PDF2PDFA and the e-invoice standard ZUGFeRD 2.0 / EN 16931 / Factur-X 1.0

ZUGFeRD 2.0 / EN 16931 / Factur-X:

Important prerequisites for the acceptance of electronic invoices are above all the use of a standardized data format and the legal framework conditions, which can be used by boh the sender and the recipient.

In June 2017, the EU created a standard format for electronic invoices, the European standard EN 16931. The aim of this EU standard: Electronic invoice exchange is to be standardized and legally guaranteed throughout Europe.

The previous ZUGFeRD standard 1.0 had to be adapted to the new standard. ZUGFeRD 2.0 (published on March 11, 2019) was developed as part of a Franco-German collaboration, in close coordination with the French Standard Factur-X 1.0 and is technically identical to this. Using ZUGFeRD 2.0, electronic invoices can be created, that comply with EU standard EN 16931 and EU Directive 2014/55/EU. Details about the electronic invoice can also be found on the pages of the European Commission. ZUGFeRD 2.0 also uses the global standard UN/CEFACT XML in the form of Cross Industry Invoice. This could even give ZUGFeRD 2.0 a worldwide perspective.

The new ZUGFeRD version 2.0, like version 1.0, combines a PDF/A-3 invoice file (visual representation of the invoice data as a digital format instead of the classic paper invoice) with an invoice file in XML format embedded in the PDF/A-3 document.

ZUGFeRD 2.0 profiles:

Several profiles are planned for ZUGFeRD 2.0 and Factur-X. The «EN 16931» profile replaces the ZUGFeRD 1.0 «Comfort» profile and complies fully with the EU standard, which however only defines the core elements of an invoice. With the «Extended» profile, additional information can be recorded in an electronic invoice, for example by industry or according to legal requirements. In addition, «Basic» and «Basic WL» have defined two more profiles for smaller suppliers.

ZUGFeRD is suitable for organizations of all sizes and, thanks to EN-16931 compliance, has an expanded, international significance. The profile «EN 16931» is recognized by all European administrations. Since November 2018, electronic invoices have been required in Business to Government (B2G) traffic in the EU.

With version 1.2.0 of the PDF2PDFA converter component, ZUGFeRD 2.0 and Factur-X documents can now be generated from a PDF and the corresponding XML.

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