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Late payment rules25th of November 2010
The standard deadline in the European Union for both public and private sectors to pay a bill for goods or services will now be 30 days. The European Parliament has adopted the revised version of the so-called Late Payments Directive.
The main objective of this revision is to ensure small and medium sized firms no longer face financial problems due to the late payment of bills by public authorities or firms.
The pan-European organisation representing the contract cleaning sector, the European Federation of Cleaning Industries, has played an active role in defending the interests of service companies and supporting the directive's amendments. In May of this year it agreed a joint position with the European employers’ associations from the private security, the catering and the waste management sectors.
EFCI's Andreas Lill explained to ECJ: "As a general rule, the deadline for both public and private sectors to pay an invoice for goods or services will now be 30 days. An exceptional 60-day deadline for public authorities is possible but cannot be extended further.
"Parliament’s negotiators secured important concessions on limiting payment periods by public authorities, the verification period and the interest rate if payments are made late.
"This increases the certainty of payments and is expected to have a highly positive impact on the entire EU economy. Indeed, many sound companies are often financially strangled by delayed payments from their debtors, which in some countries take years to pay for services received."