FAQ - Peppol


E-invoicing and the European directive

Electronic invoicing or e-invoicing is the exchange of an electronic invoice between trading partners. 

EDI Solutions

Go-webEDI & Integrated EDI

There are generally two options for setting up EDI for B2B messaging: web-based EDI (Descartes Go-webEDI™) and integrated EDI. Have a look below to see which suits your company best.

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What is Peppol?

Peppol is an organization that publishes and maintains a set of rules and standards for the exchange of business information.

Peppol originated from a European project set up to design and facilitate eProcurement with government agencies. It soon became clear that the e-invoice message was the most important and impactful message from the process. The project evolved into a European platform for the exchange of electronic invoices with public companies. Companies saw the added value and wanted to extend Peppol's capabilities to other trading partners.

Meanwhile, the Peppol network is used for Business-to-Government, as well as Business-to-Business. In addition, Peppol has also grown beyond the European borders, the platform is now also used by companies and governments on the other continents.

More information can be found here.

What are the benefits of Peppol?

The biggest advantage of Peppol is that once you, as a company, are connected to the Peppol network, you can immediately exchange messages with any other party that is also connected to Peppol without any additional setup; and worldwide.

The Peppol network carries security as a high priority. Each recipient on the network is identified and registered with a Peppol ID based on a unique identifier, such as a KBO number (in Belgium) or KVK number (in the Netherlands)

By using status messages, you as the sender can also always be sure that your messages have arrived at the recipient.

What is a Peppol Access Point?

A Peppol Access Point is a service provider that allows other companies to access and connect to the Peppol network. Companies wishing to send messages through Peppol must register through an Access Point anywhere in the world. All Access Points interconnect with each other to form the Peppol network.

The Access Point acts as the traffic controller, so to speak, relaying messages to the recipient's Access Point.

To operate as an Access Point, service providers must certify through a Peppol authority. Descartes has a certified Access Point and is thus connected to all other Peppol Access Points worldwide.

What are Peppol SMP and SML?

SMP stands for Service Metadata Publisher. Peppol SMP is a party that keeps a record of each recipient's address information on the Peppol network, what Access Point they use and what messages they can receive.

SML stands for Service Metadata Locator. Peppol SML contains the identification numbers of all receivers present on the network, as well as in which SMP the detail information can be found.

The availability of the SMP and SML are important components for the operation of the Peppol network. Indeed, parties must be findable in the SMP registry through the SML.

As a certified Service Provider, Descartes has its own SMP in addition to its own Access Point. Consequently, Descartes maintains a list of all parties registered as recipients through Descartes.

Peppol SMP en Peppol SML

What is Peppol authority?

Each country provides its own Peppol authority that assumes responsibility for designating local Access Points.
The coordination of all appointments and management of the global network is done by OpenPeppol. They delegate some of their tasks to national authorities.

What is UBL?

UBL stands for Universal Business Language and is the message standard used as the basis for ensuring interoperability through Peppol. The SMP records which versions are used by the various trading partners.

Most ERPs or accounting packages today are able to deliver messages, such as invoices, in a UBL format. However, if this is not provided, Descartes can offer mappings to convert the format that is available to the correct UBL format.

What is Peppol ID ?

A Peppol ID is the number with which companies are identified on Peppol. The application for a Peppol ID must be done via an Access Point and is based on official unique characteristics such as a KBO number in Belgium or the Chamber of Commerce number in the Netherlands. Without a Peppol ID you cannot exchange messages via Peppol. Descartes is a certified Peppol Service Provider and can handle the request for a Peppol ID if you want to communicate from your ERP to the Peppol network. This replaces manually entering invoices into another website that converts them to Peppol invoices.

B2B e-invoicing

What is e-invoicing?

Electronic invoicing or e-invoicing is the exchange of an electronic invoice document between trading partners. This does not concern PDFs or Word documents, but an invoice in a digital file that contains all information so that it can be automatically entered into the buyer's administration.

Mandatory e-invoicing

Electronic invoicing is now mandatory in most European countries for B2G (Business to Government) transactions with government services.

Electronic invoicing for B2B transactions is a major EU project. Member state governments will introduce mandatory B2B e-invoicing in the coming years, with timing varying by country. In some countries it is already mandatory today, often introduced with a phased approach.

Descartes GLN™ in PEPPOL

The GLN Document Exchange platform fully supports the PEPPOL standard, and as a certified access point, we can seamlessly send your B2B invoices as soon as it becomes a requirement in a region where you do business. And since the GLN Document Exchange platform is a global SaaS solution, we cover every European country where B2B invoicing becomes mandatory.

So as a customer of the GLN Document Exchange platform, you have come to the right place!

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