Automated proof of delivery with RECADV and IFTMAN

In cases where an invoice for goods shipped to another EU country is exempt from VAT, or applies the VAT reverse charge procedure, companies based in Germany are required by law to provide documentary evidence that the goods have physically reached the recipient in the other EU country.

The following documentary process is considered reliable and easy to validate:

1.  A duplicate of the invoice and
2. 
A confirmation from the goods receiver that the supplies have reached the other EU area (Entry Certificate). The entry certificate can be issued as a summarised statement covering a period of up to three months.

The Entry Certificate may be sent electronically, e.g. via EDI. Requirements for e-Invoicing concerning the authenticity of origin and integrity of content also apply to Entry Certificates. The receiver of the Entry Certificate (the supplier) must be able to prove that the electronic transmission originated in the domain of the receiver of the goods, or in the domain of a third party acting on behalf of the receiver of the goods.

There is a considerable interest in the German automotive industry to use the EDI option in order to automate this process and decrease the associated administrative costs. In anticipation that other EU countries will soon introduce similar requirements, Odette has developed subsets of the EDIFACT Receiving Advice (RECADV) and Arrival Notice (IFTMAN) messages, based on the VDA recommendation 4989 “Gelangensbestaetigung”.  

Three options exist:

  1. An explicit goods receipt statement (RECADV – Receiving Advice) sent from a customer located in an EU Member State to a supplier located in an EU country which imposes this requirement. This is especially appropriate in processes where the supplier also issues the invoice.
  2. A self-billing invoice document under the condition that it contains the information required by law If the self-billing invoice is intended to be used as an Entry Certificate, it must include, in addition to VAT related information, the place and date of receipt (see Global INVOIC OM09 – Part 2 – Implementation Guidelines).
  3. The forwarder’s confirmation or declaration of the goods shipped to the other EU member state (IFTMAN – Arrival Notice) sent from the forwarder to the supplier.

These options are not mutually exclusive and it is possible to use several in combination as long as they do not contradict each other.

These messages will shortly be available for download from the Publications area free of charge for Odette members

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