With the French mandate coming into effect in 2024, companies must already start preparing for the numerous changes and new requirements that will dictate how these will now operate. To adhere to the new requirements imposed by the government on e-invoicing, every company must select a method to process their electronic invoices.
There are several different methods for sending and receiving e-invoices and the life cycle status of an e-invoice under the new guidelines in France.
We will go through each one and demonstrate below to help you understand how they work and help you choose which one will suit your company best.
In short, there are three main methods:
Partner Dematerialisation Platforms (PDP)
Partner Dematerialisation Platforms (Plateformes de Dématérialisation Partenaires or PDP) are service providers certified by the government. With this certification comes the privilege of being allowed to issue and receive e-invoices directly with the service provider of the counter-party without going through the PPF, provided that the service provider is also a PDP.
Dematerialisation Operators (OD)
Dematerialisation Operators (Opérateur de Dématérialisation or OD) are all the service providers in the market that have not been certified by the government. On the whole, they provide similar functions as PDPs. However, the main difference is that they cannot issue or receive directly without using the PPF as an intermediary in the flow of the e-invoice.
The Public Invoicing Portal (PPF)
The Public Invoicing Portal (Portail Public de Facturation or PPF) will be the new platform for B2B e-invoicing in France. PPF will be directly connected to the current government hub for B2G e-invoicing, Chorus Pro. The data passing through the PPF platform will be reported to the Tax Administration of France (Direction Générale des Finances Publiques or DGFIP). The PPF is also administrating the central directory for e-invoicing.
With all these new terms coming into play, you may need help differentiating them, what they mean for your business, and how you work with trading partners in France.
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As mentioned above, a Partner Dematerialisation Platform (PDP) will be an independent service provider, approved and recognised by the government, meaning they will be able to issue invoices directly to the service provider of the recipient without going through the PPF hub – provided that the recipient’s service provider is a PDP as well.
This is an advantageous option for businesses concerned about single platform failure, which could happen if PPF were to be down.
What is a PDP’s role?:
Transmit e-invoices or lifecycle statuses to the PPF.
Send e-invoices to other PDPs and report a subset of this data to the PPF if the recipient uses another PDP and has an interoperability agreement. If the recipient is not using a PDP, the issuing PDP will send the tax invoice to the PPF, who will transmit it to the recipient.
Facilitate the reporting of transactions that fall into the French e-reporting mandate. Mainly Cross-border B2B transactions and domestic B2C transactions.
Convert e-invoices into one of the three standard, mandatory formats (Factur-X, UBL 2.1 and UN/CEFACT CII) to ensure compliance with EU norms.
As the intermediary between a supplier and a customer, the PDP can convert the format of the invoice established by the supplier to the format requested by the customer. These operations will be carried out under strict conditions to ensure the preservation of the integrity of the data, its authenticity, and its exhaustiveness.
A PDP must adhere to many regulations and requirements as part of the certification process.
What is a OD?
Unlike government-certified service providers (PDP), Dematerialisation Operators (OD) will encompass all other service providers in the market offering dematerialisation services of e-invoices.
To issue or receive e-invoices and lifecycle statuses, an OD must connect directly with the Public Invoicing Portal (PPF) or other PDP platforms.
What is a OD’s role?:
Similarly to a PDP, an OD will be responsible for digitalising invoices into at least one of the three government-approved standardised formats (Factur-X, UBL, CII) and for their issuance via the PPF.
What is the PPF?
Besides ensuring the administration of the Directory, Public Invoicing Portal (PPF) also provides a free-of-charge service to businesses who have chosen to use this platform directly instead of connecting via an OD or a PDP. The PPF will be accessible and utilised manually via a web portal or direct integration (API/EDI).
What is the PPF’s role?:
Administer and facilitate the exchange of electronic invoices and payment statuses.
Administer the Central Directory.
Collect billing, transaction, payment data, and information relating to the life cycle status of the e-invoice, and transmit the data to the Tax Administration (DGFIP).
They will also provide the following:
The optional use of the PPF for international B2B transactions.
Compatibility with Chorus Pro (the B2G portal).
What is The Directory's role?
The Directory is a centralised database administered by the PPF. All taxpayers will need to be registered within the central directory. The central directory will contain the necessary data to ensure the correct routing of the e-invoices and enable the identification of each e-invoice recipient's chosen platform.
Identification in the Directory is based at least on the French SIREN number. If the entity wishes, a finer identification based on the SIRET should also be possible.
The Directory is critical to facilitating the exchange of e-documents between the different platforms and service providers in the French model.
France and the ViDA propoal
Looking at the French e-invoicing model on a high level regarding the VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) proposal, which is coming into effect in 2024-2028 across all of Europe, there are some question marks of the French mandate compatibility with the proposal in its current form. While certain aspects of the French mandate are partially aligned, others are not. Check out our ViDA proposal guide for more information on this topic.