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EESPA releases brief on the new European standard for e-Invoices

Thursday 27th April, 2017

EESPA has provided a brief on the new standard for an e-invoice (or European Norm- EN) and is subject to approval of EU Directive 2014/55/EU.

The Directive applies to electronic invoices issued as a result of the performance of contracts arising from public procurement according to its detailed provisions. In relation to these transactions, a public administration is obliged to accept and process electronic invoices from its suppliers that comply with a new European standard for e-invoicing, and is reflected in one of the nominated syntaxes.

Member States will need to put in place measures to implement the requirements of the Directive in the period 2018 onwards.

The Commission has requested CEN (the European standardisation organisation) to draft the standard for the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice and prepare its supporting elements. ‘Semantic data model’ means a structured and logically interrelated set of terms and their meanings that specify the core elements of an electronic invoice.

According to EESPA this work is nearing completion and CEN has already approved the semantic model, the eligible syntaxes and methodology, the Extension Methodology and Transmission Guidelines. During 2017, users will be able to start work on implementation.

The CEN Technical Committee based its work on a Standardisation Request issued by the European Commission and has brought together standards experts over a two year period. It uses pre-existing standards, such as CEN BII used in PEPPOL, UBL, UN/CEFACT and EDIFACT.

The two nominated syntaxes for which syntax bindings will be provided are UBL and UN/CEFACT. Syntax bindings will also be provided for EDIFACT.

The EN supports fully the EU VAT regime in all its aspects: various VAT rates, exempt and zero-rate transactions.The invoice will support the various recognised methods for demonstrating authenticity and integrity such as digital signatures, EDI and Business Controls.

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