EU Directive EN-16931 mandates the use of the structured data format XML for electronic invoice exchange, which enables automated invoice processing. A standardised semantic data model describes the information elements of an invoice and their mutual relationship and data types (e.g. the buyer’s name). The specification of the syntax (UBL and UN/CEFACT) ensures uniform technical implementation of e-invoicing within the EU.

As a national implementation of the data model, the XRechnung invoice standard in Germany supplements the EU standard with 21 specific national business rules to be applied to individual information elements and relationships between information elements. Thus, the standard takes into account the national requirements for invoicing – such as the E-RechV. It is illustrated by the example of the information element ‘buyer reference’ in the field ‘BT-10′:

  • The ‘buyer reference’ (BT-10) is an optional content element according to the EU standard
  • The ‘buyer reference’ (BT-10) is a mandatory information element according to German law. The XRechnung standard thus defines the ‘buyer reference’ as a mandatory content element in which the so-called buyer reference must be indicated.

The XRechnung standard is frequently reviewed and updated. Changes will be announced 6 months before enforcement. The currently valid version of the complete documentation of the standard is available on the KoSIT website.