Where the EU stands on reducing administrative burdens Published on: 29/02/2012, Last update: 01/03/2012
President Barroso welcomed the best practice report on administrative burden reduction and called on Member States to learn from each other. <br/>Recent measures reducing accounting red tape for more than 5 million small companies gave a further boost towards achieving the target of reducing administrative burdens by 25 % by 2012.<br/><br/>
The Commission has already proposed measures that reduce administrative burdens by up to 33 % or more than EUR 40 bn. Out of this, Council and Parliament have so far adopted measures amounting to a reduction of 22 %.
Examples of measures already adopted by the Council and the Parliament, based on a Commission proposal
With billions of VAT invoices annually in Europe, the switch to a fully electronic VAT invoicing system will save much time and money for more than 22 million taxable enterprises. This measure will remove obstacles to company’s electronic billing, in particular additional requirements in the Member States to make invoices VAT compliant. The maximum mid-term reduction potential is estimated at EUR 18.4 billion if all businesses send all their invoices electronically. For the more general savings potential of e-invoicing see: IP/10/1645.
The European Parliament and the Council recently agreed on a compromise concerning the Commission's proposal (February 2009) allowing Member States to exempt micro-entities (max. 10 employees) from EU accounting obligations which are more fitted to the situation of bigger companies. The agreed measures will allow more than 5 million small businesses in Europe to benefit from a simple system of financial reporting. Although the compromise falls short of achieving the estimated annual savings of about EUR 6.3 billion of the Commission's original proposal, substantial savings worth several billion euro remain.
Fruit and vegetable producers spend about two hours in labelling and grading a ton of produce. Regulation 1221/2008 replaces 26 marketing standards with a General Marketing Standard. Labels will indicate origin but no longer class, size or variety. This measure can save up to EUR 970 million.