EU to investigate construction’s late payment issues

By Neil Gerrard31 January 2023

The European Commission has launched a new consultation aimed at tackling late payment in business.

A collection of Euro coins and banknotes Euro coins and banknotes (Image: Avij via WikiMedia Commons)

The pan-industry consultation opened earlier this month and runs until 17 March 2023. It comes ahead of a review of the EU’s Late Payment Directive.

It aims to collect information on late or unfair payment practices and payment behaviour in commercial transactions.

The consultation will also try to understand how late or unfair payments impact businesses’ daily management and their capacity for investment.

The consultation comes at the same time as a call for evidence, where interested parties can express their views on the problem, the need for intervention by the European Union (EU) and possible options and their expected impacts.

The EU adopted the current Late Payment Directive in 2011. The Directive requires public authorities in member states to pay for goods and services within 30 days, or 60 days in “very exceptional circumstances”.

Meanwhile, businesses have to pay their invoices within 60 days unless they expressly agree otherwise.

Nonetheless, the European Commission said that 60% of businesses in the EU report not being paid on time. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the most affected.

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