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Data integration

The solution will be integrated into the customer's ERP system. In this process, mapping systems are used to convert data from the ERP system into the electronic format required by the respective authority (e.g., XRechnung, ZUGFeRD, XML, UBL, SAF-T).

Centralised administration

A unique integrated and scalable solution makes it possible to manage a large number of e-invoicing projects in the B2B and B2G sector. All the important document standards public or private business partner might expect are supported, as are all important communication channels (e.g., WebService, PEPPOL, AS2, FTPS).

Direct connection

The EDICOM communication platform allows direct connection to the central office.

Federal Government Central Invoice Submission Portal [Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE)]. As an accredited PEPPOL access point, EDICOM establishes the connection through a web service via the PEPPOL network.

Guaranteed authenticity and integrity

The European eIDAS Regulation (Regulation 910/2014) defines the legal framework for electronic identification mechanisms. As an eIDAS-certified trust service provider, EDICOM can provide electronic invoicing with trust mechanisms that guarantee authenticity and integrity throughout Europe.

More than 15,000 companies place their trust in EDICOM solutions.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF ELECTRONIC INVOICING IN GERMANY

The e-Invoicing Act puts EU Directive 2014/55/EU of 16 April 2014 into practice as national law. It creates the legal framework for receiving and processing electronic invoices by public contracting authorities.

27 November 2018

Receiving electronic B2G invoices is mandatory at the federal level.


18/04/2020

Electronic B2G invoicing will be mandatory for state institutions and municipal institutions.

27/11/2020

B2G electronic invoice transmissions will be mandatory for suppliers at the federal level.

Learn more about the technical and legal requirements of electronic invoicing with public federal authorities, state institutions and municipal institutions in Germany.

Mandatory

  • For the central government, federal and municipal institutions.
  • For public-sector companies (health care, leisure facilities, energy suppliers, waste management, etc.).
  • For all small, medium, and large companies that supply goods or services to the central federal government.

Controlling bodies

IT Planning Council [IT-Planungsrat]:

Coordination and cooperation at the central and federal level in matters of information technology.

Coordinating Centre for IT Standards [Zentrale Koordinierungsstelle für IT-Standards (KoSIT)]:

Responsible for coordinating the development and proper functioning of IT standards required to share data within the public administration.

FMI - German Federal Ministry for the Interior, Building and Community [Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat (BMI)]:

As part of the project of electronic invoice exchange with the administration, the FMI has been tasked with monitoring the implementation of Directive 2014/55/EU.

Controlling mechanisms

In accordance with Directive 2014/55/EU on e-invoicing in public procurement, electronic invoices are to be issued in a structured electronic format that facilitates automatic data transmission. Routing ID is to be used to uniquely identify the particular administration or public institution to which the invoice is directed.

As soon as the invoice has been received via the Federal Government Central Invoice Submission Portal [Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE)], it will be forwarded to the respective recipient, which is made possible by the unique routing ID of each administrative authority.

Transmission paths

  • Manual creation of the e-invoice in XRechnung format by entering the data into an online form.
  • Manual upload of the invoice in XRechnung format via a web portal.
  • Transmission of the electronic XRechnung by email.
  • Transmission of the electronic XRechnung by DE-mail.
  • Direct and automatic transmission of the electronic invoice via a web service (e.g., PEPPOL).

E-invoicing format

XRechnung:

The IT Planning Council [IT-Planungsrat] has recognised the XRechnung standard as the official format for electronic invoicing compliant with European Directives. This e-invoicing format complies with the European standard EN 16931 "Core Invoice User Specification" (CIUS) for electronic invoices.

ZUGFeRD 2.0:

ZUGFeRD has been promoting the use of e-invoicing in the B2B and B2G sector since 2014. This hybrid invoice format comprises a readable version in PDF-A/3 format and a structured XML file embedded in the pdf and allowing interpretation and integration into electronic systems. Although the e-invoice format is compatible with European standard EN 16931, it has not yet been implemented by the Federal Government Central Invoice Submission Portal [Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE)]. However, it is likely to be accepted in the future, since it is already widely used in the B2B sector.

Required administrative processes

The Federal Government Central Invoice Submission Portal [Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE)] for receiving electronic invoices is a specific area of the federal government's administrative platform. It is necessary to register to have an active account.

Integrity and authenticity guarantee

In Europe, electronic invoicing systems are regulated under Directive 2010/45/EU. German legislation builds on this Directive to define the technical criteria that guarantee authenticity, integrity and confidentiality.
Qualified electronic signature:

A recognised certificate issued by a secure signature creation device for electronic data interchange (EDI).

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

Procedures must be put in place to ensure authentic data origin and integrity.

In-house control procedures:

These involve in-house control procedures that can create a reliable audit trail between invoice and service.

Storage

The authorities may require an inspection of the invoice documents. In this case, the original electronic files (e.g., XRechnung, ZUGFeRD, XML) must be stored on an electronic device that guarantees confidentiality, accessibility and readability for the audit.

Storage is maintained over a period of 10+1 years from the date the invoice is issued until the end of the customer's financial year.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL LAW IN THE 16 FEDERAL STATES

Starting from 18 April 2020, all federal states will be obliged to accept electronic invoices.

Each federal state can implement the Directive in accordance with its own regulations; however, the electronic systems and formats defined in Directive 2014/55/EU must be used.

Below we present the current invoicing implementation status in the 16 federal states.

ELECTRONIC INVOICING IN GERMANY

The EDICOM solution

The EDICOM e-invoice exchange platform provides a direct and secure communication channel with Germany's public administrative bodies. Our solution guarantees the creation, storage and transmission of electronic documents in accordance with German legislation (XRechnung, ZUGFeRD).

  • Compilation of the data required to create the invoice file from the customer's ERP system.
  • The mapping module is activated to convert the transformation of the input file into the format expected by the respective authority (XRechnung, ZUGFeRD).
  • Syntactic validation of the data is performed. As soon as the file has been reviewed, it is securely stored on the EDICOM electronic platform using advanced data encryption methods regulated by the European eIDAS Regulation. The original electronic document will be archived for the time period provided for under German law (10+1 years from the date of issue of the invoice until the end of the customer's financial year).
  • The connecting mechanisms with the administrative agency's corresponding e-invoicing portal are activated. There are various transmission paths, whereby EDICOM establishes the connection through a web service via the PEPPOL network whenever the receiving portal offers this possibility. This type of connection makes it possible to automate the entire process of issuing and transmitting invoices.
  • The receiving portal checks the invoice and transmits it via the routing ID (identification number for each authority) to the respective administrative body.

EDICOM GLOBAL E-INVOICING PLATFORM

A centralised solution for a number of e-invoicing projects in the B2B and B2G sector in Europe.

The EDICOM Global E-Invoicing Platform for Electronic Invoice Exchange simplifies the process of transmitting and receiving electronic invoices in a multinational environment. Our e-invoicing solution is easily scalable and can be adapted to different standards and connection systems used by EU Member States and other authorities at the international level. In addition, the capacity of our structured data translation module and our VAN (Value Added Network) EDI enables us to create a legally valid solution for electronic invoice exchange with both public and private business partners.

VALIDATION MODULE

The data is syntactically and semantically validated to ensure it conforms to the recipient's specifications.

MODULE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW

After the data is validated, the digital signature, a time stamp or other certificates, for example, will be used to guarantee legal validity. With this, the document is ready for transmission.

INTEGRATION MODULE

The solution will be integrated into the customer's ERP system. In this process, mapping systems are used to convert the data from the ERP system into the electronic format required by the respective authority (e.g., XRechnung, ZUGFeRD, XML, UBL, SAF-T).

COMMUNICATION MODULE

The EDICOM platform sends the document to the public contracting authority via the state's specific system. The transmission protocols required in each case are used for this purpose (e.g., WebService, AS2, HTTPS, FTP).

Business partners usually communicate through our Value-Added-Network (VAN).

PEPPOL COMPLIANCE MODULE

PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement On Line and comprises a range of standards for cross-border e-procurement procedures. In addition to the data format (e.g., XRechnung in Germany) PEPPOL also includes a communication network.

For example, invoices can be sent to public contracting authorities via this network. Access to PEPPOL is via a so-called PEPPOL Access Point.

EDICOM is certified as an official access point and can therefore offer the exchange of electronic documents (e.g., orders and invoices) with public contracting authorities in the PEPPOL network.

STORAGE MODULE

Electronic invoices must be stored for a specific period of time. At the same time, the legal regulations often provide cryptographic security measures.

As an eIDAS-certified trust service provider, EDICOM's archiving module, called EDICOM LTA, complies with retention standards in all European countries.

Do you need an electronic invoicing solution in other European countries?

The European Commission assumes that the widespread introduction of electronic invoice exchange will benefit EU Member States and drive competitiveness.

Learn more about the electronic invoicing standard in Europe and its introduction in individual countries.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

E-invoicing in Europe

What is Directive 2014/55 about?

The objective of Directive 2014/55/EU, which was published on 16 April 2014, is to set a European standard in electronic invoicing. It is intended to guarantee interoperability among individual Member States to facilitate public procurement and cross-border e-commerce. The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) is responsible for the creation of this European standard.

Our experts can explain the most important points about the introduction of the European standard.

Does your company need the PEPPOL standard?

The public sector is the largest contracting body within the European Union. It is therefore of great importance to be able to rely on a uniform system for e-procurement and electronic invoice exchange.

In our whitepaper, you can learn more about PEPPOL and the countries that use this standard.

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER

SIX REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE EDICOM E-INVOICING PLATFORM

Centralisation

Integration

Cost savings

Worldwide e-invoicing

Security and availability

Updating and monitoring

EDICOM - BOUNDLESS TECHNOLOGY

70

Active projects in more than 70 countries around the world.

15K

More than 15,000 customers on all continents.

8

Eight branch offices in Europe and America.

500M

More than 500 million transactions processed using our solutions.

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