On 24 November DG GROW organised a Late Payment Expert Group meeting, in which EBC took part as the representative of a sector particularly affected by the issue. The meeting presented the results of the evaluation of the Late Payments Directive.
The evaluation has been carried out by a group of consultants led by VVA from January to November 2015 and was ordered by the Commission. EBC and its members contributed to this study.
During the study – and in several other occasions – EBC underlined that the first priority is for Member States to fully implement the directive. EBC welcomes the Commission infringement procedures against Member States that lag behind in the implementation and calls on the EC to keep applying a zero-tolerance policy on the practical results of late payments behaviour.
In addition, EBC highlighted the necessity to apply automatic calculation and transfer of interests on late payment, because over 60% of companies in Europe do not dare ask the debtor in fear of endangering the commercial relation.
The direct payment of subcontractors as well as obligations for the main contractor to demonstrate that subcontractors are paid before receiving subsequent payments from the procuring authority would also help small companies with obtaining timely payments.
Finally, EBC stressed that B to B derogations and the excessive use of lengthy verification procedures by public authorities need to be monitored because of their direct consequences on overdue payments.