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.