In the development of the XRechnung standard, a specific address coding schema known as the “buyer reference” (Leitweg-ID) was defined for German public-sector customers. This address coding has been registered with Peppol as an admissible schema for defining the participant identifier in the transport network. For businesses in Germany, the VAT ID schema and the Global Location Number schema are also registered with Peppol. This means that private industry customers may use their VAT ID as their Peppol participant ID to clearly identify themselves as senders or recipients in the Peppol system. For public-sector customers, the buyer reference is now also available as a valid identification schema.

The interconnection between a Peppol participant ID and the buyer reference or the VAT ID is established by means of different prefixes. The Peppol participant ID is composed of a four-digit numerical code which precedes the buyer reference or the VAT ID.

PrefixSchemePeppol Participant ID
0204Buyer reference0204:BuyerReference
9930VAT ID9930:VATID
0088Global Location Number0088:GlobalLocationNumber
List of how Peppol Participant ID and buyer reference are related

To ensure standardised document exchange within the Peppol network, communication is implemented on the basis of what is known as BIS (Business Interoperability Specification). The BIS document establishes a clearly defined standard for exchanging documents within the network. For example, if an e-invoice in XRechnung format is to be sent to a recipient via Peppol, a standard business document (SBD) serves as the technical envelope in which the e-invoice (together with the SBD header) is enclosed. This SBD must contain the receiver ID, whereas the buyer reference field (BT-10) in the enclosed invoice may only contain the recipient’s buyer reference.