Obligation to receive and process electronic invoices by the public administration.
The E-Rechnungsgesetz law transposes the provisions of European Directive 2014/55/EU of 16 April 2014 into national law in Germany. The E-Rechnungsgesetz thus creates a binding legal basis for the receipt and processing of electronic invoices by public authorities.
XRechnung is the national version of the European Standard for German Administration and published by the Coordination Office for IT Standards (KoSIT).
Implementation dates of the EU Directive in Germany
The Federal E-invoice Ordinance adheres to the original implementation deadlines laid down in the EU Directive, i.e..:
- 27 November 2018 for federal public-sector clients
- 18. April 2020 for decentralised public clients of the Federal Government.
Obligation to send E-Invoices to public authorities
Based on the recital of the EU directive, the federal government is introducing an e-invoicing obligation for suppliers – like other EU states – as of 27 November 2020.
- de minimis limit
- Defence and security-related contracts
- Organ loans of the federal states
UN/CEFACT and UBL, the two obligatory syntaxes for public administration
According to the implementing decision of 16 October 2017 of the European Commission, the following two syntaxes for reception and further processing are mandatory for public administrations:
- UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice XML message according to XML Schemas 16B (SCRDM - CII)
- UBL for invoices and credit notes according to ISO/IEC 19845:2015
ZUGFeRD: B2B- B2G- E-Invoicing, the cross-industry hybrid invoice
UN/EDIFACT as a global standard is the world's most widely used standard in business in the B2B sector. In addition, the cross-industry hybrid format ZUGFeRD has been established in the B2B sector since 2014. ZUGFeRD offers small and medium-sized companies in particular the invoice as an image (PDF-A/3) and as a machine-readable E-Invoice data record as an XML file based on the Cross Industry Invoice XML from UN/CEFACT. The Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland (FeRD) of AWV - Arbeitsgemeinschaft für wirtschaftliche Verwaltung e. V. is the publisher of the ZUGFeRD standard.
XRechnung and EU invoice to public authorities
The latest ZUGFeRD version 2.0/Factur-X conforms to the European standard (EU invoice) and thus enables B2G e-invoicing ("calculation").
In addition to the joint German-French standard Factur-X / ZUGFeRD 2.0, the German specification XRechnung for public authorities is also based on the European standard – Electronic Invoice; both standards form two so-called core invoice usage specifications ("CIUS").
In accordance with the Federal E-Invoice Ordinance, an E-Invoice must always be submitted as an XRechnung or as an EU-Invoice.
XRechnung – the Core Invoice Usage Specification (CIUS) of the European standard for E-Invoicing for public administration in Germany
Just like Factur-X/ZUGFeRD 2.0, the XRechnung is also a CIUS and represents the European standard for electronic invoicing for administration in Germany and supplements it with further national regulations relevant for administration in Germany, e.g. by upgrading optional fields to mandatory fields. This enables the administration to specifically request necessary information in an invoice that is important for invoice processing in the administration. The European specifications are adapted to national requirements by means of XRechnung.
The central invoice receipt portal of the Federal Government for E-Invoices in Germany
The E-Invoice must be submitted via a central federal E-Invoice portal:
- manual entry in the web form
- file upload
- Web service interface/PEPPOL
The accounting portal is a special application of the comprehensive administration portal and designed for federal expansion. Prior registration for a service account is always required. The E-Invoices are transferred from the E-Invoice portal via ERP integration into government booking systems, e.g. MACH or SAP.
E-Invoicing? Stadtwerke Augsburg are ready!
“SEEBURGER’s E-Invoicing Solution helps us to react quicker and more cost-efficient to invitations to tender as well as provide our customers with new added value. We are really satisfied with our experience with SEEBURGER in this implementation, as it was highly professional as usual. We feel well prepared for whatever E-Invoicing requirements will come up in the future.”
Michael Schnall, Team Lead Strategy and Data Utilities swa