version in 2015, and I am glad to see that they are being successfully implemented. For this reason, I want to encourage the new Government of Serbia to adopt the new program as soon as possible, and the competent institutions to continue their work on suppressing economic activities in the gray area that cause damage to the economy of Serbia. An important cornerstone of the program is the National Initiative for Cashless Payment, which was launched in close cooperation with the Ministry of Finance a little more than a year ago – Konrad said.

The President of NALED’s Board of Directors, Vladislav Cvetković, assessed that the systems of e-Invoices, e-Fiscalization and electronic payments represent the three pillars of a transparent economy and fair competition.

– We expect that soon, in order to develop cashless payments in Serbia, we will launch a POS program as part of the National Initiative for cashless payments. The program is intended for entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which have not yet accepted cashless payments, so that they can provide their customers with a practical, efficient and reliable way of shopping and thus further develop their business. Our intention is to equip 25,000 points of sale with POS terminals, i.e. software for online sales, within three years. Business entities which apply for participation in the POS program on the website after the official launch of the program will receive free installation and use of the POS for one year, with a reduced merchant fee, and the program is also open to institutions that want to offer cashless payment at counters – said Cvetković.

The National Initiative for Cashless Payments is a joint project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the companies Mastercard and Visa, which is implemented under the auspices of the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.

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