Electronic Invoicing

Update on e-Invoicing in the German Federal States

e-Invoicing in the German Federal States

Germany is advancing the implementation of e-invoicing in public administrations according to a timeline that makes B2G invoicing mandatory in the federated states.

UPDATE: Combating tax fraud is one of the main objectives of the new coalition government. They have proposed the implementation of a new national VAT declaration system to create, verify and send invoices. The government intends to modernize the tax system and the existing communications between the public administration and companies. Currently, there is no more information about the development of this proposal. 

The federal states of Sarre, Baden Wurttemberg and Hamburg will make their suppliers issue electronic invoices as of January 1, 2022, but will exclude direct orders with a value under 1,000 Euros. 

The mandatory issue of electronic invoices for suppliers of the national federal government and the administration of Bremen is already in force since the end of November 2020. Other states will follow suit like West Mecklenburg-Pomerania in 2023, Hesse in 2024  and Rhineland-Palatinate in January 2024. 

The electronic invoice in Germany

Since 18th April 2020 the federated states must accept e-invoices in compliance with the European Directive 2014/55/EU. The status of e-invoicing depends on each Federal State (Bundesland) transposing the European Directive via a local decree-law regulating:

  • Communication systems.
  • Formats.
  • 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 draft their 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 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.

As a result of the decentralized nature of the German billing system, its establishment has had a different development in each federal state.

Progreso de la factura electrónica en los Estados Federados Alemanes [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 centeal 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

 

B2G e-Invoicing in Bremen

 

B2G e-Invoicing in Hessen

 

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

 

B2G e-Invoicing in Schleswig-Holstein

 

B2G e-Invoicing in Thuringia

 

ZUGFeRD 2.1 Model

The update of the ZUGFeRD e-invoicing model makes it compatible with European standard EN 16931 and the French standard Factur-X 1.0.

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 2.1 published in March 2020 includes corrections to ensure its’ 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.

Besides the updated ZUGFeRD format, the standard used for e-invoicing in B2G relations is the German PEPPOL UBL format, called XRechnung. 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 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.

EDICOM participates in the Directory Service Working Group (Arbeitskreis Verzeichnisdienst) with the members of the Association of Electronic Invoices (VeR)

Edicom has been 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. 

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. 

The group has presented a new proposal to the VeR-Hauptversammlung (General Assembly) to promote and support the implementation of this project. 

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