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European Commission Opens Consultation for Late Payment Directive

The European Commission is conducting a public consultation in preparation for the revision of the Late Payment Directive (Directive 2011/7/EU). The directive lays down obligations concerning payment terms in commercial transactions between businesses (B2B) or between public authorities and businesses (G2B).

EU rules on late payments have triggered a reduction in payment delays. However, more than 60% of EU businesses are still not paid on time, and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are most affected.

The initiative is aimed at helping SMEs by revising existing EU payment rules based on available and upcoming evidence to promote a definitive shift towards a culture of "prompt payment".

The public consultation is open until 17 March and is available on the European Commission's website.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment provides current late payments information on its website and any specific questions on this information can be sent to

Businesses can also sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, an initiative developed by business for business, with the aim of improving cashflow between businesses and moving towards a culture of providing "payment certainty".