The European Union has voted for a new directive to use PKI for handeling of electronic invcoicing. The directive is put into action by 2004. This means that both storage and and transmission of invoices have to take place in a PKI environment. Stored invoices will have to be digitally signed with a certificate to prevent being altered, likewise with invoices being sent across the internet.

Many companies already use electronic invoicing, and will have to create the PKI infrastructure to continue to do this. There is lack of time, less than 1.5 years is not long when it comes to developing secure applications! Although issued late 2001, the EU hasn't made much noice to alert companies about this fact. Myself, these news I descovered just recently.

It seems that countries trading with the EU will also have to implement these changes in their system to make the invoices valid in the EU:

Invoices sent by electronic means shall be accepted by Member States provided that the authenticity of the origin and integrity of the contents are guaranteed:
[...Sent using PKI or EDI]
I thing EU has done a great job including PKI in the directives on handeling data electronically. It really sets a focus on the value of implementing secure systems.

Here's the link to the directive: