Update on e-Invoicing in the Federated States of Germany
Germany is advancing the implementation of e-invoicing in public administrations according to a timeline that makes B2G invoicing mandatory in the federated states. To ensure compatibility with the European e-invoice standard Germany has updated the e-invoice format to ZUGFeRD 2.0.1.
The federated states must accept e-invoices as of 18th April 2020. The status of e-invoicing depends on each Federal State (Bundesland) transposing the European Directive via a local decree-law regulating:
E-invoice reception points with regional and local public authorities.
The federal law on German e-invoicing, E-Rechnungs-Gesetz,allows the federated states power to drafttheir own transposition decrees.
The federated states can choose whether to follow the model determined by the Core Invoice User Specification (CIUS) or their own e-invoicing standard. They are also free to choose whether they want to use the central government’s Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE)/Zentrales Rechnungseingangsportal OZG-RE platform or their own systems.
If the Federal States develop their own web service they must offer a connection through the PEPPOL network.
Progress of e-Invoicing in the Federated States of Germany.
Currently the states of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia are the furthest ahead in the implementation process. The states of Hamburg, Hessen, and Lower Saxony are also in the process of developing e-invoicing systems.
The update of the ZUGFeRD e-invoicing model (Version 2.0.2 October 15 2019) makes it compatible with European standard EN 16931.
Version 1.0 was developed prior to the adoption of Directive 2014/55/EU of 16th April 2014 and before the publication of EN 16931. This means it does not comply with the standardization requirements approved by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), and therefore was incompatible.
ZUGFeRD 2.0.1 includes corrections to ensure ZUGFeRD 2.0 conformity with EN 16931. The new developments include:
Updating of the code lists.
A solution to upper and lower case problems in the specification identifier.
Corrections for individual cardinalities and the assignation of elements to individual profiles.
Adjustments to better align ZUGFeRD 2.0 with Factur-X.
Prior to the ZUGFeRDupdatethe standard used for e-invoicing in B2G relations was PEPPOL UBL, called XRechnung in Germany. This format is mandatory for central, regional, and local authorities.
The ZUGFeRD model is expected to gain traction in relations with public administrations following this update. Until now, ZUGFeRD’s hybrid format, involving an A3 PDF and an XML, was the one most commonly used in the B2B sphere. This was because it facilitated electronic processes for businesses and individuals with a low technological profile.
e-Invoicing solutions to be updated in Germany
EDICOM, a tech partner specializing in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and e-invoicing, offers a data transformation and communications solution to issue invoices in line with the specifications of public administrations. The solution is equally valid for B2B relations.
EDICOM has developed the global e-Invoicing platform with a multistandard capacity, making it possible to format any data into the UBL, XRechnung, or ZUGFeRD standards defined by the German authorities.
EDICOM’s solution ensures the creation, storage, and transmission of electronic documents according to German law, it issues and receives e-invoices with through a solution integrated with the company's ERP system.
EDICOM is also certified as a PEPPOL Access Point, guaranteeing connection not only with German government agencies but any public administration in Europe.
One of the platform’s services is its constant update process: EDICOM actively manages know-how to keep its solution permanently up to date with the regulatory changes periodically occurring in the different countrieswhere solutions are offered. This includes formats, reporting processes, communications, signatures, etc., making it a solution that is adaptable to any new requirements in the rollout of the German e-invoice.