Q&As

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R4BP 3

Pagamenti

Who sets ECHA fees and charges payable for the Biocidal Products Regulation?

The European Commission sets the ECHA fees and charges payable under the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 (‘the BPR'). The charges are revised annually and agreed with the EU Member States and reflected in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 564/2013 of 18 June 2013.

The fees for the chemical similarity check service are defined in the ECHA Management Board Decision 31/2013.

Where can I find an overview of the fees?
All fees are specified in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 564/2013 of 18 June 2013 ("the BPR Fee Regulation").
When will I receive ECHA's invoice and where can I find it?
After ECHA receives and processes your BPR application/notification – through the Register for Biocidal Products (R4BP 3) – you will receive an electronic invoice in PDF format in your R4BP 3 account (look in messages). You can open the invoice directly from this message or find it in the financial management tab of the specific case.
What is the deadline for paying ECHA's invoice?

Unless specified otherwise, you must pay the fees within 30 days from the date of invoice; the payment due date is specified on the invoice PDF. If the payment is not made by the due date, your application might be rejected due to non-payment. The date of your payment is the date on which the full amount stated in your invoice is deposited in the bank account held by ECHA. (See Q&A 771).

Where the payment is delayed due to reasons outside of your control, ECHA needs sufficient evidence in which you prove that you have made the payment before the due date stated in your invoice.

How do I know I paid on time?
The date of your payment is the date on which the full amount stated in your invoice is deposited in the bank account held by ECHA. (See Q&A 771). You will know that your payment was made on time and it is accepted and processed by ECHA when you see the step “Submission accepted by ECHA” in the Events History tab of your specific case.
Where the payment is delayed due to reasons outside of your control, ECHA needs sufficient evidence in which you prove that you have made the payment before the due date stated in your invoice.
How do I pay ECHA's invoice?

You must pay your invoice by bank transfer. ECHA's full bank details are stated in the invoice.

ECHA recommends that you pay the invoice as a SEPA payment with shared cost. Within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), the use of IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code)/SWIFT code is mandatory. This payment method will ensure that ECHA receives the full invoiced amount without any deduction of bank charges. For further information regarding SEPA, please consult: http://www.ecb.int/paym/sepa/html/index.en.html.

If you choose another kind of bank transfer, please make sure that your company bears the full cost of the bank transfer. The invoice will not be considered paid until the full amount has been received by ECHA.

What is ECHA's bank account number for the payment of invoices related to the BPR?
Payments of biocidal invoices must be made in euros by means of a bank transfer to:

Bank: OP Corporate Bank Plc, Gebhardinaukio 1, 00510 Helsinki, Finland.
Account number: 500001-20275788
IBAN Code: FI58 5000 0120 2757 88
BIC/SWIFT Code: OKOYFIHH
What reference should I indicate in my payment?
You must indicate the invoice number in the free text message/communications field of your payment. The invoice number consists of eight digits you will find next to ECHA's bank details in your invoice. Please instruct your accounts payable/payments department and your bank accordingly. Separate instructions apply for appeal fees..

What are the consequences of not paying an invoice within the payment due date?
The date on which the full invoice amount is deposited into ECHA's bank account is the only accepted date of your payment. If your payment is not in ECHA's account by the due date, your application/notification will be rejected unless you provide a confirmation from a financial institution that shows that you have ordered the transfer before the due date.
If my application is rejected before or during validation or withdrawn during the assessment, do I receive a refund?

Where an application for active substance approval or biocidal product authorisation or an application for a minor or major change of a product is rejected before or during the validation phase, ECHA will reimburse 90 % of the fee.

Where an application for active substance approval or biocidal product authorisation or an application for a major change of a product is withdrawn before the evaluating competent authority has transmitted its assessment report to ECHA, 75 % of the fee shall be reimbursed.

Where an application is withdrawn after the evaluating competent authority has transmitted its assessment report to ECHA, the Agency will not reimburse the fee.

Why is ECHA's invoice without value added tax (VAT)?
ECHA's invoices are exempt from VAT because the Agency is not carrying out an economic activity within the meaning of Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax. This means that no VAT has to be paid on the fees defined in the BPR Fee Regulation. For the reason above, ECHA has no VAT number and ECHA's invoices are exempt from VAT
 
ECHA's Finnish Business ID number is 2139942-8 and it is always mentioned on ECHA's invoices. However, this number is not a VAT number.
Why are the activities of ECHA not taxable?

ECHA is not a private company or a service provider but a European public authority. The exclusion of ECHA's activities and transactions from taxation also results from Article 13(1) of Directive 2006/112/EC (1) on a common system of value added tax, which stipulates:

"States, regional and local government authorities and other bodies governed by public law shall not be regarded as taxable persons in respect of the activities or transactions in which they engage as public authorities, even where they collect dues, fees, contributions or payments in connection with those activities or transactions".

As it is not a taxable person, ECHA does not have a tax residence in any Member State and thus has no taxation number in Finland.

The invoices that ECHA sends through R4BP 3 to companies are issued according to the BPR and the BPR Fee Regulation. Thus, they do not concern private transactions but are fees under public law applicable in all Member States. Based on Directive 2006/112/EC and particularly Article 13(1), these fees are not subject to taxation in any Member State. In the absence of taxation of the fees in any Member State or elsewhere, ECHA shall not be bound to complete any formalities imposed on taxable persons for the avoidance of double taxation.

1) OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p. 1

How long does it take until ECHA receives my payment?
The bank statement of any given day is available to ECHA only on the next banking business day. A SEPA payment must be transmitted within three banking business days (since 1 November 2009). It, therefore, normally takes up to four banking business days before ECHA can handle your payment. For this reason, ECHA recommends that you make your payments before the due date stated in your invoice.
 
The handling time may be longer if your payment cannot be dealt with automatically. By following ECHA's instructions regarding payments, you can significantly reduce ECHA's handling time of your payments.
How does ECHA handle my payment?

On the basis of the daily electronic bank statement, ECHA’s system automatically matches your payment with your open invoice - provided you have indicated the correct payment reference (invoice) number in the free-text message/communications field and you have paid the correct amount. 

An additional condition is that you pay each invoice separately as a single payment. One bank transaction per invoice therefore ensures the fast registration of your payment.

ECHA strongly advises you not to pay two or more invoices in the same transaction ("multiple invoice payment"). If you, however, include more than one invoice in the payment, make sure that the invoice references are mentioned in full. Otherwise, the payment has to be manually handled by ECHA's accounting department. This may delay the processing of your payment.

If you can only make multiple invoice payments and you are unable to indicate the full reference numbers in the payment, make sure you follow the instructions in Q&A 775.

How can I ensure a successful submission of the application/notification allowing it to pass to the next step?

Your payment can be swiftly dealt with by ECHA if you follow the guidelines below when making your bank transfer:

  1. Pay one invoice per transaction (single payment);
  2. Indicate the correct reference number (eight digit invoice number in your invoice);
  3. Pay the full amount of the invoice;
  4. Instruct your bank to use a charger bearer code SHAR (shared costs) if the payment is made in a EURO value amount.
  5. If you discover a mistake after your payment has been made, please immediately contact ECHA using the ECHA Helpdesk webform available at http://echa.europa.eu/contact.
How can I see that ECHA has received and validated my payment?

ECHA does not send confirmations of receipt of payment.
A message will be sent to your R4BP 3 Messages-Inbox informing you that your application/notification has been accepted by ECHA only after the payment has been received and accepted. You can follow up the status of your case under the events history tab in R4BP 3.

When should I provide ECHA with a payment advice?

A payment advice can either be an extract from your accounts payable department attached to your email message in PDF format. Alternatively, it can be a list of the invoice numbers paid, their total amounts and the payment date in the email message itself.

A payment advice must be sent in the following cases:

  • your payment reference (invoice) number was incorrect;
  • in the case of a multiple invoice payment where each invoice number is not mentioned in the bank payment message;
  • by request of ECHA's accounting department.

If you have indicated the reference (invoice) number in your payment message and it is correct, ECHA does not need any separate payment advice.

You must send a payment advice to ECHA's accounting department: payments (at) echa.europa.eu.

Please indicate 'Payment advice and the payment date' in the subject field. Example: "Payment advice 1 September 2013". No payment advice by conventional mail is required unless ECHA exceptionally requests it.

What is a proof of payment and when does it need to be sent to ECHA?

A proof of payment can either be a copy of your bank statement or a separate confirmation stamped by your bank.

The bank statement can serve as proof that you paid ECHA's invoice by the due date. The bank statement copy or the document stamped by your bank must clearly show the date when you ordered the bank transfer.

If ECHA has received your proof of payment but has not received the payment within a time period judged normal for bank transfers, ECHA's accounting department will contact you.

A payment advice printed from your accounting programme is not a valid proof of payment.

Proofs of payment should be sent as scanned PDF attachments to ECHA's accounting department: payments (at) echa.europa.eu.

No proofs of payment by conventional mail are required unless ECHA exceptionally requests them.

Does ECHA send credit notes?
If an invoice is cancelled e.g. incorrect invoice, incorrect billing information etc., you will receive a credit note for the whole amount of the invoice and, if needed, a replacement invoice. These electronic documents can be downloaded in PDF format from the financial management tab of the specific case in your R4BP 3 account.
If I have received two invoices and one credit note, which invoice reference number do I indicate in the payment?

In this case, you must indicate the reference number of the latest invoice. The narrative in your invoice will explain the reasons why a new invoice was issued.

If I have already paid the invoice for which ECHA later issues a credit note, how will the paid amount be credited back to my company?
ECHA will either reallocate the received amount to another unpaid invoice belonging to the same legal entity or refund the amount to you.
What are the rules of a refund?

In certain cases of double payment or unclear overpayment, ECHA will refund the received amount paid in excess. Moreover, fees or charges paid after the payment deadline are “returned to sender” through the bank as undue payments.

Please also refer to Q&A 768.

For the payment of certain refunds, ECHA will request the bank account information of your company. In addition, ECHA requires your company to complete and sign the following two forms to process the refund: "Legal entities" that can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/legal_entities/legal_entities_en.cfm 
and "Financial identification" that can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/financial_id/financial_id_en.cfm.

Please send the original signed and stamped forms to ECHA by regular post to the following address:

European Chemicals Agency
R1 Accounting
P.O. Box 400
00121 Helsinki 
Finland

We advice that you submit the documents to ECHA's accounting department at payments (at) echa.europa.eu before posting them. 

Do ECHA invoices have to be electronically signed?
After your application/notification has been received by ECHA, you will receive your invoice electronically through R4BP 3 – no paper invoice is sent. Invoices can be downloaded in PDF format from the financial management tab of the specific case in your R4BP 3 account.
 
The requirements mentioned in Directive 1999/93/EC on electronic signatures do not apply to invoices issued by ECHA. The rule on electronic signature of invoices is based on Article 233 of Directive 2006/112/EC ('the VAT Directive'), which according to Article 220, only applies to taxable persons. However, ECHA is not a taxable person, but an EU public body that does not carry out any economic activity.
 
In any case, the purpose of the provisions of the VAT Directive relating to electronic invoices is to guarantee the authenticity of the origin and the integrity of the content. For invoices notified by ECHA, this objective is met in a more efficient way. Invoices issued by ECHA are notified to their recipient through R4BP 3, which is a secured online platform.
How can I prepare my accounts payable department or my accounting company in view of ECHA's invoices?

To ensure the timely payment of your invoice, ECHA recommends that all the relevant information is visible in the invoice itself.

However, depending on your internal administrative procedures, it is advisable that your accounting/accounts payable department is ready to proceed with the payment of ECHA's invoices.

We therefore recommend that you set up ECHA's bank account information in the accounting system well in advance of the first invoice's due date. The following link contains ECHA's financial identification form with all the needed details:

http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13611/echa_biocides_financial_identification_sheet_en.pdf

If you use an external accounting company, please ensure that all required information about ECHA and the Biocidal Products Regulation is passed on. It is also advisable that clearly relate to ECHA's status as an EU body which is exempt from any national tax or any value added tax. Please refer to Q&A 769 and Q&A 770.

Please make sure that the persons handling the payments of ECHA's invoices are aware that the payment must comprise the full amount. Should additional bank charges apply to your payment, these must be included on top of the full amount of your invoice..

Please inform your accounting department that if the invoice is paid after the due date, the application/notification will be rejected.

What information about my company appears on ECHA's invoice and credit note?

The following information about your company is visible on the invoices and credit notes:

  • Company name and billing address indicated by the applicant – the information appearing on the invoice is the one filled in the ‘Billing address’ tab in ECHA Accounts.
  • Customer ID number – which is the same as the Legal entity UUID.
  • DUNS number and VAT number – if provided by the registrant during the sign-up; can be modified later on in the Legal entity details section of ECHA Accounts.
  • Purchase order number – if provided by the registrant when submitting the application/notification in R4BP 3.

If you are submitting an application/notification on behalf of the asset owner you can select either your billing address (case owner) or the billing address of the asset owner.

Additional information on how to update your company's general information in ECHA Accounts can be found in the section “How to update legal entity details” of the ECHA Accounts Manual.

Does ECHA need a purchase order for my application?

When submitting an application/notification, you can indicate your own internal purchase order number. It is not possible to add any forgotten purchase order number or modify it afterwards.

As you register online in R4BP 3 you should not send any purchase orders by ordinary mail or email to ECHA. Please make sure that your system does not send any purchase orders automatically to ECHA. Your purchase order is only for your internal purposes.

What is the contact address of ECHA's accounting department (accounts receivable)?
For any enquiry, please contact ECHA by using the ECHA Helpdesk web form that is available at http://echa.europa.eu/contact
My company information has changed and the invoice is not correct; does ECHA issue updated invoices?

If your invoice has not yet been paid, ECHA can cancel it and create a new one with your new company information. If the invoice has been accepted and paid, ECHA cannot modify the invoice.

ECHA is unable to update any company information on your behalf. It is the responsibility of the account owner within the company to make sure that the information is up-to-date.

Firstly, please update your company information in ECHA Accounts as soon as possible. You can easily update your information by signing into ECHA Accounts, selecting the legal entity under the ECHA banner and checking the "Billing address" section. Here you can modify and update your information by clicking on "Edit". Please save your changes at all times.

Immediately after updating your company details, you need to contact the ECHA Helpdesk by using the webform available on the ECHA website at: http://echa.europa.eu/contact.

The company size in your ECHA Accounts cannot be considered for invoicing purposes of applications/notifications submitted through R4BP 3 (further information can be found in FAQ 787). Additional information on how to update your company's general information in ECHA Accounts can be found in section 6.1 – "Updating legal entity details" of the ECHA Accounts Manual available at: http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/21721613/echa_accounts_en.pdf

How do I indicate my company size?

You may indicate your company size in ECHA Accounts; however, this information will not be considered relevant for invoicing purposes of ECHA's fees for applications/notifications submitted through R4BP 3.

By default the company size will be considered as non-SME for all applications/notifications submitted through R4BP 3 where an ECHA fee is applicable, except for those applications/notifications where companies already have an SME status recognised by ECHA.

An SME reduction may be applied for applications for approval, renewal or inclusion in Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of an active substance or for Union authorisation of a biocidal product or biocidal product family only if your application contains a claim for SME reduction and if ECHA has already recognised the SME status. You must indicate the claim for SME reduction when you make the submission of the above-mentioned applications.

Your company is only eligible for an SME reduction, if your SME status has been recognised by ECHA before the submission of your applications. You will need to provide documentary evidence before ECHA can accept your eligibility for an SME reduction.

Recognition of the SME status is valid for a period of two years. Further information on this process can be found at: http://echa.europa.eu/support/small-and-medium-sized-enterprises-smes/sme-fees-under-bpr

For applications for approval, renewal or inclusion of an active substance in Annex I, the SME status is determined by reference to the active substances manufacturer in the Union that is represented by the prospective applicant.

For applications for product authorisation or a renewal of product authorisation, the question is determined by references to the prospective authorisation holder established in the Union.

What documents are needed in R4BP 3 for SME status recognition under Biocidal Products Regulation?

Under the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), applicants can benefit from reduced fees established for SMEs. ECHA is responsible for checking the size of companies who claim to be eligible for reduced fees.

Before requesting recognition of SME status in R4BP 3, companies should familiarise themselves with the rules set by Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC on the SME definition.

To support the request for SME recognition, companies should upload documentary proof of their SME status as part of the “SM-APP – SME Verification” application in R4BP 3.

The documentary evidence should include:

  • Information about the ownership structure (upstream, downstream) at the time of the application.
  • The financial statements (consolidated, if available) together with accompanying notes for the two latest accounting periods before the time of the application.
  • Official certificate/information confirming the average number of employees for each of the two latest accounting periods before the time of application.

The above listed documents should be provided for all partner and linked enterprises, as defined by Article 3 of the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC.

In the case of an application for approval, renewal or inclusion of an active substance in Annex I to the BPR, the SME assessment should be done by referring to the headcount, turnover and balance sheet information of the active substance manufacturer established in the Union and its linked and partner enterprises.

If an application for product authorisation or renewal of product authorisation, the SME assessment should be done by reference to the headcount, turnover and balance sheet information of the prospective authorisation holder established in the Union and its linked and partner enterprises.

The list of documentary evidence accepted by ECHA and more information on company’s size assessment and links to relevant legislation can be found here:

https://echa.europa.eu/support/small-and-medium-sized-enterprises-smes/sme-fees-under-bpr.

You can find instructions on how to upload documents and other useful information about R4BP 3 in the Biocides Submission Manuals.

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