The main objective of the EU-Directive 2010/45/EU, which adapts to Directive 2006/112/EC, was to promote a harmonized legal implementation in the Member States for invoicing at European level.
France has seized the opportunity and set itself an ambitious target: 100% electronic invoices (e-invoicing) for public administrations by 2020. For this purpose, all invoices in the areas of B2G (Business to Government) and G2G (Government to Government) were centralized on a single basis electronic platform, Chorus Pro.
Chorus Pro was developed and operated by the AIFE (Financial Information Technology Agency of the French Government). In future, all around 78,000 public administrations across the Chorus-Platform in France approximately 100 Million invoices per year are exchanged.
The invoices are accepted by Chorus Pro in different structure, hybrid and unstructured formats as well as on different transmission paths (EDI-Procedures, web services and online portal).
The invoice formats are as follows:
- Structured invoice formats: UBL (FEN105), CII (FEN135) plus syntax from the European Standard (as soon as published)
- PDF invoices (signed or unsigned), which suppliers upload to the Chorus Pro platform. On the platform, the data of the PDF invoices are read out through an OCR. The supplier then has to check the results of the OCR and correct them manually.
- Online invoicing on the Chorus Pro Platform
- Light XML with an embedded PDF invoice
- Hybrid Invoice FACTUR-X (as soon as released)
Who is involved in Chorus Pro?
By 2020, approximately 1 million suppliers will use Chorus Pro to provide invoices to public administrations.
At the same time, the Chorus Pro platform will be compulsory by year 2020 in four waves from year to year for a larger number of suppliers. In January 2017 implementation was started with large companies and will end with the smallest in 2020. The size of the company is determined by various criteria such as the number of employees, the turnover and the balance sheet total:
- January 2017: “Large companies”
- January 2018: “Medium-Sized Enterprises”
- January 2019: “Small Business”
- January 2020: “all other 1-person companies”
What are the advantages of Chorus Pro?
The advantages for invoicing parties are as follows:
- Around 78,000 public invoice recipients are accessible via single system.
- Invoices are transmitted faster and more cost-effectively, and feedbacks on the checking are sent via the Chorus Pro platform.
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 Chorus Pro-process can be implemented quickly and easily
The Chorus Pro-process is complex with its technical requirements and legal requirements:
- The invoices must be generated in one of the predefined invoice formats.
- For automatic communication with Chorus Pro, 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 Chorus Pro Platform must be controlled.
- The invoices are to be electronically archived.
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 risks, it is recommended to work with a partner who knows about these requirements in France 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. E-invoicing requirements, such as those for France, are technically complex and 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 SEEBURGER Cloud Services for E-Invoicing in France – and many other countries – SEEBURGER offers you a secure, comfortable, scalable and high-performance entry at full cost transparency. We create the invoices in one of the permitted structured formats and transfer these invoices to your customers in the public sector. These cloud services are independent of the ERP system and can be expanded to include legally compliant archiving for the complex French requirements
Learn more about SEEBURGER Cloud Services for E-Invoicing