The English version of the website is under construction. Meanwhile, you can find information about e-invoicing in English on this page as well as a French document with information for suppliers.
E-Invoicing in general
Starting 27 November 2020, suppliers to the Federal Government will be mandated to issue invoices in electronic format for public contracts.
An e-invoice provides invoice content in a structured, machine-readable XML data set instead of on paper or in an image file such as a PDF. This ensures that information provided in this form by the invoice issuer can be transmitted and received electronically and seamlessly and can be processed and approved for payment automatically.
The invoice receipt platforms
Two main platforms are available for submitting e-invoices to Federal Government invoice recipients: The Federal Central Invoice Submission Portal (ZRE), for suppliers to the direct Federal Administration, and the Online Access Act-Compliant Invoice Submission Portal (OZG-RE), for suppliers to the indirect Federal Administration and the Federal States of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony and Thuringia.
Invoice issuers, such as suppliers or service providers, can submit their e-invoices via these platforms. In addition to simply submitting e-invoices, there is also a self-service option to manually create e-invoices.
What is an e-invoice?
An e-invoice provides invoice content in a structured, machine-readable data set instead of on paper or in an image file such as a PDF. This ensures that information provided in this form by the invoice issuer can be:
a) transmitted electronically
b) received electronically
c) as well as processed and approved for payment automatically and seamlessly.
How does my e-invoice get to the right recipient?
The following federal invoice receipt platforms must be used for submitting e-invoices.
- Direct Federal Administration institutions and federal constitutional bodies are connected to the ZRE.
- Invoices to bodies of the indirect Federal Administration (and to cooperating federal states) are submitted via the OZG-RE platform.
The two central platforms require prior registration and activation of the desired transmission channels for the transmission of the invoice.
What is the legal basis for the obligation to issue invoice via e-invoicing?
The E-Invoicing Act of 4 April 2017 (‘Act on the Implementation of Directive 2014/55/EU on Electronic Invoicing in Public Procurement’) supplemented the E-Government Act (‘Act on the Promotion of Electronic Administration’) with regulations on e-invoicing (cf. esp. Section 4a EGovG). With the E-Rechnungsverordnung (E-RechV) of 6 September 2017, further regulations on the design of electronic invoicing were issued by the Federal Government.
Do the same obligations under the E-RechV apply to foreign invoice issuers?
Invoicing depends in principle on the destination country. Invoice issuers that fall under Section 14 BGB (German Civil Code) and interact with the public administration in Germany within the scope of public contracts are obliged to issue electronic invoices that are in compliance with the E-RechV.
Please note that individual contractual regulations may exist.
Info Section 14 BGB
(1) An entrepreneur means a natural or legal person or a partnership with legal personality who or which, when entering into a legal transaction, acts in exercise of his or its trade, business or profession.
(2) A partnership with legal personality is a partnership that has the capacity to acquire rights and to incur liabilities.
Which standard should be used for invoicing the Federal Government?
What is a buyer reference?
In order for the invoice issuer or sender to be able to send an electronic invoice to the correct address, the invoice recipient must be uniquely identified and addressable.
The buyer reference enables electronic addressing and forwarding of the e-invoice by the Federal Central Invoice Submission Portals of the Federal Government to the connected ERP or release systems of the authorities of the Federal Administration.
The buyer reference is specified in the standard XRechnung invoice in the field ‘Buyer reference’ (BT-10) and must be transmitted as mandatory information on every e-invoice.
Which channels can invoice senders use to submit their e-invoice to the ZRE and OZG-RE?
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 to the OZG-RE)
- Web service via PEPPOL (available)
Information in English
If you would like to find out more about e-invoice, you will find all documents in English here until the English version of this website is ready.
Informations en français
Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur la facture électronique, vous trouverez ici tous les documents en français jusqu’à ce que la version française de ce site soit prête.