Belgian national SMP to be discontinued from 2024: what will it mean for you?

The Belgian national Service Metadata Publisher (SMP), smp.belgium.be, will be discontinued on 1 January 2024. As this register contains data on Belgian Peppol users, it is important for receiving digital invoices through this network. The data held in the national SMP should be transferred to local SMPs by 2024. There is no issue for Billit users, as they will not be affected by this change. Why is that? Read on to find out...


The ‘address book’ for Peppol users

Peppol is the collaborative framework for sending and receiving structured electronic invoices that was set up by the European Commission. The European Commission also maintains the identification details of all Peppol users worldwide in a central ‘address book’, the Service Metadata Locator (SML).

The SML refers to various SMPs – local address books so to speak – for more detailed information about these users. These SMPs contain details about the document types each user can receive and the Peppol Access Point they use…


National SMP less relevant

There are hundreds of SMPs worldwide, and the Belgian national SMP, smp.belgium.be, is just one of them. Like a number of other national governments, the Belgian government wanted to centrally collect the metadata of all companies in the country using Peppol. This meant that it could easily keep statistics on the number of Belgian users.

A drawback of Belgium's national SMP is that it only accepts CBE and VAT numbers as unique ‘identifiers’ for companies. It does not recognise other identifiers such as GLNs, or national identifiers from other countries, e.g. Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) numbers. Yet companies with such identifiers also operate in Belgium.

Over a year ago, the Belgian government decided that it would pull the plug on this project and stop offering the national SMP from 2024. After all, with the many local SMPs that had been launched in the meantime, the national register had lost some of its relevance. Moreover, in the future, the OpenPeppol organisation will keep its own user statistics and make them available.


So, what now? Billit to the rescue!

This government decision requires all user data from the national SMP to be transferred to a local SMP before the end of this year. Peppol users for whom this does not happen will not be able to receive digital invoices from 2024.

But Billit users needn't worry, because we already transferred all our users’ data to our own SMP, smp.billit.be, at the beginning of November. As a user, you won't have noticed any difference: you can still send and receive digital invoices easily and quickly via our platform, and this will remain the case after 1 January 2024.

Additionally, our own Billit SMP offers many advantages. It is stable, works quickly and is easily searchable. What’s more, we’re making it available to other service providers who do not have their own SMP. If you are interested in this or have other questions about the SMP switch, please feel free to contact us. Our experts will be delighted to give you more information.

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