Note: this is not an official page. This is just what I'm collecting...
In the beginning was directive 2014/55/EU. Article 3 starts with:
The Commission shall request that the relevant European standardisation organisation draft a European standard for the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice (the ‘European standard on electronic invoicing’).
This lead CEN to start PC 434 (Project Committee) which was later transfered to a TC (Technical Committee) →
The TC had 6 working groups concerning with the following topics:
A European standard (EN) on the semantic data model for the core elements of an electronic invoice
Created: EN 16931-1:2017 Part 1: Semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice
A Technical Specification (TS) on a limited number of invoice syntaxes (formats) which fully comply with the EN
Created: CEN/TS 16931-2:2017 Part 2: List of syntaxes that comply with EN 16931-1
A Technical Specification (TS) on the syntax bindings, i.e. information specifying how the semantic data model could be represented in the listed syntaxes (formats) and their automatic validation artefacts
A Technical Report (TR) covering the guidelines on interoperability of electronic invoices at the transmission level, taking into account the need of ensuring the authenticity of the origin and the integrity of the electronic invoices’ content
Created: CEN/TR 16931-4:2017 Part 4: Guidelines on interoperability of electronic invoices at the transmission level
A Technical Report (TR) covering the guidelines on the use of sector or country extensions (as described in the Recommendation of the European Multi-stakeholder Forum on e-Invoicing) in conjunction with the European standard, including a methodology to be applied in the real environment
Created: CEN/TR 16931-5:2017 Part 5: Guidelines on the use of sector or country extensions in conjunction with EN 16931-1, methodology to be applied in the real environment
A Technical Report (TR) covering the result of the test of the European standard with respect to its practical application for an end user
Created: CEN/TR 16931-6:2017 Part 6: Result of the test of EN 16931-1 with respect to its practical application for an end user
From a practical point of view this norm means, that all public entities performing public procurement cannot reject electronic invoices from April 18th 2019 if they are retrieved in UBL or CII formats complying to the norm. Certain receivers have an additional 12 month to comply to the requirements, ending up on April 18th 2020.
Because life would be too easy if EN 16931 was a "one size fits all" solution, there are already a lot of so called CIUSs developed. A CIUS is an additional specification on top of EN 16931-1:2017 that narrows certain fields for certain use cases. The methodology how a CIUS is defined, can be found in CEN/TR 16931-5:2017.
An unofficial self-declaration based list of CIUSs is provided by CEF. One upcoming task of CEN/TC 434 is to establish an official registry of CIUSs.
Good question. Currently you need to consult your local standardization body and BUY the standard documents. CEN/TC 434 is heavily trying to make the norm available for free, but they haven't succeeded so far.
If you are impatient and would ask me what documents to buy I would suggest the following ones:
Mostly it is about validating, if a UBL or CII documents fulfills all the requirements from the norm. Therefore the following steps need to be performed:
CEN/TC 434 is a pilot project, because it is the first CEN TC that is mandated by law and therefore certain things need to be clarified inside CEN before they are resolved for the users.
The biggest discussion points are currently the costs for the norm (too much) as well as the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) issues concerning the copying and reusing of the norm documents or of parts of these documents. E.g. you are not allowed to reuse a document on different devices or outside the country you purchased it in.
Also the licensing of the Validation Artefacts is currently unclear. Are they part of the norm or not?
|CEN||Comité Européen de Normalisation - European Committee for Standardization|
|CEN/TC||CEN Technical Committee - working group|
|CII||UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice - XML representation of an invoice|
|CIUS||Core Invoice User Specification - A specification based on EN 16931-1:2017 that defines certain elements more narrow|
|EN||European Norm - has tighter binding than TR and TS|
|EN 16931||European Norm instance with ID 16931 - this is the EN that contains the semantic data model for electronic invoices in Europe|
|TR||Technical Recommendation - has lower binding than EN and TS|
|TS||Technical Specification - binding between EN and TR|
|UBL||ISO/IEC 19845 Universal Business Language - XML representation of an invoice|
This chapter contains some external links that you might consider helpful: