The first draft of the Payment Deadlines Observatory

This Sunday, May 9, 2021, the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Administration Reform published the first annual report of the Observatory of Payment Deadlines. Although exhaustive in terms of data as of the end of 2019, this tripartite analysis (MEFRA, CGEM, BAM) remains at least incomplete due to the lack of statistics that take into account the real impact of the health crisis on all companies, size and sector. activity combined.

The department of Mohamed Benchaâboun has just unveiled the first report of the Observatory of Payment Deadlines. Observatory which, since its creation, has organized four meetings in all and it was only during the 3rd and 4th held in February 2020 and 2021, that decisions were taken to reduce payment deadlines, including in particular the implementation establishment of a system of pecuniary sanctions against companies with delays beyond the regulatory limits, the proceeds of which will be allocated to support the financing of entrepreneurship; intervention upstream of the invoicing process in order to reduce hidden delays and the gradual introduction of electronic filing of invoices at PEC level.

Structured in three parts, this report firstly deals with the various legal and regulatory reform measures implemented in terms of payment terms. On this axis, the study shows that in order to compensate for the non-respect of payment deadlines which has manifested itself at the level of Administrations, Territorial Collectivities (CT) and Establishments and Public Enterprises (EEP) that between the private actors, a set of legal reforms were carried out for the optimization of the management of the public order for the control of the deadlines of payment.

And the reforms undertaken at the legal and regulatory levels concerned the main innovations of Law No. 49-15 of 25 August 2016 amending and supplementing Law No. 15-95 forming the Commercial Code and enacting specific provisions relating to the deadlines for payment, namely the extension of the application of its provisions to Public Establishments exercising in a habitual or professional manner the commercial activities mentioned in the said law and the application of the delay compensation for the aforementioned Public Establishments from the date of observation of the service made as well as the establishment of an Observatory of Payment Deadlines.

Likewise, the report mentions Decree n ° 2-16-344 of 07/22/2016 relating to payment deadlines and default interest which brought novelties such as the extension of the fields of application and for the State. , -to conventions, common law contracts and order forms instead of only public contracts under the influence of the former Decree of 2003-, and public contracts, -conventions or contracts under common law and orders placed by the CTs and public establishments.

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At the same time, the document mentions the Circulars of MEFRA sent to PECs on September 18, 2018, June 21, 2019 and June 1, 2020, encouraging them to set an example and improve their practices and procedures in terms of payment deadlines. . It should be noted that this type of circular distinguishes between PECs which already have an information system accessible from their own portal and which must begin the electronic filing of invoices as soon as possible and between PECs which do not have access to their own portal. no such information system and who must take the necessary measures for its implementation within the maximum timeframe provided for in the circular, namely:

– June 1, 2021 for public orders for an amount greater than or equal to 5,000,000 DH;

– January 1, 2022 for public orders for an amount greater than or equal to 1,000,000 DH;

– June 1, 2022 for public orders for an amount greater than 200,000 DH.

Companies procrastinate and it’s stronger than they

Crisis requires, companies are slow to settle what they owe each other, putting the smallest at risk of bankruptcy. Covid-19 has distressed the activity of businesses with millions of lost jobs and caused businesses to procrastinate more and more, but for the most part this would be beyond their control.

In this regard, many professionals wonder why this report does not mention the latest figures on the real situation of defaulting and late payment companies and especially SMEs and micro-enterprises?

However, the fourth meeting of the Observatory held on February 15, 2021 was supposed to focus more on the means to be deployed concretely to counter the economic and social impacts of the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Indeed, these experts contacted by Hespress Fr reproach the authors of the said report for not having lingered more on the impact of Corona instead of drawing up the inventory of a period which goes from 2016 to the end of 2019!

“This crisis linked to Covid-19 has inexorably impacted the health of our SMEs and by extension the payment deadlines. We had already achieved huge scores before the Corona in terms of failures. What can we say now, except that we are all in a general climate of uncertainty… ”, concedes us, for his part, Ahmed El Hajjami, professor at FSJES Rabat-Souissi, predicting:“ A resumption of economic activity which is done in a very gradual and uneven way according to the sectors, and that even solid companies can be threatened by the sudden drop in their order books ”.

In the meantime, some are wondering about the role of the current government in supporting businesses in this difficult ordeal, except of course the initiation of the measure to reduce, thanks to this Observatory, the overall deadline for payment from 75 days to 60 days …

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