Welcome to the federal government's information page about electronic invoicing, or e-invoicing for short. Here you will find information for invoice issuers, software companies, authorities and associations.
More detailed information for self-employed persons and enterprises.
More detailed information for authorities and their suppliers.
More detailed information for software companies on format and interfaces.
More detailed information for associations and their members.
What is an e‑invoice?
An e-invoice provides invoice content in a structured, machine-readable XML data set instead of on paper or in an image file such as a PDF. This ensures that information provided in this form by the biller can be transmitted and received electronically and seamlessly and can be processed and approved for payment automatically.
Please note: This information video has been provided as part of the project “Introduction of E-Invoicing in the Federal Administration”. The same information in text form can be found on this page below the video.
Benefits for invoice issuers
- Simpler invoicing
- Faster payment thanks to reduced processing time
- Considerable savings on paper and postage costs
- Increased efficiency through automated invoice creation and validation
- Flexibility: e-invoicing can be done remotely
Benefits for invoice recipients
- Improved data quality thanks to lower potential for errors
- Considerable savings on processing costs
- Increased efficiency through automated importing of invoice data
- Flexibility: e-invoicing can be done remotely
Who is required to use electronic invoicing?
First you should check whether you are required to use electronic invoicing. Exceptions to this requirement are stated in the E-Invoicing Ordinance (only available in German). You should also bear in mind any contractual agreements you have with your customer.
What do I need to know when sending electronic invoices?
There are two portals for submitting invoices to the direct federal administration, parts of the indirect federal administration, and participating federal states. Before sending an invoice, you should ensure that you use the correct portal. When awarding you the contract, your customer should inform you which invoice submission portal to use. If you are unsure about this, please ask your customer. The overviews showing which authorities are connected to the ZRE and OZG-RE can serve as a guide.
Do I need to register with the invoice submission portals?
In order to use an invoice submission portal, you must first register with it. Registration is free of charge and is necessary no matter which method you choose for transmitting invoices. For detailed information on registering with the invoice submission portals and managing your user account, see the tutorials on how to use ZRE and OZG-RE.
Which transmission methods can I use to send electronic invoices to federal contracting authorities?
Before sending an e-invoice to a federal contracting authority, you should choose the transmission method that works best for you. If you do not have software for creating electronic invoices, you can enter your invoice data into the submission portal via your web browser and then submit this data as an e-invoice. If you wish to send small numbers of e-invoices you have created yourself, you can upload these to the invoice submission portal. If you need to send high volumes of invoices, you may prefer to use the Peppol web service or email transmission methods.
Note: Due to technical maintenance it will not be possible to use De-Mail to send e-invoices to the ZRE until the end of 2023. All other transmission methods can be used without restriction. We apologise for any inconvenience.
What happens once an electronic invoice has been submitted?
Once the invoice has been sent, you can track its submission status up to the point when it is “collected” by the customer. The portal checks that each submitted invoice conforms to the XRechnung specification or other EU-approved standard in terms of syntax and semantics, such as ZUGFeRD 2.2.0. Once the invoice has passed this conformity check (validation), it is automatically forwarded to the recipient. You can opt to receive an email notification whenever the status of your invoice changes.
Latest information on e‑invoicing
From 1 August 2023, you should use XRechnung version 2.3.1 to send your externally created electronic invoices via the ZRE and OZG-RE invoice submission portals.
Since 12 December 2022, the OZG-RE invoice submission portal has been available with an accessible user interface in line with the Ordinance on Accessible Information Technology (BITV 2.0).
The OZG-RE invoice submission portal is now available with an improved web interface for invoice recipients, in line with the Ordinance on Accessible Information Technology (BITV 2.0).