Council Directive 2001/115/EC, amending Directive 77/388/EEC with a view to simplifying, modernising and harmonising the conditions laid down for invoicing in respect of value added tax

EU指令(Council Directive)


  • (1) The current conditions laid down for invoicing and listed under Article 22(3), in the version given in Article 28h of the Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment(4), are relatively few in number, thus leaving it to the Member States to define the most important such conditions. At the same time, the conditions are no longer appropriate given the development of new invoicing technologies and methods.
  • (2) The Commission report on the second phase of the SLIM exercise (Simpler Legislation for the Single Market) recommended that a study be carried out to determine what details should be required for VAT purposes when drawing up an invoice and what the legal and technical requirements are as regards electronic invoicing.
  • (3) The conclusions of the Ecofin Council of June 1998 underlined the fact that the development of electronic commerce has made it necessary to establish a legal framework for the use of electronic invoicing to enable tax administrations to continue to perform their controls.
  • (4) It is therefore necessary, in order to ensure that the internal market functions properly, to draw up a list, harmonised at Community level, of the particulars that must appear on invoices for the purposes of value added tax and to establish a number of common arrangements governing the use of electronic invoicing and the electronic storage of invoices, as well as for self-billing and the outsourcing of invoicing operations.
  • (5) Lastly, the storage of invoices should comply with the conditions laid down by Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data(5).
  • (6) Since the introduction of the transitional VAT arrangements in 1993, Greece has adopted the prefix EL rather than the prefix GR laid down in the ISO International Standard No 3166 - alpha 2 referred to in Article 22(1)(d). Given the consequences of amending the prefix in all the Member States, it is important to lay down an exception for Greece providing that the ISO Standard does not apply in Greece.
  • (7) Directive 77/388/EEC should therefore be amended accordingly,