ZUGFeRD is a cross-industry data format for e-invoicing that was developed by the German electronic invoicing forum (Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland, FeRD) with the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The ZUGFeRD format is based on Directive 2014/55/EU of 16 April 2014 on electronic invoicing in public procurement, and on European standard EN 16931, published on 28 June 2017. In addition, the UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice (CII) and ISO standard 19005-3:2012 (PDF/A-3) are taken into account for ZUGFeRD version 2.0 or later.

A hybrid data format, ZUGFeRD integrates structured invoice data in XML format into a PDF document (PDF/A-3). In other words, the invoice is sent in the form of a PDF document, which is the visual component of the invoice. In addition, a copy of the same invoice (in XML format), identical in content, is sent within the PDF so that the invoice can easily be processed electronically, using structured invoice data, once it has been fed into the company’s own software system.

For further information on ZUGFeRD, please visit the FeRD website.