Electronic Invoicing

Germany: B2G e-Invoicing in the German Federal States

e-Invoicing in the German Federal States

European Directive 2014/55/EU calls on all member-state government agencies to be able to receive and manage electronic invoices in accordance with the standard specified by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), 434 EU NORM 16931.

To deliver on the Directive, Germany, like the other EU member states, transposes the European regulation by drafting domestic laws.  The German government enacted the E-Rechnungs-Gesetznational law and the E-Rechnungsverordnung legislative decree to that end.

The timeline for the application of B2G e-invoicing in Germany is:

  • 04/18/2019: B2G e-invoicing mandatory for receiving at national level.
  • 04/18/2020: B2G e-invoicing mandatory for receiving at regional and communal level.
  • 11/27/2020: B2G e-invoicing mandatory for sending at federal level.

EDICOM is a member of the VeR (Verband elektronischer Rechnung) since 2018, with the goal of having direct information about the advances in Germany regarding electronic invoices. 

EDICOM participates in the Directory Service Working Group (Arbeitskreis Verzeichnisdienst) with the members of the Association of Electronic Invoices (VeR). The working group is made up of various e-invoicing suppliers in the country and was created to analyze and work on a proposal to create a directory called “Leitweg-ID. This directory will facilitate electronic processes for clients and suppliers as well as the public administrations at all levels of government. 

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B2G e-Invoicing status at the national level in Germany

At the national level, the E-Rechnungsverordnung legislative decree established the Koordinierungstelle für IT-Standards (KoSIT). This body is tasked with creating a standardized invoice that conforms to the EN 16931 standard. 

In Germany, the central government's electronic invoice format is outlined in the Basic Specification for Invoice Users (CIUS). Two formats are accepted: the national ZUGFeRD and the Peppol UBL, known as XRechnung.

Accepted methods of communication include:

  • Manual
  • Email
  • De-Mail
  • WebService
  • Peppol

The government has also set up a national central billing platform known as the Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes (ZRE). This platform serves as the intermediary between suppliers and the central administration.

B2G e-Invoicing status at the regional level in Germany

The German Federal Electronic Invoicing Act, E-Rechnungs-Gesetz, allows each of the federal states to enact their own specific regulations. 

The implementation process in Germany has taken place concurrently with that of its 16 federal states, each possessing the legislative freedom to adapt the European directive to their needs.
The advancement of electronic invoicing depends on each federal state (Bundesland) issuing its own decree that addresses:

  • Communication systems.
  • Invoice formats.
  • Access points for electronic invoicing with regional and local public administrations.

Federal states can choose either to adopt the Core Invoice User Specification (CIUS) model or to develop their own electronic invoicing standards. They also have the flexibility to decide whether to ue the central government’s Zentrales Rechnungseingangsportal OZG-RE platform or other systems.

The only requirement for the federal states is that if they develop their own web service, it must also be compatible with the Peppol network. 

What is ZUGFeRD?

ZUGFeRD stands for "Central User Guide of the Electronic Invoice Germany Forum" and is a standard developed and managed by the "Forum Elektronische Rechnung Deutschland" (FeRD). 

This hybrid data format integrates structured invoice data in XML format into a PDF (PDF/A-3) document. The invoice is thus transmitted as a PDF document, which serves as the visual component, while an identical XML copy of the invoice is embedded within the same PDF. This enables the electronic processing of the invoice using the structured data. 

A significant advancement for electronic invoicing in B2G scenarios is the updated ZUGFeRD model, which complies with the European standard EN 16931 and the French Factur-X 1.0 standard.

What is XRechnung?

Alongside the updated ZUGFeRD, XRechnung is the national standard for electronic invoices in B2G interactions in Germany. This format, consisting of an XML data file that includes the required invoice data, is mandatory for central, regional, and local authorities. Created in line with the European standard EN 16931, its use has been approved since November 2020. ZUGFeRD is also applicable in B2B, B2G, and B2C commercial transactions. 

The standard is maintained and developed by the Koordinierungsstelle für IT-Standards (KoSIT) on behalf of the IT Planning Council. Furthermore, KoSIT coordinates the ongoing development of XRechnung, engaging experts from the federal government, states, and municipalities.

What is the Leitweg-ID?

The Leitweg-ID is a unique identifier used to specify the recipients of B2G documents sent to invoice reception platforms in Germany. It is particularly necessary for invoices sent to public entities that also utilize reception platforms like ZRE or OZG-RE. 

The Koordinierungsstelle für IT-Standards (KoSIT), which is responsible for the development of standardized invoices, mandates this identifier. Public administrations are required to provide the Leitweg-ID to the issuer of the electronic invoice, who must then include it in the document before submission.

Two types of Leitweg-ID codes are required: The first is a technical code that identifies the buyer’s platform, such as the ZRE platform for receiving invoices from the central administration. The second is a commercial code, provided by the buyer with each new contract or order.

EDICOM's Electronic Invoicing Solution 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 countries where 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.

e-Invoicing in the German Federal States [Hide]

B2G e-Invoicing in Baden-Württemberg

  • Transposition via law E-Government-Gesetz Baden-Württemberg (EgovG BW).
  • Local regulation:  E-Rechnungsverordnung Baden-Württemberg (ErechVOBW).
  • Reception of electronic invoices through a central portal.
  • The channels of communication are: web upload, e-mail, and through the Peppol network. 
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.
  • Public providers must issue e-invoices except invoices up to an amount of 1.000€ and invoices from and to municipalities / municipal associations.


B2G e-Invoicing in Bavaria

  • Transposition via law Bayerisches E-Goverment Gesetz (BayEGovG).
  • Local regulation:  Bayrische E-Government Verordnung - BayEGovV.
  • Invoice reception  Is decentralized.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Lower Saxony


B2G e-Invoicing in Berlin


B2G e-Invoicing in Brandenburg

  • Transposition via law Brandenburgeisches E-Government-Gesetz (BbgEGovG).
  • Local regulation: Verordnung über die elektronische Rechnungsstellung bei öffentlichen Aufträgen.
  • Invoice reception via the OZG-RE platform.
  • The possible communication channels are: Web capture, web upload, e-mail, DE-mail and PEPPOL.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Bremen


B2G e-Invoicing in Hessen

  • Transposition via law Hessisches E-Government-Gesetz (HEGovG).
  • Local regulation: E-Rechnungs-Verordnung Hessen.
  • Central Invoice Reception for the State Administration of Hesse
  • The possible communication channels for the central invoice reception in the State Administration of Hesse are ZRE, Peppol, and email.
  • The allowed standards are CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Hamburg


B2G e-Invoicing in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

  • Transposition via law E-Government-Gesetz Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (EgovG M-V) – not yet passed: Draft presented.
  • Legal Decree ERechV Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
  • Invoice reception via the OZG-RE platform.
  • The possible communication channels are: portal, e-mail and Peppol.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Saxony


B2G e-Invoicing in Saarland

  • Transposition via law “E-Government-Gesetz Saarland (EGovSL)
  • Local regulation: E-rechnungsverordnung Saarlabd (E-RechVO SL)
  • Invoice reception via Rhineland-Palatinate’s portal ZRW-RLP (co-utilisation)
  • The possible communication channels are: Web upload, e-mail, in future Peppol.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in North Rhine-Westphalia


B2G e-Invoicing in Rhineland-Palatinate

  • Transposition via law E-Government-Gesetz Rheinland-Pfalz (ERechGRP).
  • Local regulation: E-Rechnungs-Verordnung RLP, not yet legislated/in force.
  • Central invoice receipt portal for federal state ZRE RLP (E-Rechnungsportal Rheinland-Pfalz.
  • The possible communication channels are: web upload, e-mail, in the future web service with  PEPPOL.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Saxony-Anhalt

  • Transposition via law E-Rechnungsgesetz Sachsen-Anhalt - ERG LSA.
  • Local regulation: E-Rechnungsverordnung LSA.
  • Central invoice receipt portal for federal state (E-Rechnungsportal).
  • The possible communication channels are: web capture, e-mail, and Peppol.
  • The allowed standards are XRechnung and CEN-compatible ones.


B2G e-Invoicing in Schleswig-Holstein


B2G e-Invoicing in Thuringia

Interested in learning more about B2G and B2B Invoicing in Germany?

Contact our team specialized in the German market, and we’ll analyze your company’s needs.

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