CEF eInvoicing: CEN & the European Commission agree no-cost access to European standard

The European Commission and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) have signed an agreement allowing cost-free access to the semantic data model and the two mandatory syntaxes of the European standard on eInvoicing. The agreement ensures free access, includes derivative use, and is valid for the duration of the current version of the semantic data model and compliant syntaxes.

If you are a public administration in the EU, or you would like to do business with one, you will need to comply with the European standard for sending, receiving and processing eInvoices.  CEN will provide access to national implementations of the semantic data model and two mandatory syntaxes (including private operators and European institutions, bodies and agencies).

How to access

The agreement between the EC and CEN states that, in the context of intellectual property right (IPR) of the standard, the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice (EN 16931-1: 2017) and the two mandatory syntaxes (CEN/TS 16931-2: 2017) will be available free of charge via national standardisation bodies.

You (public authorities, private operators and European institutions, bodies and agencies) are invited to contact your national standardisation body directly to access the printed or the downloadable PDF version of the aforementioned documents.

Derivative use

The agreement allows cost-free use of the semantic data model and the two syntaxes for the development and distribution of derivative applications with no additional licensing requirement, on the condition that:  

  • such derivative applications will include a statement, well visible to the users, which clarifies that this is an implementation of the semantic data model and two mandatory syntaxes. Additionally, that such reproduction is granted with the permission of CEN and the relevant member national standardisation bodies as copyright owners;
  • a statement to be included in the derivative applications (i.e. software and other applications that incorporate ideas, concepts or text from the standard) clarifying that CEN and the relevant national standardisation bodies bear no liability from the content and implementation of such derivative applications and that, in case of doubt, users shall always refer to the official authoritative content of the semantic data model and two mandatory syntaxes as provided by each CEN member national standardisation bodies at national level.


Free access to the standard will last for the duration of the current version of the semantic data model and mandatory syntaxes, including their corrections and amendments. National standardisation bodies will provide free access no later than January 2019.

This agreement is a key milestone in light of the deadline for the implementation of the European standard at national level by 18 April 2019. This deadline is extendable by one year for sub-central contracting authorities and contracting entities. only if such an extension is foreseen in the national legislation transposing the Directive.

Representatives from CEN and DG GROW, left to right:

Spiro Daphi; Isabel Da Rosa; Sarah Penny; Marzena Rogalska (signatory, DG GROW); Irmfried Schwimann (Deputy Director General, DG GROW); Nikita Stampa (Head of Unit, DG GROW); Elena Santiago Cid (signatory, CEN); Constant Kohler; David Blanchard (Deputy Head of Unit, DG GROW); Irena Rivière-Osipov (European Commission, Responsible for the eInvoicing policy in the EU).

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eInvoicing Building Block supports public administrations in complying with the aforementioned eInvoicing Directive, and helps solution providers adapt their services accordingly.

Last updated on  Jan 11, 2019 15:55

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