In May 2021, the Law on Electronic Invoicing (“Law”) was enacted in Serbia. The Law introduces a new concept of electronic invoicing and regulates this matter in a significantly different manner than the previous legislative framework. Even though the Law was recently enacted, the Law was amended in December 2021 in order to prolong the deadlines for the implementation of the electronic invoicing system. This article sets forth the most important novelties which are important for Serbian entities.
The Law defines an electronic invoice (“e-invoice”) as:
In accordance with the Law, an e-invoice shall be issued in XML format and further processed through the electronic invoicing system (ie sent to and received by the recipient, edited and stored).
The Law introduces for the first time (i) an electronic invoicing system (in Serbian: sistem elektronskih faktura) which is an IT interface managed by the central information intermediary (in Serbian: centralni informacioni posrednik) of the Serbian Ministry of Finance and (ii) informative intermediaries (in Serbian: informacioni posrednici), licensed providers for electronic invoicing services which can be engaged by entities in order to issue and further process the e-invoices on their behalf.
With respect to electronic invoices which are issued by foreign entities in accordance with the European electronic invoicing standard, the Law stipulates that (i) private sector entities shall receive such invoices through their respective informative intermediaries (which makes the appointment of the informative intermediary necessary for private sector entities doing cross-border business) and (ii) public sector entities can receive such invoices either through their respective informative intermediary or directly through the electronic invoicing system.
The following Serbian entities are obliged to issue e-invoices:
There is no obligation to issue an e-invoice in case of:
Deadlines for the implementation of e-invoicing depend on the type of entity which is obliged to issue e-invoices (public sector entities vs private sector entities) and can be divided into three phases.
In addition, the Law also stipulates an obligation to record the calculation of the VAT through the electronic invoicing system as follows:
In accordance with the Law, the Serbian Ministry of Finance shall issue a list of users of the electronic invoicing system (ie public sector entities, private sector entities and voluntary users of the electronic invoicing system). It is expected that such list will be published shortly before or after 1 May 2022.
The Law stipulates the possibility to receive electronic invoices issued to Serbian entities in accordance with the European electronic invoicing standard by foreign entities. However, the current legislation does not stipulate an obligation for Serbian entities (both public and private sector entities) to issue e-invoices to foreign entities.
Non-compliance with the obligations under the Law represents a misdemeanor, for which the non-compliant Serbian entity may be fined up to RSD 2,000,000 (approximately EUR 17,000), while the responsible person in the respective entity may be fined up to RSD 150,000 (approximately 1,200).