Today, the Commission is launching an open public consultation to collect information on late or unfair payment practices and payment behaviour in commercial transactions. The consultation seeks to understand how such late or unfair payments impact businesses’ daily management and their capacity for investment in their green and digital transitions.
The consultation runs in parallel with a Call for Evidence where interested parties can express their views on the understanding of the problem, the need for EU intervention and the preliminary range of possible options and their expected impacts.
The planned revision will take a more holistic approach, centred on three pillars: embedding prompt payment behaviour into law; fostering the use of modern digital payment tools to facilitate prompt payments; and strengthening prevention and enforcement of these rules across all industrial ecosystems.
The input from the consultation will inform the upcoming revision of the Late Payment Directive, which will form part of the ‘SME Relief Package’ announced by President von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union address.
The current Late Payment Directive, adopted in 2011, has triggered a reduction in payment delays, but still more than 60% of businesses in the EU are not paid on time, with SMEs being the most affected. The Commission invites all interested parties to participate in the public consultation until 17 March 2023. The Commission plans to publish the revision the revision of the Directive by summer 2023.