[BNPL for Business] Late Payments Directive

The Eurochamber is laying out new rules to regulate transactions by companies and public authorities and address the issue of late payments. With 459 votes in favor, 96 against, and 54 abstentions, MEPs in the last plenary session of the legislature adopted their position, which includes a stricter payment deadline of 30 days but allows for several exceptions for different sectors.Confartigianato sees the glass as half-full: “The text is the result of a very delicate compromise, which has partly loosened the initial proposal of the European Commission,” said President Marco Granelli, “however, we believe that an important political message has been given today: we need serious and effective measures to bring micro and SMEs back to invest and generate wealth, in economic and social terms.”

As a note from the EU Parliament explains, the draft text provides a maximum payment deadline of 30 days in business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-business (G2B) transactions when the debtor is a public authority. However, in response to demands from the retail sector, MEPs allowed for a 60-day deadline in business-to-business transactions if this is “expressly agreed in the contract.”Moreover, recognizing that “the specific business models and practices of the retail sector often require longer payment periods due to factors such as low product turnover, seasonality, or unique cycles for items” (such as toys, jewelry, or sports equipment), the parliament proposed allowing payment terms of up to 120 days in these particular cases.

The new rules would also impose automatic payment of accrued interest and compensation fees for late payments. Members agreed that the debtor would have to pay between 50 and 150 euros per transaction (depending on value) to offset the creditor’s recovery costs.The text’s rapporteur for the parliament, Polish liberal Róża Thun Und Hohenstein, explained that “unreliable cash flows can put SMEs and microenterprises at risk, limiting EU growth, innovation, and competitiveness. With this regulation, we protect smaller companies, which are the backbone of our economy, and more importantly, we introduce predictability and fairness for all European companies.

This is an important push toward promoting a better payment culture, which benefits the entire European economy.”Books as “slow-circulation goods” excluded from new payment terms
Excluded from the new deadlines are payments contributing to the distribution and production of books or their “printing, binding, or publication,” where agreements between the parties involved define payment deadlines. The Federation of European Publishers is satisfied because the text from the plenary recognizes “the peculiar position of books as slow-circulating goods.”In a note, its president, Ricardo Franco Levi, commented, “The European Parliament has made a very important decision to ensure that Europe maintains a rich and diverse literary landscape where independent booksellers and publishers can thrive.

We call on Member States to uphold this vital result during the trilogue negotiations.”The text adopted today in the plenary session will constitute the Parliament’s position at first reading. The baton will then pass to the new Parliament, which will be formed after the June 6-9 European elections. Once the Council of the EU has also adopted its position, the newly elected representatives will negotiate with member countries in interinstitutional trialogues.

(Fonte: Link)

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