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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.
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.
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.
Implementing standards benefits organizations on several levels:
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.
Access to this CEN and NBN technical publication has been sponsored by the European Commission. The publications are available for free on our website!
Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +32 2 738 01 18.