Switzerland recommends using the German/French e-invoicing standard
Switzerland now officially recommends the hybrid invoice format, ZUGFeRD/Factur-X. This combines a PDF with XML data, which ensures that the invoice is not only readable by machines, but also by the recipient through the PDF. The attached XML data can still be used to process the data automatically.
Switzerland has not yet defined an official standard for hybrid invoice formats. The GS1 Switzerland “Hybrid Invoicing” working group is made up of various representatives from different sectors who are dealing precisely with this issue. To this end, they would like to define a hybrid invoice format based on a PDF with an embedded XML file that meets international standards, is easy to implement and is widely supported. For this purpose, they are orienting themselves towards the German-French ZUGFeRD/Factur-X standard. This standard is actively used in both countries and went online for the first time in January 2018.
The hybrid invoice format consists of two identical components: a PDF file and an embedded XML file. The PDF file is based on PDF/A3 for long-term storage and serves as a readable, visual representation of the invoice, while the XML file contains the invoice data in a structured form for automatic processing. To do this, the XML file must comply with the international UN/CEFACT standards to ensure international compatibility.
In conclusion, the working group came to the conclusion that ZUGFeRD/Factur-X meets the four criteria mentioned above and should therefore be the recommended hybrid invoice format in Switzerland.
Since 1 January 2016, invoices in Switzerland must be issued electronically from a contract value of CHF 5,000 upwards. For this purpose, invoices can be provided as fully structured invoice data or PDF for the Swiss Federal Administration or alternatively be entered in an online form. Small and medium-sized enterprises may continue to use paper invoices for transactions below this limit, even if they will miss out on the numerous advantages of electronic invoicing.
If you would like to find out more about country-specific requirements, read our blog for the latest information regarding E-Invoicing in Europe.
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INPOSIA e-invoicing Specialist