In April 2024, the U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and the European Union (EU), signed a joint statement to strengthen their cooperation and ensure the commercial and technical interoperability of electronic invoicing. The agreement commits both parties to work together to find solutions that facilitate trade between them. A series of concrete measures are expected to be implemented during the upcoming meetings between the U.S. and the EU.

This initiative aims to reduce transaction costs and foster collaborative opportunities in areas such as trade, customs, payments, and fraud mitigation.

Key principles for a successful transition to e-Invoicing

As part of the ongoing discussions within the Global Trade Challenge Working Group (WG10), the United States and the European Union want to encourage companies to adopt the Peppol network. To achieve this, they are planning:

  • A single connection that allows connectivity with all participants.
  • No roaming fees between Peppol Access Points (APs).
  • Open exchanges where users are free to choose their access point.

To promote greater interoperability in electronic invoicing, the US and the EU intend to:

  • Identifying government experts to enhance interoperability between the United States and the European Union. For the EU, this will involve experts from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE), Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs (DG GROW), Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG CNECT), and Directorate-General for the Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD). For the United States, this will involve experts from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, other federal agencies, and private sector participants as appropriate.
  • Inviting the participation of access points, service providers and other enablers operating in either territory to participate in joint meetings. The first cooperation meeting took place on May 2, 2024.

Promoting commercial and technical interoperability between the EU and the USA

The electronic invoice exchange models established in the USA and the EU were developed within different regulatory frameworks. However, they are based on similar standards, infrastructures, and processes. In the European Union, a legal framework for e-Invoicing practices has been established, notably through Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement, which introduced the European standard EN 16931. This semantic standard, published in 2017, defines a semantic data model for issuing and receiving electronic invoices.

Two syntaxes comply with the EN 16931 standard :

XML UN/CEFACT CII (Cross Industry Invoice) developed by UN/CEFACT.

XML UBL (Universal Business Language) defined in ISO/IEC 19845:2015 and maintained by the organization OASIS Open.  

In the USA, the standard syntax used is the OASIS UBL format. Therefore, it is possible to discuss further the alignment of the American and European frameworks to enhance interoperability, considering the following elements:

  • Flexibility: the data structure must be standardized and adaptable to local, regional, and national legal requirements.
  • Payload alignment: the data exchanged must be commercially and technically consistent. The aim of this harmonization is to facilitate invoice processing.
  • Roaming establishment: service providers must offer roaming capabilities enabling their customers to connect anywhere in the world.

The benefits of EU/US transatlantic cooperation

Cooperation between the United States and the European Union to harmonize their electronic invoicing systems has many advantages. It simplifies cross-border trade by accelerating invoice processing and facilitating transactions. Additionally, it enables small and medium-sized businesses to participate more actively in transatlantic trade, opening new opportunities for growth and market access. Service providers also can demonstrate their e-invoicing expertise in the European and US markets.


As a Peppol-certified Access Point, Symtrax enables you to connect to the entire network, convert your invoices into the required format and distribute them securely. Additionally, we offer electronic signature solutions that comply with current local regulations, ensuring the legal validity of invoices issued. By choosing Symtrax as your service provider, you can benefit from a complete solution for your B2G and B2B exchanges.

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