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Frequently Asked Questions - Vendor Payments

This guide is designed to assist commercial vendors who conduct business with Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It explains the Agencies' payment process and provides guidance on how to prepare and submit a proper invoice in order to receive timely payment service.


Correction of Improper Invoices

What happens if FDA determines that an invoice is improper?

When an invoice is determined improper in accordance with the Prompt Payment Act, the agency will identify all defects that prevent payment and the FDA will return the invoices to the point of contact listed on the invoice within 7 calendar days of receipt of the invoice by the FDA Vendor Payments Team.

What should I do if my invoice is returned as improper?

An invoice that has been returned as improper will have a cover letter explaining the reason for return. Please make the necessary corrections and submit the corrected invoice to the FDA Vendor Payments Team via email, FDAVendorPaymentsTeam@fda.gov, or via physical mail using the address below:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Attn: Vendor Payments
Division of Payment Services
10903 New Hampshire Ave
WO32 – Second Floor
Mail Hub 2145
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

What are the most common reasons that an invoice is returned?

Invoices are often returned due to a missing Line Item Number, missing vendor contract information and incorrect totals for good/services rendered.

What is a Line Item Number (Item No.)?

The Line Item Number is a one or two-digit number that is used to identify each supply/service item on the contract agreement. It can be found on the award.

Who should I contact for my Line Item Number?

Contact your Contracting Officer Representative (COR) or the FDA ERIC Help Desk via phone 1-866-807-ERIC (3742), TTY 301-480-0434, or email ERIC@fda.hhs.gov.

What is a performance period?

A performance period is the agreed period of time during which goods or services were rendered as stated in the contract.

Should rounding be completed on the invoice’s current billable lines and/or subtotals for services/goods?

No. Invoice amounts should be entered exactly to the cent with no rounding.


Requirements for Proper Invoices

What constitutes a complete and proper invoice?

The invoice must contain the following information:

  • Invoice Date
  • Vendor Name as shown on the Award Document
  • Invoice Number
  • FDA Purchase Order (PO) Number
  • Description including line item number (Item No.), price, quantity, discount, shipping and performance terms
  • Tax Identification number (TIN)
  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT) remittance information
  • Company contact name, title and direct phone number
  • The term "invoice" can include receiving reports and delivery tickets when contractually designated as a requirement for payment completion

Invoice Submission and Payment Status

When will my invoice be paid?

Complete and proper invoices are paid by the payment due date which is calculated based on the following factors:

  • Payment terms stated in the associated purchase order• The latter of these two (2) dates:
    • Date when the FDA Vendor Payments Team received the complete and proper invoice (invoice received date); or
    • Date when the FDA received the goods/services from the vendor and acceptance of the goods/services has occurred

Will the FDA accept invoices that are submitted electronically?

Yes. Always include the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) or designated receiver as Cc on the email.

Where do I submit electronic invoices?

Submit invoices to the FDA Vendor Payments Team Mailbox via email, FDAVendorPaymentsTeam@fda.gov, with the COR or designated receiver copied on the email.

Will the FDA accept a physical copy of an invoice?

Yes.

Where do I submit a physical copy of an invoice?

Mail physical copies of an invoice to the FDA Vendor Payments Team using the address below:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Attn: Vendor Payments
Division of Payment Services
10903 New Hampshire Ave
WO32 – Second Floor
Mail Hub 2145
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

Who should I contact for payment status?

For questions regarding payment status, contact FDA ERIC Help Desk via phone 1-866-807-ERIC (3742), TTY 301-480-0434, or email ERIC@fda.hhs.gov.

When does the payment period begin if an invoice is not sent directly to the FDA Vendor Payments Team?

The payment period does not begin until the date the invoice is received by the FDA Vendor Payments Team. For mailed invoices, the received date will be the date stamped on the invoice by the FDA Vendor Payments Team. For electronically submitted invoices, the FDA Vendor Payments Team will use the readable transmission date received to determine the invoice received date.

If the FDA Vendor Payments team is not included in the invoice submission, the invoice will be returned to the vendor.

What if the payment due date falls on a weekend or holiday, when will the FDA issue payment?

If the due date or discount date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the FDA will issue payment by the following business day.

Will the payment due date change if I resubmit my invoices?

Yes - The date the agency receives a "proper" invoice, as defined by the Prompt Payment Act, determines the invoice received date for the purpose of calculating the payment due date.