CEN Publishes eInvoicing Semantic Data Model

European Commission 2017,

On 28 June 2017, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has published the European standard for eInvoicing: the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice and the list of syntaxes.

The document is now available to all national standardisation bodies for its distribution, based on licensing terms.

The (forthcoming) European standard establishes a semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice. The semantic data model includes only the essential information elements that an electronic invoice needs to ensure legal (including fiscal) compliance and to enable interoperability for cross-border, cross-sector and for domestic trade. The semantic data model may be used by public and private sector organisations for public procurement invoicing and took into account the physical and financial supply chain perspective, reflecting both private and public sector requirements, with a view to allowing the full straight-through processing of an electronic invoice.

The European Standard complies at least with the following criteria:

  • it is technologically neutral;
  • it is compatible with relevant international standards on electronic invoicing;
  • it has regard to the need for personal data protection in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC to a ‘data protection by design’ approach and to the principles of proportionality, data minimization and purpose limitation;
  • it is consistent with the relevant provisions of Directive 2006/112/EC;
  • it allows for the establishment of practical, user-friendly, flexible and cost-efficient electronic invoicing systems;
  • it takes into account the special needs of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as of sub-central contracting authorities and contracting entities;
  • it is suitable for use in commercial transactions between enterprises.

The publication of the semantic data model follows the publication of a number of materials relating to the European standard outlined here. As of today 28 June, this first document will now be distributed at national level by CEN's Central Secretariat. To see upcoming publications and their status, visit the CEN work programme here.

CEN and the European Commission will continue to collaborate ahead of the publication of the final standard, especially on issues such as copyright and payment of usage.


Mass adoption of electronic invoicing within the EU will lead to significant economic benefits and an increase in European business competitiveness. However, in recent years, the proliferation of eInvoicing standards and syntaxes coexisting in the Member States led to increased complexity in term of cross-border interoperability. As a consequence, the European Parliament and Council passed Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement, mandating CEN to develop a European standard.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eInvoicing building block promotes the uptake and accelerates the use of eInvoicing in full compliance with the (forthcoming) European standard, amongst both public and private entities established in the EU. Among the services provided by CEF eInvoicing, training sessions concerning the (forthcoming) European standard may be organised with experts from the European Commission (provided remotely or on-site). Visit eInvoicing on CEF Digital for details.

Grant Funding

Today, supported by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) launches grants of up to €10 million to support electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) in Europe. This means an additional €3 million in grant funding compared to 2016 (which amounted to €7 million).

The deadline for submissions is 28 November 2017. Please note that the INEA help-desk closes one week prior to the deadline for submission.


The CEF eInvoicing Readiness Checker

The eInvoicing Readiness Checker is a tool designed for Public Entities to assess their compliance with Directive 2014/55/EU and is a key service of the CEF eInvoicing building block. It allows Public Entities to check their level of readiness to exchange eInvoices with Service & Solution Providers in compliance with the Directive, and receive recommendations on what the next steps are to be compliant. Users of the tool can achieve this by creating a profile, either as a Public Entity or Service & Solution Provider.

For more information on how CEF eInvoicing is Connecting Europe visit CEF Digital.

Last updated on  Jul 13, 2017 18:09

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