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Most clicked FAQs

Here you can find the most popular FAQs. More FAQs about e-invoicing in the federal administration can be found at the bottom of this page.

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 is called “Leitweg-ID” in German.

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.

If the buyer reference provided by the contracting authority is not accepted by the invoice receipt platform, first contact your contracting authority directly.

If you cannot find a joint solution to the problem, the client should address the problem with the ZFB.


No. As defined in EU Directive 2014/55/EU, e-invoicing is a structured data set. A PDF file is not an e-invoice under these requirements.

The latest version of the XRechnung standard must always be used when issuing e-invoices. Another standard (e.g. ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 XRechnung profile without PDF visual format, as a purely structured XML file) can also be used if it complies with the requirements of the European standard for electronic invoicing (EN-16931), the Federal Government’s Regulation on Electronic Invoicing (E-RechV) and the Federal Government’s terms of use for the invoice submission platforms.
Invoice formats that do not comply with the requirements of the European standard cannot be taken into account.
Invoice supporting documents or attachments must be embedded in the invoice data record and may not be sent separately as an attachment to an email or De-Mail.
The maximum permissible size of an invoice depends on the transmission channel selected (e.g. for ZRE: 10 MB for email attachments or 11 MB for attachments in the web entry). Please refer to the terms of use of the platform. The maximum number of embedded documents supporting the invoice is limited to 200. Permitted file types of the embedded documents are: ‘png’, ‘pdf’, ‘jpg’, ‘jpeg’, ‘xlsx’, ‘ods’ and ‘csv’.“. Attachments may not contain active content (e.g. macros). Changes to these restrictions will be announced via the invoice receipt platforms.
Invoice documents with attachments that require paper-based submission under other legal provisions (export certificates, customs documents, etc.) remain unaffected by the above regulations.
More detailed information on the XRechnung standard can be found at KoSIT.

German e-invoicing regulation

The following applies to the Federal Administration: The Regulation on Electronic Invoicing (E-RechV) essentially stipulates that electronic invoices must be sent to all invoice recipients who are authorities as defined by Section 159 (1)(1-5) of the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) from 27 November 2020. This therefore concerns the highest federal authorities, the Federal Government’s constitutional bodies, and the direct and indirect Federal Administration authorities (so-called sub-central public contracting authorities). You will usually receive relevant information for the exchange of electronic invoices from your contracting authority.

The list below also provides an overview of the Federal Administration authorities and companies that are accepting electronic invoices via the Federal Government’s platforms.  The same requirements for the transmission of invoices apply to all of these invoice recipients. The overview below distinguishes between the ZRE and OZG-RE invoice submission platforms and the recipient Federal Administration authorities and institutions. The lists will be expanded on a continual basis. At the moment the documents are only available in German language.

Download document Download ZRE connection list (DE)

Download OZG-RE connection list (DE)

If you are unsure, contact your contracting authority and ask for more information about electronic invoicing.

What you should to consider by invoice submission

For high invoice volumes, the transmission channels web service via Peppol, email and in future De-Mail are suitable.

If you submit few electronic invoices, you can upload pre-generated electronic invoices to the invoice receipt platform.

If you do not have software for creating electronic invoices, you can enter your invoice data directly via the web entry and submit it as an electronic invoice. The invoice receipt platform then generates the electronic invoice for you and provides you with your electronic outgoing invoice so that you can store it securely.

Not sure which transmission channel is right for you? Our decision template will help you:

Download document Download decision template for choosing a transmission channel (DE)

At the moment the document is only available in German language.

The ZRE and OZG-RE invoice submission platforms provide invoice senders with various transmission channels for sending e-invoices to invoice recipients. There are some aspects to bear in mind when using the email transmission channel on both invoice submission platforms:

Important information about using the email transmission channel

Further FAQ about e-invoicing

Select a category for specific information on e-invoicing.

Further information on e-invoicing in the Federal Administration

Select a category for specific information on e-invoicing.