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Electronic invoicing

E-Invoicing at the Julius Kühn Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants (JKI)

The JKI is able to receive and process electronic invoices (e-invoices). Everything you need to know for electronic invoicing with us is described below. All new orders will be provided with the necessary information.

Since 27 November 2020, it is mandatory for those submitting invoices to do so in electronic form. This requirement does not apply in case of certain exceptions: for example, for direct contracts with a value of up to €1,000 (not including VAT). This and further exceptions are given in Section 3 (3) of the federal E-Invoicing Ordinance [E-Rechnungsverordnung, E-RechV].

Please note: On 8 July 2020, the Federal Cabinet adopted "Binding guidelines for the Federal Administration on the procurement of public contracts in order to accelerate investment measures to cope with the economic consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic". These provide for a temporary increase in the value threshold for direct contracts from €1,000 (excluding VAT) to €3,000 (excluding VAT) for supply and service contracts. The temporary regulation will expire on 31 December 2021.

If you have questions about electronic invoicing of your existing contract with the JKI, please contact the department listed in the contract document.

Submitting e-invoices

The JKI receives electronic invoices via the federal Central Invoice Submission Portal (ZRE). The ZRE can be accessed here: https://xrechnung.bund.de.

For more information on how to use the ZRE, please refer to the Operating Guide of the ZRE Web Interface:

Content of an e-invoice

In accordance with Section 5 of the federal E-Invoicing Ordinance - and in addition to what is required by section 14 of the Value Added Tax Act [Umsatzsteuergesetz, UStG] - an electronic invoice must include at least the following information:

  • Buyer reference of the invoice recipient [Leitweg-ID]
    The JKI will give you the buyer reference when awarding the contract.
  • Terms of payment or the date by which payment is due
  • Bank account details of the recipient of the payment
  • Email address of the invoice issuer

Information on invoice content

For electronic invoicing with the JKI, you must provide the following information:

Information required To be entered into the following fields of an XRechnung standard Information from Julius Kühn Institute for suppliers of goods and services
Buyer reference “Buyer reference” (BT-10) “This information must be provided with every invoice.”
„Please always use the buyer reference provided in the contract documents that were sent to you by your contracting authority.“
Order number “Order reference” (BT-13) „Please use the order reference provided in the contract documents that were sent to you by your contracting authority.“
Without order reference, the JKI may reject you e-invoice.
Supplier number „Supplier reference“ (BT-29) -

Requirements for the invoice format

  • For submitting invoices to federal contracting authorities in Germany, the XRechnung standard in its latest version should be used.
    In addition, any other standard (e.g. ZUGFeRD from version 2.1.1 in the XRECHNUNG profile) will also be accepted as long as it complies with the European standard for electronic invoicing (EN-16931), the requirements of the federal E-Invoicing Ordinance and the terms of use of the federal invoice submission portal in question.
  • Invoice formats that do not comply with the European standard cannot be accepted.
  • Supporting documents or annexes must be embedded in the invoice data record and may not be sent as an attachment to an e-mail or De-Mail.
  • The maximum size of an invoice depends on the transmission channel you chose: for example 10 MB for e-mail and 11 MB for web submission. Please note the portal’s terms of use in this regard. You can add up to 200 attachments to your electronic invoice by embedding them in the file. For embedded documents, the following file types are possible: png, pdf, jpg, jpeg, xlsx, ods and csv. Attachments must not contain any active content such as macros. Any changes to these requirements will be announced on the invoice submission portal.

Invoice documents with attachments that require a paper form according to other legal regulations (export and customs documents or similar) remain unaffected by the above provisions.

For more information on the XRechnung standard can be found at the Coordination Office for IT Standards (KoSIT): www.xoev.de (in German, search for "XRechnung English summary").

Requirements for submitting e-invoices

  •  E-invoices must be submitted using the Central Invoice Submission Portal (ZRE) at xrechnung.bund.de. To use the portal, you will first have to register and select the transmission channel you wish to use.
  • Further details can be found in the terms of use of the ZRE.

If you have questions about submitting e-invoices via the ZRE, the following support is available:

If they have questions about the ZRE, invoice issuers and invoice senders may contact its support hotline, which is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 16:00 on +49 228 99681-10101

Further information on the ZRE can be found in the Brochure for Billers (see Download), the Supplier Information (see Download) or in the FAQ section on e-invoicing on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (in German): e-rechnung-bund.de

Background information: Legal basis

The federal E-Invoicing Ordinance obliges the public-sector administration to receive electronic invoices for public contracts and the suppliers and service providers of federal institutions to send electronic invoices. The E-Invoicing Ordinance specifies the deadlines, transmission channels, data standard and exceptions to electronic invoicing.

Link to the E-Invoicing Ordinance (in German): https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/downloads/DE/gesetzestexte/e-rechnungsverordnung.html

For contracts with federal institutions, the obligation to issue electronic invoices applies starting from 27 November 2020. Exceptions are specified in the E-Invoicing Ordinance and are as follows:

  • Invoices for direct orders up to an amount of €1,000 excluding VAT (Please note: the limit is up to €3,000 until 31 Dec 2021)
  • Invoices which are subject to the exceptions under Sections 8 or 9 federal E-Invoicing Ordinance (confidential invoice data or certain matters of the Foreign Service and other procurements abroad)
  • Invoices to be issued in procedures performed by way of an official delegation of powers under section 159 (1) no. 5 of the Act against Restraints of Competition [Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, GWB].

Apart from any legal requirement, e-invoicing may also be required by the contract in question.