Use of SdI for invoice exchange in Italy

Send signed FatturaPA-invoices in Italy via the exchange system SdI

| | Product Manager software applications/services electronic business data exchange, SEEBURGER

What is SdI?

Pursuant to Ministerial Decree No. 55 dated 3rd April 2013, which came into force on 6th June 2013, invoices in all economic relations with the public administration must been created, signed and transferred in electronic form (E-Invoicing) over an Exchange System.

Italy has implemented regulations in 2015 which are in consistent with the accounting standard of Fatturazione elettronica P.A. (FatturaPA) and the exchange system “Sistema di Interscambio” (SdI) .

For the electronic invoices, which are transmitted via SdI, the relatively complex Italian legal requirements shall apply (including Ministerial Decree dated 3rd December 2013) to electronic storage – in Italian conservazione – in the same way. The invoices must be preserved for ten years, and it must be ensured that invoices shall remain unchanged during the retention period. In order to do this, invoices are grouped according to the actual electronic archiving (pacchetti di archiviazione), a qualified electronic signature and a time stamp shall be created. This process must be completed no later than three months after the deadline for submission of the annual tax return.

Since March 31, 2015, public administration in Italy accepted exclusively electronic invoices, which are transmitted via SdI using a qualified electronic XAdES-BES or CAdES-BES signature in the defined FatturaPA XML format. For small enterprises, where only a few invoices are submitted per year to the public administration, possibilities for free web registration are available. Larger companies can link their ERP systems directly to the SdI for processing invoices and confirmations automatically.

By compulsory use of the SdI for invoices to public invoicing recipients, more than 1.3 million invoices have been sent per year in the first two years. This reflects the success of a consistent implementation of the EU directive, long before the end of 2018 must be mandatorily implemented.

In addition to compulsory sending of electronic invoices to public recipients, companies have also been able to transfer invoices to recipients from the non-public sector via the SdI System since 1st January 2017. The use for the exchange of information between private companies is not widely used, since this possibility is relatively new and not legally required. It is not certain how long this freedom of choice will continue to be when sending invoices to private beneficiaries before SdI becomes mandatory for this business area.

What are the advantages of SdI?

The advantages for the invoicing parties are as follows:

  • All public invoice parties are accessible via a single system with a single format.
  • So far, some notifications regarding the sales tax reporting requirements have been made
  • Invoices are transferred more quickly, and feedbacks are sent via SdI system through automatic checks and acceptance by the invoice recipient.

But the benefits also have their price – relatively complex process, both from a technical point of view as well as from a legal perspective.

With SEEBURGER, the complex SdI-process can be implemented quickly and easily

The SdI process is complex with its technical requirements and legal requirements:

  • The invoices must be drawn up in the form of a fixed invoice format.
  • For automatic communication with the SdI, the partner must register and set up one of the predefined communication paths.
  • The handling of status feedbacks from the invoice recipient or the automatic checks of the SdI must be controlled.
  • The invoices are to be signed electronically.
  • The invoices are to be electronically archived. For this purpose, Italy has relatively complex requirements by grouping archived invoices into a package, signing the package, and creating a time stamp.

The complexity is comparable to the electronic invoicing procedures in countries of South America or, for example, those of Turkey or Portugal. In order to simplify the implementation and to minimize the risks, it is recommended to work with a partner who knows the requirements in Italy and other countries. The benefits are obvious: An experienced partner can assist you with the introduction competently, can bundle your increasing international E-invoicing requirements and thus ensure unification and standardization. A start is also recommended by booking a cloud service. Since E-invoicing requirements, such as those for Italy, are not only technically complex but also cause high initial costs in their own operation. This is matched by an immediately usable, preconfigured cloud service, to which the invoice data is to be transferred only in a clearly defined interface format.

With the SEEBURGER Cloud Services for e-Invoicing, SEEBURGER offers you a secure, comfortable, scalable and high-performance entry into full cost transparency in Italy and many other countries. In doing so, we create the FatturaPA XML, sign it and transfer these invoices to your customers. These cloud services are independent of the ERP system and can be expanded to include legally compliant archiving for complex Italian requirements.

Learn more about SEEBURGER Cloud Services for E-Invoicing

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Gerrit Onken

Written by:

Gerrit Onken has been at SEEBURGER AG since 2010 as a product manager for software applications and for electronic data exchange services for the business sector. He focuses on solutions for SAP, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and innovations for digitalizing business and technical processes for globally-active customers. Originally a banker, Gerrit Onken went on to graduate in business administration, majoring in industrial management and business informatics. After working in the financial sector, he worked as a manager and project manager from 2004 to 2010 for one of the top five corporate consultancies, working with international BPOs in the banking and automotive industries.