Ensure your e-invoices comply with the new European e-invoicing standards. Download the standards for free.

In response to the many different formats of electronic invoices used across Europe, the European Commission introduced a European standard and a technical specification for e-invoicing: EN 16931-1:2017 and CEN/TS 16931-2:2017. Harmonising e-invoicing practices helps organisations simplify invoicing processes and benefit from easier cross-border trade relations. The new standard and technical specification are available for free from NBN, the Bureau for Standardisation, thanks to the European Commission.

What is EN 16931-1:2017?

The new European Standard, which was introduced late 2017, defines the core elements of an electronic invoice within a semantic data model. The model includes a list of all business terms that may be used in a compliant invoice and defines how they should be understood and used. E-invoices meeting the new standard ensure legal and fiscal compliance and enable interoperability for cross-border, cross sector and domestic trade. The semantic model may be used by organisations in the private and the public sectors for public procurement invoicing as well as for invoicing between private sector enterprises.

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What is CEN/TS 16931-2:2017?

The Technical Specification provides a list of syntaxes that comply with the core invoice model as specified in EN 16931 1:2017. To limit costs on  public authorities, the list should ideally not exceed five syntaxes. In CEN/TS 16931-2:2017, four syntaxes were taken into account and assessed according to criteria provided by the Standardisation Request.

Standards: what’s in it for your organisation?

Implementing standards benefits organizations on several levels:

  • Cost savings: the application of standards reduces costs by increasing the efficiency and quality of business processes.
  • Export: standards are an important asset for the export economy, as they ensure that products and services are better accepted in other countries.
  • Innovation: standards make it easier to spread knowledge and new technologies, allowing companies to innovate faster and at a lower cost.
  • Customer satisfaction: applying standards increases the quality of products or services. As a result, customer satisfaction and trust increase.
  • Sustainability: the use of standards leads to environmentally friendly, safe and sustainable products and production processes.

Implementing the e-invoicing standard

Would you like to use these e-invoicing standards in the technical guidelines of your company? Feel free! Just make sure to include a clearly visible statement referring to the publication and stating that it was reproduced with the permission of CEN and NBN as copyright owners.

Also note that CEN and NBN bear no liability for the use of their content in and implementation of any derivative application and give no warranties, expressed or implied, for any purpose of such implementations. In case of doubt, users should always refer to the content of the publication provided by NBN.

Get the standard for free

Access to this CEN and NBN technical  publication  has  been  sponsored  by  the  European Commission. The publications are available for free on our website!

Get the e-invoicing standards free of chargeEN 16931-1:2017 and CEN/TS 16931-2:2017.

More info?

Feel free to contact andre.madarasz@nbn.be or call +32 2 738 01 18.