Frequently Asked Questions - PDF / A - ZUGFeRD

All about the "Forum electronic invoice Germany"

ZUGFearth is the abbreviation for "Zmore central Uto be Gguide of Forums eelectronic Rinvoice ".

The "Fthat I eelectronic Rinvoice Deutschland "(FeRD) was decided by the" Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Wirtschaftsverwaltung eV " (  AWV) founded. The aim was to develop a standard with which electronic invoices can be exchanged electronically between small and very small companies, medium-sized businesses and public administration quickly, conveniently, simply and inexpensively in the future.

In cooperation with ministries, associations and companies, this forum has the ZUGFeRD specification developed and published in July 2014.

Status: August 2015

Created: 12.08.2015 - 10: 25
Stand: 23.12.2015 - 12: 01

A ZUGFThe eRD invoice essentially consists of two parts: a human-readable representation of the invoice in the PDF/A3Format and from machine-readable structured data in XML-Format. Technically it is XMLFile in the PDF/ A-3 file embedded. Thanks to this hybrid structure, the invoice recipients can also ZUGFProcess eRD invoices that are not yet on ZUGFeRDXML have switched.

To use electronic invoices ZUGFTo generate, read out and further process the eRD standard, appropriate software is required, for example PDF/ A Live! from intarsys or that intarsys ZUGFeRD toolkit. For creating a ZUGFeRD invoice is that PDF and the associated XML-File required.

Status: July 2015

Generated: August 2015

Created: 12.08.2015 - 10: 31
Stand: 07.10.2021 - 13: 43

The electronic exchange of invoices in ZUGFeRD format, the costs for material and postage are significantly reduced thanks to efficient processes.

So far, the fully automatic electronic invoice exchange was EDI- Reserved for users. By ZUGFeRD can now also benefit small companies from the savings opportunities, as the invoice data can be processed automatically.

Status: August 2015

Created: 12.08.2015 - 10: 33
Stand: 12.08.2015 - 10: 33

In contrast to EDIFACT provides the ZUGFeRD specification does not have any requirements for the transmission of invoices. The ZUGFeRD invoices can be exchanged in the way that makes the most sense and is most practical for the two contractual partners. Unlike EDI-Procedure, must be ZUGFeRD no agreement on the exchange of invoices can be made between the two parties. Due to the changes in the Tax Simplification Act 2011, invoices can be sent electronically without the explicit consent of the invoice recipient.

Status: August 2015

Created: 12.08.2015 - 10: 38
Stand: 12.08.2015 - 10: 39

At the intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit is a command line program that can be executed in a corresponding command line environment. It does not have a graphical user interface. Examples of calling the intarsys ZUGFThe eRD Toolkit can be found in the documentation for the call parameters.

The intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit runs on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, the server variants Windows Server 2012R2, 2016 and 2019 as well as all common Linux versions and macOS from 10.12.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 00
Stand: 07.10.2021 - 15: 20

The intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit is implemented in Java and uses an existing Java Runtime JRE 10 or newer ahead. OpenJDK 11 is recommended JRE must be in the search path of the command line environment. With

java version

it can be checked whether Java is found on the system and in which version it is available.


Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 02
Stand: 05.03.2020 - 15: 02

No, the intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit has no configuration settings. All settings are made via command line parameters.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 11
Stand: 07.10.2021 - 15: 16

In principle, yes. If you have direct access to the JavaAPI just contact us. We will then send you an API-Description too. Please note, however, that for direct use of the JavaAPI For support reasons, at least the normal user license is required.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 20
Stand: 07.10.2021 - 13: 52

With version 2.0 you can

  • ZUGFeRD 1.0
  • ZUGFeRD 2.0 (as of March 2019)
  • ZUGFeRD 2.1 (as of March 2020)
  • Factur-X 1.0

be generated. intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit uses the XML- File independently which invoice format is to be created. If necessary, this detection can also be overridden via parameters.


Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 14
Stand: 05.03.2020 - 15: 14

Of course you can use intarsys ZUGFThe eRD Toolkit can also be used in batch or mass operation within the scope of the licensing restrictions (100 invoices per day for the Free User License). However, it should be noted that the Java Runtime is started each time the toolkit is called, which of course limits the throughput. For real mass operations with thousands of invoices, we therefore recommend using PDF/ A Live!that has a powerful API and can be operated as a real server.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 21
Stand: 07.10.2021 - 13: 46

No. intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit does not have a validator. Only the syntactic correctness of the embedded XML- Checked the file, the embedding itself and the specified invoice profile. For a comprehensive validation of the structure including the business rules, we recommend the use of PDF/ A Live !, which, via an extension, offers a very powerful and high-performance validator for a wide variety of invoice data formats.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 16
Stand: 05.03.2020 - 15: 16

No. That for one ZUGFeRD invoice required XML can either only generate the source program itself (eg the invoicing program) or a specific conversion tool that understands the data output of the source program and according to ZUGFeRD can implement. Billing portals are often used for this purpose, which, for example, allow simple CSV- Files with the billing data are uploaded and then a valid one ZUGFeRD format is generated.


Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 15
Stand: 06.11.2020 - 14: 42

That depends on the creation process and the programs involved. Either the source program (eg the invoicing program) that generates the invoice document can already be used directly PDFOutput / A or just PDF, which then follows with a converter after PDF/ A must be transferred. A possible converter would be, for example intarsys PDF/ A Live!. Another option is to use a PDFPrinter driver, the PDF/ A can create. To do this, the invoice from the source program must then be sent to the relevant PDF-Printer to be printed. Well-known solutions are for example PDFCcreator.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 15
Stand: 06.11.2020 - 14: 44

No, intarsys ZUGFeRD Toolkit does not convert the PDF-Contents after PDF/ A-3 but essentially only changes the PDF/ A identifier and the metadata. Therefore the input document must already PDFBe / A compliant. It doesn't matter if it is PDF/ A-1, PDF/ A-2 or PDF/ A-3 or the so-called Conformance Level A-1a, A-1b, A-2a, A-2u or A-2b.

Created: 05.03.2020 - 15: 12
Stand: 05.03.2020 - 15: 12

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