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First PEPPOL invoice received by the Norwegian Public Sector – first PEPPOL invoice flow in production

by Gry Monica Hellevik created on 26/05/2011 09:25

An important step towards realizing the EU-wide standard for eProcurement PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) was recently taken when Bergen Hospital Trust (Helse Bergen), received an electronic invoice from their supplier using the PEPPOL transport infrastructure (START). Bergen Hospital Trust is the first Norwegian receiver of an electronic invoice that has been transferred using the PEPPOL infrastructure.

Norway has decided to use the PEPPOL infrastructure and related standards for public electronic invoicing. This first transferred invoice is the first transaction within a production pilot for electronic invoices using the PEPPOL infrastructure and the Norwegian standard format for public electronic invoices – EHF - in Norway. The pilot includes the public sector buyer Bergen Hospital Trust (Helse Bergen), one of their suppliers, a Finnish access point for PEPPOL, hosted by Itella Information and a Norwegian access point, IBX Access Point, hosted by Capgemini Procurement Services.

“We are pleased that the pilot begins, and we have great expectations for the coming period. We look forward to building expertise and experience in electronic commerce across national borders. The pilot will also give us valuable experience related to our national commitment to electronic commerce” says Per Karlsen, Finance Director, The Western Norway Regional Health Authority – owner of Bergen Hospital Trust.

The invoice was sent from the Norwegian branch of a multinational company via their service provider Itella Message Broker in Finland. Itella converted the invoice to the correct format and passed on the invoice to their access point. Before sending the invoice, Itella looked up the address ID for the invoice through use of the European SML and national SMP services. Using the PEPPOL Transport infrastructure, the invoice was forwarded to the IBX Access Point, the first Norwegian PEPPOL access point. This access point is hosted by Capgemini Procurement Services in Sweden. The invoice was then delivered to Bergen Hospital Trust in Norway, who is connected to the IBX Access Point.

“This proves that the PEPPOL infrastructure makes it possible to send cross-border electronic invoices regardless of where the service providers host their solutions and that invoices can flow freely without considering national borders” says Sten-Eiven Tinjar, Capgemini Procurement Services.

“Since Norway has decided that the standard for electronic invoices for the public sector shall be based on the PEPPOL format, it is enough for a public sector unit to be connected to one access point. They can then receive all their electronic invoices in the Norwegian standard format for electronic invoices – EHF – from any of their suppliers within Norway or within EU, regardless of country of origin”
says Olav Kristiansen, senior adviser in Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) and responsible for delivering e-invoicing in the Norwegian public sector.


The main technical components and key specifications used for enabling this transaction:

To support transport:

  • Secure Trusted Asynchronous Reliable Transport (START)
  • Service Metadata Publishing (SMP)
  • Service Metadata Locator (SML)


To support invoicing process and document content:

  • PEPPOL BIS4 (based on CEN/BII Core Invoice specifications)
  • EHF - based on BIS4 with Norwegian amendments
  • OASIS Universal Business Language 2.0 xml-syntax


Access point

An access point is a service that uses the PEPPOL infrastructure to receive and forward procurement messages, such as invoices, in a standardized way.  The advantage of using an access point for an organization is that they do not need to specify the network requirements of their trading partners. Rather like email, once received by their access point, their documents will be re-routed to the correct recipient regardless of any intermediary networks or service providers involved.

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