What is an e-invoice?

  • An electronic invoice, which is created, transmitted and stored in an electronic environment.
  • Saves on time and labour.
  • Nature-friendly.
  • It is not a pdf-invoice.
  • Official standard of Estonian e-invoice EVS 923:2014 (Estonian Centre for Standardisation).
  • You can find more information on the website of the Estonian Banking Association.

What is the goal and why?

The Ministry of Finance is working on preparing a wide-spread adoption of e-invoices. The goal is to have the settlement between the private and the public sector be conducted in e-invoices by the end of 2016. And we do it because:

  • Paper and pdf-invoices are costly, processing them takes a lot of time and demands a great deal of added labour.
  • The transition to machine-readable e-invoices is necessary to decrease the expenditure of the private and the public sector, lessen technical labour and working hours needed for it, increase the quality of data and prevent mistakes.

How to send an e-invoice! Read the manual!

Recipients of e-invoices in the public sector

E-invoices are accepted by 63,4% of the public sector institutions (as of December  2016). The percentage of e-invoice users is highest among state authorities (99%), local governments and administered institutions (83,4%).
26,2% of the rest of the public sector institutions use e-invoices. You can see the list of institutions that use e-invoices(in estonian).

What has been achieved so far?

In order to adopt (machine-readable) e-invoices on a wide scale, the following has been done:

  • A new Estonian e-invoice standard was developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance [January–July 2014];
  • The study Transition from machine-readable invoices to e-invoices between the private and the public sector (readiness and needs) (in estonian) was conducted by Ernst & Young Baltic AS [September 2014];
  • An information day for implementing e-invoices was organised at the Ministry of Finance for the private and the public sector [November 2014];
  • The intention to develop an Accounting Act that would include the intention to support the implementation of machine-readable e-invoices was sent to organisations in order to coordinate opinions [December 2014];
  • The action plan “Making machine-readable e-invoices mandatory in settlement with the sate” (in estonian) was compiled in accordance with clause 4 of the State Reform [November 2014];
  • A task force for the „Making machine-readable e-invoices mandatory in settlement with the state“ project was put together;
  • Work was started on the Draft Act of the Accounting Act in cooperation with interested parties from the private and the public sector [January–March 2015];
  • Free information days were organised for the public sector institutions in all Estonian counties [February–June 2015];
  • The study on evaluating the effects of transitioning to e-invoices (in estonian) was completed by Ernst and Young Baltic AS [May 2015].

Who are our partners?

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonian Information System Authority, Tax and Customs Board, Tallinn City Administration and Government Office.

Transition to e-invoices supports:

  • The State Reform clause of the coalition’s action plan in the Government’s Action Programme 2014–2015 (in estonian)
  • The aim of the Estonian Information Society Development Plan 2014–2020, according to which 100% of invoices exchanged between the private and the public sector should be e-invoices.
  • The European Commission has set an objective of having the majority of invoices sent in Europe be machine-processable e-invoices by 2020.
  • Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council provides that the implementation of e-invoices be made compulsory in state procurements by the end of 2018, at the latest,
    • while encouraging the Member States to make e-invoicing compulsory in their state procurements already by 2016.
    • The European Commission is working to compile a joint e-invoice standard for European countries by the end of 2016, which would support cross-border settlement with e-invoices.


Contact information on the topic of e-invoices:
Marge Lepp - project manager
Tel: +372 611 3318, e-mail: marge dot lepp at fin dot ee