Good news for those serving public sector customers in Germany: The Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany (FeRD) recently made the new ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 version available for free download. This latest version of ZUGFeRD expands the range of profiles by adding XRechnung as an option.
The new profile is fully compliant with the specific requirements of public authorities and administrations in Germany, as it not only fulfills the specifications of European Standard EN16931, but also covers the federal business regulations and administration-specific provisions contained in the XRechnung standard.
In this way, the new ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 ensures that companies are perfectly equipped for transmitting electronic invoices to the German public sector. The new, dedicated XRechnung profile now distinguishes more clearly between requirements on the German national level and those fulfilling European regulations (e.g. mandatory fields and details within the invoice).
ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 and Factur-X 1.0 (the corresponding format in France) are still fully compatible and technically identical formats, which have both been using the Factur-X label since March 24th, 2020. The two formats both allow for invoices to be exchanged between enterprises, authorities and consumers.
As a hybrid data format, ZUGFeRD contains structured invoice data in a PDF/A-3 file as the visible component. The structured XML invoice details can then be read out of the document and processed further by the recipient.
In addition to EDI, the European Standard EN 16931 technically stipulates the XML formats UBL and UN/CEFACT for sending invoices to European authorities. While XRechnung defines the mandatory fields for invoices submitted to German authorities in both formats, ZUGFeRD integrates the UN/CEFACT XML into the PDF files. It was already previously possible to integrate UN/CEFACT XRechnung invoices into PDFs in the same way, using the ZUGFeRD EN16931 profile.
While a seamless exchange of invoices, free of disruption between media, was previously reserved for EDI users or larger corporations, the ZUGFeRD format now allows companies of all sizes, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to benefit from electronic invoicing. What’s more, it allows companies to achieve substantial savings on the cost of their invoicing processes.
The new ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 spec is available here for free download.
Even though ZUGFeRD 2.1.1 now contains a profile compatible with XRechnung, there are unfortunately still very few public sector organizations ready to accept ZUGFeRD.
To find out about the latest developments, sign up for our next e-invoicing webinar. You can find out more about e-invoicing solutions at Retarus on our website or directly from your local Retarus representative.