Peppol in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Peppol

The use of secure electronic networks to transfer and process e-invoices is becoming more popular around the world, with countries aiming to standardize the ways that these processes are conducted. Through legislation, governments can make sure that businesses comply with domestic tax laws, while also safely facilitating greater cross-border trade. The security concern is another factor. The recent increase in remote working has also brought about a rise in invoice fraud. Paper- or email-based invoicing is no longer preferable.

Peppol, growing out of a 2008 European Union project, has been successful in uniting private companies and public sector organizations not just in Europe, but around the world. The Peppol standard makes B2B and B2G domestic and international document transfer easy, cheap, and compliant with all laws and regulations, replacing many of the disparate e-invoicing standards that are not interoperable.

Read more about the benefits of using Peppol for e-invoicing here.

Europe can be considered an e-invoicing pioneer through the implementation of the Peppol network, but many countries are still far from widespread uptake. This is untrue of the Scandinavian countries, who had developed robust standards and regulations even before the 2014 European Union directive on electronic invoicing in public procurement was announced. Due to this, Norway sees electronic invoices accounting for 84% of invoices exchanged, while other countries are only starting to see the potential of secure frameworks like Peppol.

In this blog post, we are going to look at how Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are utilizing the Peppol edelivery network, and how your business can benefit from partnering with an accredited Peppol infrastructure provider. 

B2B e-invoicing in Scandavia 

As mentioned above, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have been legislating on e-invoicing since before the Peppol project came into existence. With the European Directive on e-invoicing coming into place, the national standards (EHF, Svefaktura and Nemhandel) are becoming interchangeable with Peppol, which allows interoperability between countries.

What is Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement?

This directive was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in April 2014, calling for a common European standard for electronic invoicing. This standard, EN16931, was published in June 2017, detailing the semantic data model of an e-invoice’s core elements, and a list of applicable syntaxes, among other things.

Although the directive was voted on in 2014, it only came into effect for central public contracting authorities and entities from 18 April, 2019, and all other public entities from 18 April, 2020.

So what is required, exactly?

  • Member states need to ensure that public contracting authorities and entities (such as those in defence, security, water, energy or transport)  are able to receive and process e-invoices in accordance with the European Standard.
  • E-invoices sent by any business or government entity must comply with the European Standard. 
  • Member states should approach the Directive through the lens of their own laws, making sure that any local regulations don’t contradict any of the Directive’s requirements.

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Which Nordic countries support Peppol?

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As a truly global framework, Peppol is supported by all the Nordic countries, being directly implemented and encouraged and forming the basis for national standards. As Peppol continues to grow, we will see greater use of the framework for B2B invoicing, rather than B2G, as it is most commonly used for at the moment.

Peppol in Sweden

Sweden began with e-invoicing in the early 1990’s, establishing the national Svefaktura standard in 2004. The latest version of Svefaktura is modelled on Peppol standards, making them interoperable. Sweden was an active part of the Peppol project from the beginning, working hard to make it the preferred framework due to its cross-border capabilities for public sector procurement.

In parallel with the European Directive, Peppol BIS billing 3.0 was made mandatory for buyers in the public sector from 1 April, 2019. The Peppol specification is used directly, without any national extensions. Like many other countries, Sweden’s e-invoicing strategy, with Peppol at the center, aims to provide greater security and cost-savings in the hundreds of millions of Euros.

Peppol in Norway 

In Norway, all central authorities have been required to receive electronic invoices since 2011, and from 2012, suppliers of central government agencies were required to provide electronic invoices through the EHF (Elektronisk handelsformat), the Norweigan national standard. The current standard, EHF 3.0, along with the country’s e-procurement infrastructure, is built around the Peppol Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) and the Peppol eDelivery Network.

As with Sweden, a coordinated national strategy by the government has resulted in widespread success, with approximately 99% of contracting authorities using the Peppol format for electronic documentation. This has trickled down to B2B document transfer, where Peppol is becoming more commonplace.

Peppol in Denmark

Like its Scandinavian counterparts, Denmark has had a policy of B2G invoicing since 2005. The country’s framework (NemHandel) and accompanying infrastructure is now integrated with the Peppol network in order to meet the requirements of the European Directive 2014/55/EU. 

This means that all public sector organizations are able to connect to participants on the Peppol network, and receive e-invoices in both the Peppol BIS 3.0 format, and the national OIOUBL format. 

As with Norway, 99% of B2G invoices are now electronic and the country’s adoption of Peppol is an effort to facilitate international trade in both the private and public sectors, increase e-invoicing and e-procurement via open standards and facilitate the future rollout of other message types in the Peppol format, such as electronic orders and catalogs in public management.

Future-proofing business operations

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As we can see from the example set by Scandinavian countries, using Peppol for the transfer of electronic documentation is a way to adhere to domestic standards as well as regulations set by the EU, while becoming a more efficient trading partner in an increasingly global market. 

Work with EU compliant invoices in a thriving market

At the 12th OpenPeppol General Assembly in mid 2020, it was shown that 31 countries currently have certified Peppol Access Points, and over a one-year period, 130 million transactions had occurred.  As use of the Peppol network grows within and beyond the public sector and their suppliers, it is a perfect time for private companies and the ERP vendors and service providers who work with them to take advantage of the framework.

So how can this be done? A Peppol invoice cannot be sent without the creation of a Peppol ID, which is in turn created by a Peppol Access Point. You have the option to become your own Access Point through a lengthy accreditation process, or sign up with a Peppol Access Point provider, who provides all the infrastructure needed to use the network and create Peppol access for your clients. This can be done in just a matter of days!

Read our blog about setting up your own Access Point vs. working with a Peppol infrastructure provider.

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Galaxy Gateway as your Peppol infrastructure provider

For successful Peppol implementation and use, it’s best to work with a partner who has the experience to provide you with a customized service that meets the diverse needs of your operation at an affordable price. 

Galaxy Gateway has been working with Peppol since 2012, serving big and small clients around the world who want to utilize the Peppol edelivery network, or provide Peppol capabilities to their customers. As a Peppol infrastructure provider working with ERP vendors and service providers, we take on all the technical and operational challenges, delivering a scalable system with an interface that is easy for your customers and their clients to use.

You can take advantage of our Access Point as a Service option, or white-label solution, where you will be listed in the global Peppol directory. 
If you are considering Peppol as part of your company’s business transformation, or want a business differentiator that wins customers looking to work with a secure network for electronic business document transfer, get in touch with our team, and we can discuss the best option for you.