FAQ – Online Access Act-Compliant Invoice Submission Portal (OZG-RE)

You can find answers to your questions about the OZG‑RE here. Suppliers and service providers can use this invoice submission portal, which complies with the Online Access Act, to submit their e-invoices to organisations of the indirect federal administration and federal states which are connected to the system.

General information

What tasks does the OZG‑RE take on when transmitting e-invoices?

The OZG-RE assumes the following three tasks for the transmission of e-invoices:

  • The receipt of e-invoices via various transmission channels.
  • The technical verification of e-invoices (including invoice size, number and type of attachments, virus check, entry of all mandatory information)
  • The transmission of e-invoices to the respective invoice recipient via buyer reference.

Which invoice receipt platform must be used for invoicing?

The following federal invoice receipt platforms must be used to submit electronic invoices:

  • You can submit invoices to direct federal administration institutions and federal government constitutional bodies via the ZRE.
  • You can submit invoices to institutions associated with the indirect federal administration, affiliated beneficiaries and cooperating federal states via the OZG-RE.

You will receive information on which invoice receipt platform to use via the underlying order or directly from the invoice recipient.

What are the differences between the OZG-RE and the ZRE?

The ZRE and the OZG-RE are functionally similar for invoice issuers and for invoice recipients. However, the group of affiliated invoice recipients is different.

The ZRE is the mandatory central invoice receipt platform for the institutions of the direct federal administration. The OZG-RE, on the other hand, is an optional service offered by the Federal Government; it forwards invoices to affiliated institutions of the indirect federal administration, affiliated beneficiaries and cooperating federal states.

Is there an overview of all OZG-RE invoice recipients?

Indirect federal administration institutions (and cooperating states) are connected to the OZG-RE. See the following document for an overview of the public contracting authorities connected to the OZG-RE:

Dokument herunterladen Download overview of authorities connected to the OZG-RE (DE)

Can invoices be downloaded in XML or PDF format?

You can download all e-invoices, no matter how you submitted them, in XML format from the „Invoice status” page. The invoice in XML format is considered a valid original invoice.

What is “Mein Unternehmenskonto”?

The user account known as “Mein Unternehmenskonto” (which is based on the ELSTER tax software) provides companies in Germany with a central, standardised interface through which they can use the online administrative services of various authorities and communicate with those authorities. Further information on registering with and using “Mein Unternehmenskonto” can be found on the FAQ page of the “Mein Unternehmenskonto” website (German only).

What are the advantages in using the OZG-RE via “Mein Unternehmenskonto”?

“Mein Unternehmenskonto” provides companies in Germany with a standardised, single sign-on account through which to use not just the OZG-RE (for sending and receiving invoices) but other online federal administrative services as well. By using the OZG-RE via “Mein Unternehmenskonto”, invoice issuers and recipients can sign in more conveniently and benefit from a higher degree of security.

Registration to use the OZG-RE

How do I register to use the OZG-RE?

When registering with the OZG-RE, you create two accounts: a main account for your company (also known as the “OZG-RE account”) and a user account associated with that main account. Additional users may also be added to the main account. The user who carries out the registration automatically becomes the administrator of the main OZG-RE account. Registration should therefore only be done by a responsible member of the company.

There are two ways to register:

  1. You can register via the login page of the OZG-RE website. This will create an OZG-RE account. On the login page, click “Create new user account” to open the registration page. There you must enter the required information and confirm that you accept the terms of use. You will then receive an email containing a link. Click this link to activate the new account. This completes the registration process. If your company already has an OZG-RE account, contact the account administrator and ask them to add you as a user.
  2. You can register with “Mein Unternehmenskonto” (a user account based on the ELSTER tax software). This also gives you access to the OZG-RE. As part of the registration process you will be issued with an ELSTER organisation certificate. This is required in order to access the OZG-RE.

To register with “Mein Unternehmenskonto”, go to the login page of the OZG-RE website and click on “Register My Unternehmenskonto ”. Clicking this option will open ELSTER. Here you can switch the language to English and register for an ELSTER organisation certificate. Click “Next” and you will come to a page where you can enter your company information. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. Having entered all the required information and completed the registration process, you will receive your ELSTER organisation certificate, which allows you to sign into the OZG-RE.

To sign into the OZG-RE via “Mein Unternehmenskonto”, click on “Login with My Unternehmenskonto ”. Then enter in the field “Zertifikatsdatei ” the ELSTER organisation certificate (which you received when you registered) and enter your password in the field “Passwort” . Once you have confirmed that you agree with the forwarding of your personal data , you will be redirected to the OZG-RE.

Further information on registering with “Mein Unternehmenskonto” can be found on the FAQ page of the “Mein Unternehmenskonto” website (German only).

Is registration required for invoice senders to use OZG‑RE?

Yes! In order to be able to transmit invoices via OZG-RE, it is necessary to set up a company account.

Open the terms of use of the OZG-RE

Is registration or use of the OZG-RE for invoice issuers subject to a fee?

Both registration and use of OZG-RE are free of charge for invoice issuers.

Please note that costs may be incurred by the user while using the OZG-RE platform, in particular for the provision, connection and operation of necessary software and hardware as well as for Internet use, which will not be reimbursed by the responsible parties (publisher and technical service provider) of the OZG-RE.

Open the terms of use of the OZG-RE

What data is required for registration with the OZG‑RE?

To register a company account for the first time, at least the following data must be entered:

Company data:

  • Business name
  • Language
  • VAT identifier
  • Tax registration number

User data:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Language
  • Email
  • Password

At the same time, the terms of use and Privacy Policy must be accepted.

If your company is already registered for the OZG-RE and only a new user needs to be created by the administrator, the following information must be provided:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email

What should I do if I haven't received an activation link after registering with the OZG‑RE?

If you haven’t received an activation link, first check the spam folder of your email account. If there is no activation link there, please contact the help desk of the Bundesdruckerei at sendersupport-xrechnung@bdr.de and request a new link.

What should I do if my activation link has expired?

If your activation link has expired, please click on the expired activation link in your email. You will be redirected automatically to a web page where you can request a new activation link.

What should I do if I cannot request a new activation link?

If you are unable to request a new activation link from the web page, please contact the help desk of the Bundesdruckerei at sendersupport-xrechnung@bdr.de to request a new link.

Submitting and receiving e-invoices via the OZG-RE

Which channels can invoice senders use to submit their e-invoices to the OZG-RE?

When using the platforms, there are five submission channels available to invoice senders for invoices:

  • Web-based data entry
  • Uploading
  • Email
  • Web service via Peppol

For more information about the submission channels, see the OZG-RE technical terms of use.

How does the web service transmission route via Peppol work through the OZG-RE?

As an additional transmission channel, the OZG-RE provides the option of sending invoices from the originating software through a web service and transmission via the Peppol network. The submission of e-invoices via Peppol is essentially possible in three different ways:

  1. Use of the web service via the Federal Government’s Peppol existing Access Point (free).
  2. Use of an existing Peppol service provider (chargeable).
  3. Fee-based membership with OpenPeppol and the establishment of your own Peppol Access Point

In principle, no registration with the OZG-RE is needed to transmit electronic invoices via the Peppol web service. However, the processing status of invoices submitted via the Peppolweb service can only be viewed if the “Web-based data entry and Peppol” transmission channel is enabled after successful registration and if the PeppolSender ID used by the sender has been entered.

How can I submit supporting documents and attachments of an e-invoice to the OZG-RE?

To submit supporting documents or attachments with your invoice, they must be embedded in the invoice data file and should not be sent separately as an email attachment. Documents of the following file types may be embedded: PDF documents (PDF), Images (PNG, JPEG, JPG), Excel spreadsheets (XLSX), Support and OpenDocument spreadsheets (ODS) and Text files (CSV) as well as XML when using an extension.

You have various options for embedding documents depending on the way you create your invoices and which transmission method you use to submit them to the Online Access Act-compliant Invoice Submission Portal (OZG-RE).

Create new invoice (via web submission)

If you create your electronic invoice manually (using the web submission form), you can manually add supporting documents of the accepted file types to the invoice. In the navigation bar at the top of the screen, click on “Additional documents”. This will open a page where you can select and upload the relevant documents from your computer, including via drag and drop. When you submit your invoice, the documents will be directly embedded in the invoice. Please note that the maximum number is limited to 200 documents.

Upload invoice file

You can submit your completed invoice in the XML format using the function “Upload invoice file”. To attach supporting documents, you must embed them in the XML file encoded in Base64 before uploading your invoice.

For more information, contact your software provider to ask about options for embedding documents in electronic invoices. Please note that the maximum number is limited to 200 documents.

Transmit via email

You can submit your completed invoice using email. To attach supporting documents, you must embed them in the XML file encoded in Base64 before submitting your invoice.

For more information, contact your software provider to ask about options for embedding documents in electronic invoices. Please note that the maximum number is limited to 200 documents.

Transmit via Peppol

You can submit your completed invoice using Peppol. To attach supporting documents up to 100 MB, you must embed them in the XML file encoded in Base64 before submitting your invoice.

For more information, contact your software provider to ask about options for embedding documents in electronic invoices. Please note that the maximum number is limited to 200 documents.

Can a previously submitted e-invoice be recalled?

No. Invoices submitted via the OZG-RE cannot be recalled.

Users can track the current status of their invoice in the log view. If you have submitted an incorrect invoice by mistake, please contact the invoice recipient.

Is invoicing via the OZG-RE possible at all times?

There are no time restrictions on the creation or submission of invoices via the OZG-RE. Maintenance work may result in a short period of unavailability at times however. Upcoming maintenance work will be announced in advance via a pop-up window.

Open the OZG-RE terms of use

Which software can be used to open e-invoices in XML format once they have been created in the OZG-RE and saved locally?

If the company does not have software for viewing locally saved invoices in XML format, a solution can be purchased on the market or developed in house. No solutions can be recommended here.

Is there a charge for receiving e-invoices via the OZG-RE for invoice recipients?

For each invoice provided via the OZG-RE, the invoice recipient must cover the cost. The amount of this payment is specified in the administrative agreement to be signed.

Status of e-invoices submitted via the OZG-RE

How can the status of an e‑invoice submitted via the OZG-RE be viewed?

You can track the status of the submitted invoice. To do so, select “View status of submitted invoices” in the Home section.

Depending on the processing status, an invoice can have the following status types: new, delivered, received and rejected.

In this section, you can also continue with a manual invoice entry previously started via web-based data entry.

What should I do if payment of an e-invoice submitted to the OZG-RE is still outstanding?

If payment of a submitted e-invoice is still outstanding after the due date, you should first check the status of that invoice in the OZG-RE. You can do this from the OZG-RE dashboard by clicking “View processing status of submitted invoices”.

We recommend that you only send an overdue payment reminder to the invoice recipient if the status of your submitted e-invoice is marked “Collected”.

If the status of your e-invoice is marked “Rejected”, please investigate possible reasons for this. There are two ways in which a submitted e-invoice can be rejected:

  1. Rejection by the OZG-RE: The submitted e-invoice is checked by the OZG-RE portal. If it does not meet the formal requirements of e-invoices or contains calculation errors, it is rejected by the portal.
  2. Rejection by the invoice recipient: In such cases, the submitted e-invoice is rejected by the recipient due to factual errors in the invoice itself. When rejecting an e-invoice, the invoice recipient should state a reason for the rejection. If no reason is stated, please check your submitted e-invoice and contact the invoice recipient if you are still unsure why it was rejected.

In both cases, the invoice must be corrected and resubmitted. However, please always check the status of your submitted e-invoice before taking any further steps.

The OZG-RE does not currently issue automated email notifications about changes to the status of your submitted e-invoices.

If you send your invoices via Peppol, you must register with the OZG-RE in order to view the status of submitted e-invoices. Registration and use of the ZRE are free of charge for invoice issuers.

How do I know whether the e-invoice I submitted to the OZG-RE has reached its intended recipient?

In the OZG-RE you can find the status of your submitted e-invoices under “Processing status of submitted XRechnung invoices ”.

The OZG-RE does not currently issue automated email notifications about changes to the status of your submitted e-invoices. A feature that would enable automated email notifications is currently being planned.

For further information on specific status notifications, please refer to the additional FAQs about the OZG-RE below.

What status notifications are issued for e-invoices submitted to the OZG-RE and what do they mean?

The OZG-RE has five different status notifications. They are:

  • Initial: The invoice has been created in the “web submission” format but not yet sent. You have the option to continue processing.
  • Awaiting collection: The invoice has been successfully transmitted and is awaiting collection by the recipient.
  • Collected: The recipient has collected the invoice and confirmed receipt of the invoice.
  • Rejected: The invoice has been rejected by the system or the recipient due to an error of form or content.
  • Deleted: The last change in the status of the invoice was more than 28 days ago. The invoice was therefore deleted by the system.

Support

How to change or reset a password for the OZG-RE user account?

Change password
After logging in, navigate to “Personal Settings” via the person icon. You can change your password in this section.

Reset password
You can reset your password using the “Forgot password?” function on the OZG-RE homepage by entering your email address. You will receive a link by email which you can use to specify a new password.

How can I change the email contact address in my user account for the OZG-RE?

The email address can only be changed by the appropriate administrator (in the user management section). Contact your administrator.

How to delete a user account for the OZG-RE?

A user account can only be deleted by an administrator in your company. See your administrator for help with this.

The administrator is also able to delete the company account.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about using the OZG-RE or if I have issues?

A support service is available to answer your questions about using the OZG-RE or if you are having issues.

It can be reached by email or by telephone:

Support and service for invoice recipients (authorised users):

Kontaktanfrage stellen Contact form

030 2598 4436 anrufen +49 30 2598 4430

(Mon.-Fri. 08:00 AM – 04:00 PM)

Support und service for invoice senders:

Kontaktanfrage stellen Contact form

030 2598 4436 anrufen +49 228 99681 10101

(Mon.-Fri. 08:00 AM – 04:00 PM)

Is there a test IBAN that I can use in the test environment?

Yes. For testing in the test environment, you can use the IBAN DE75512108001245126199, as used for KoSIT test cases.

Where do I find information about new features and updates?

Information about new features and updates are published through the usual channels, e.g. the e-rechnung-bund.de website and newsletter. If you wish to receive the e-invoicing newsletter, please contact us at DGI5AG@bmi.bund.de.

Do you have any questions?

If you need further information, you can contact us directly using the contact form. In our media library you will also find video tutorials on how to use the OZG-RE.