整個歐洲經濟都受到逾期付款的負面影響。為保護歐洲企業，尤其是中小型企業免遭逾期付款，歐盟於 2011 年 2 月通過了關於打擊商業交易中逾期付款的指令 Directive 2011/7/EU 。
歐洲每年都有數以千計的中小型企業 (SME) 在等待支付應收帳款時破產。失去工作，扼殺創業精神。延遲付款導致行政和財務負擔，當企業和客戶位於不同的歐盟國家時，這種負擔尤其嚴重。跨境貿易不可避免地受到影響。
為保護歐洲企業，尤其是中小型企業，避免延遲付款並提高其競爭力，指令 2011/7/EU關於打擊商業交易中的逾期付款於 2011/2/16通過，歐盟國家最遲將於 2013/3/16將其納入國家法律。該規定制定了嚴格的措施，如果歐盟國家正確實施這些措施，將對就業、增長和改善企業流動性做出重大貢獻。
Late Payment Directive
The entire European economy is negatively affected by late payment. To protect European businesses, particularly SMEs, against late payment, the EU adopted Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions in February 2011.
Each year across Europe thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) go bankrupt waiting for their invoices to be paid. Jobs are lost and entrepreneurship is stifled. Late payment causes administrative and financial burdens, which are particularly acute when businesses and customers are in different EU countries. Cross-border trade is inevitably impacted.
For Europe’s valued SMEs, any disruption to cash flow can mean the difference between solvency and bankruptcy. The economic crisis presented numerous difficulties, but for SMEs the challenges presented by late payment have grown disproportionately as credit lines and bank loans become less available.
To protect European businesses, in particular SMEs, against late payment and to improve their competitiveness, Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions was adopted on 16 February 2011 and was due to be integrated into national law by EU countries by 16 March 2013 at the latest. This directive puts in place strict measures which, when properly implemented by EU countries, will contribute significantly to employment, growth and an improvement in the liquidity of businesses.
Main provisions of the directive
- public authorities have to pay for the goods and services that they procure within 30 days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days
- enterprises have to pay their invoices within 60 days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and provided it is not grossly unfair
- automatic entitlement to interest for late payment and €40 minimum as compensation for recovery costs
- statutory interest of at least 8% above the European Central Bank’s reference rate
- EU countries may continue maintaining or bringing into force laws and regulations which are more favourable to the creditor than the provisions of the directive