CISP stands Central Invoice Submission Portal and ZRE is the German abbreviation (Zentrale Rechnungseingangsplattform des Bundes). It is a web application allowing suppliers and service providers to send e-invoices to the respective Federal Administration.
The ZRE can be reached at xrechnung.bund.de.
In order to avoid errors and test data accidentally being entered into the accounting books, testing must not be carried out within the productive environment. Hence, the exchange of invoices between invoice issuers and invoice recipients must be tested via a reference environment that is functionally identical to the CISP/ZRE.
Joint testing requires an agreement between the invoice issuer and the invoice recipient.
If this is not possible, invoice issuers, ERP manufacturers or service providers have the option of testing the connection to the CISP/ZRE and the validity of the submitted electronic invoices by using a test buyer reference. To use this option, please contact us via our contact form.
To transmit an e-invoice to the authorities of the direct Federal Administration, the invoice receipt platform ZRE must be used. The ZRE platform 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.
To ensure that an e-invoice can be forwarded by the CISP/ZRE to the addressed invoice recipient, it is mandatory for the invoice issuer to provide a so-called buyer reference to uniquely identify the invoice recipient.
The following data is required for registration with the CISP/ZRE:
• user name
• first and last name
• email contact
It is possible to change the password via the CISP/ZRE web access. Users can manage passwords directly after logging in via the function ‘Start user administration’ and ‘Edit my user account’.
The password can be reset via the function ‘Forgot my password’ on the login page of the CISP/ZRE.
The user account can be deleted independently by the user via the web access of the CISP/ZRE by clicking on ‘Start user administration’ and ‘Edit my user account’.
The administrator is also able to delete the company account.
A change can be made via the web access of the CISP/ZRE using the function ‘Start user administration’ and ‘Edit my user account’. The specified data in this section can be managed and changed.
When using the platforms, there are five submission channels available to invoice senders for invoices:
- Web-based data entry (available)
- Uploading (available)
- Email (available)
- De-Mail (coming soon)
- Web service via Peppol (available)
Web entry is particularly suitable for companies with a low volume of invoices that either do not use any outgoing invoice software or whose software does not support the creation of electronic invoices in accordance with the EU standard.
The invoice data is manually transferred by the invoice issuer to an input mask on the platform and then transmitted to the recipient. For archiving purposes, the invoice issuer is provided with the valid e-invoice in XML format for download.
Note: The platform does not provide any audit-proof archive for invoice issuers. The generated e-invoice must be archived in XML format by the supplier or invoice issuer.
Uploading an invoice is relevant for invoice issuers who create an electronic invoice according to the EU standard, but cannot or do not want to send it via the automatable transmission channels (email, Peppol). The option to upload an invoice manually requires registration.
The transmission channels De-Mail and email require that invoice issuers is able to generate a valid electronic invoice with their software.
Once the De-Mail or email transmission channels have been activated in the user account, the invoice issuer will be notified of the address to be used for sending invoices. Furthermore, it is necessary to enter a sender address, as only messages from previously recorded senders can be considered.
Please note the following:
- No subject must be specified
- A maximum of one invoice may be sent as an XML file in the attachment per email/De-Mail transmission
- Additional attachments and text information of the email/De-Mail will be discarded
- Maximum number of documents attached to the invoice: 200
- Maximum size of e-invoice incl. attachments: 10 MB
Please note that the De-Mail input channel is currently not yet available on the platform.
The process of issuing invoices to direct federal authorities is fundamentally simplified for the invoice issuer by using the Central Invoice Submission Portal CISP/ZRE. After registering once to create a user account, invoices can be transmitted via the platform to all institutions of the direct Federal Administration; bilateral agreements are not necessary, as is the case with EDI procedures, for example. Registration is permitted for natural persons with full legal capacity as well as for legal entities.
Registration and use of the CISP/ZRE platform are free of charge for invoice issuers/providers.
Please note that costs may be incurred by the user while using the CISP/ZRE 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 CISP/ZRE.
Yes, the ‘User Guide for the ZRE Web Interface’ for manual creation of electronic (test) invoices for suppliers and service providers of the Federal Administration is available. The document shows step by step (with illustrations) how to use the ZRE web interface.
The user assistance can also be used by invoice recipients.
An accessible version is currently in development.
You can view the status of your submitted e-invoices in the user account, regardless of the choice of transmission channel. For this purpose, you can use the function ‘Processing status of submitted invoices’ on the CISP/ZRE homepage.
When you use the web service transmission channel via Peppol, you will also receive automatic status feedback after accessing the interface. However, this status feedback refers exclusively to the status of the transmission and not to verification of the invoice in the CISP/ZRE.
You can find more details about Peppol here.
No. Invoices submitted via the CISP/ZRE 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.
Yes, an interim status (as .er file) of the manually entered invoice can be downloaded as an invoice template at any time via the function ‘Enter new invoice’ on the homepage of the CISP/ZRE.
You can upload these intermediate status files via the function ‘Continue invoice entry’ on the CISP/ZRE homepage and then continue with the invoice entry process.
No! Invoices submitted via web entry cannot be subsequently accessed and downloaded. Therefore, if invoices are created via web entry, it is mandatory that the created original invoice is downloaded and archived by the invoice issuer at the end of the entry process.
Designed as a pure data format, e-invoicing enables invoice data to be imported into the processing systems directly and seamlessly. The structured XML data record thus primarily serves for machine readability. By using display programs, the XML data set can be displayed in a way that is readable for humans.
As an additional transmission channel, the CISP/ZRE 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:
- Use of the web service via the Federal Government’s Peppol (free)
- Use of an existing Peppol service provider (fee-based)
- Fee-based membership with OpenPEPPOL and the establishment of your own Peppol Access Point
In principle, no registration with the CISP/ZRE is needed to transmit electronic invoices via the Peppol web service. However, the processing status of invoices submitted via the Peppol web service can only be viewed if the ‘Web-based data entry and Peppol’ transmission channel is enabled after successful registration and if the Peppol Sender ID used by the sender has been entered.
The following applies to Peppol: Invoices from non-registered invoice issuers are validated and are accordingly provided to the invoice recipient or discarded.
The following applies to all other transmission channels (email and De-Mail): Invoices from non-registered and registered invoice issuers without activation of the selected transmission channel are discarded by the CISP/ZRE without further verification and feedback.
Yes, documents supporting the invoice can be added to an e-invoice as attachments.
Please note the following size and format specifications as well as the permissible file formats:
Size and format requirements:
- Web-based data entry: Number of accompanying documents 200, maximum size of all attachments 11 MB
- Upload: Number of accompanying documents 200, maximum size of e-invoice, incl. attachments 15 MB
- Email: Number of accompanying documents 200, maximum size of e-invoice, incl. attachments 10 MB
- DE-Mail: Number of accompanying documents 200, maximum size of e-invoice incl. attachments 10 MB
- Web service via Peppol: Number of accompanying documents 200, maximum size of e-invoice, incl. attachments 15 MB
File formats of the attachments
- PDF documents
- Images (PNG, JPG/JPEG)
- Text files (CSV)
- Excel documents (XLSX)
- OpenDocument spreadsheets (ODS)
Direct Federal Administration institutions and Federal Government constitutional bodies are connected to the CISP/ZRE. See the following document for an overview of the public contracting authorities connected to the CISP/ZRE: