Italy is in the process of rolling out its e-ordering mandate within the healthcare sector. As previously stated in our news article about the Decree, from 1 October 2019 all e-documents must be issued according to the latest PEPPOL BIS 3.0 Italian extension, and submitted for validation and distribution to the governmental hub NSO (Nodo Smistamento Ordini).

Learn about the most important aspects of the mandate in more detail below:

What is NSO?

The NSO (Nodo Smistamento Ordini) is a separate instance of the same platform that SDI (Sistema de Interscambio) is built on. NSO is intended to work similarly to SDI, but instead of e-invoices, NSO will work for other document types, such as orders and pre-agreed orders. NSO will both validate the submitted e-documents and distribute them further to recipients.

Is NSO up and running?

NSO is still under development by Sogei, which is the governmental IT company tasked to build and maintain both SDI and NSO. Therefore, NSO has never been end-to-end tested and is not yet up and running.

How do I connect to NSO?

There are multiple ways to connect to NSO, such as PEC, SFTP and web services, either directly or via an intermediary accredited by NSO.

Is it possible to connect to NSO via PEPPOL?

Such possibility is foreseen in the technical specifications. However, after a very thorough and careful examination of the proposed design, in our opinion, it is not viable due to a number of technical, as well as data security and privacy aspects.

Which format should be exchanged via NSO?

NSO only supports PEPPOL BIS, and not FatturaPA which is supported by SDI. As the name indicates, FatturaPA is only capable of handling invoices. Other document types are not supported by this format. Therefore the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has decided to approve usage of PEPPOL BIS 3.0 (Business Interoperability Specifications) to ensure implementation of the mandate.

What is PEPPOL BIS and how do I work with it?

PEPPOL BIS is a format maintained by OpenPEPPOL with formal requirements that ensure pan-European interoperability of procurement documents such as e-invoices, e-orders, despatch advice, etc. The Italian version of PEPPOL BIS, however, does not work outside of NSO e-document exchange, i.e. it is not interoperable with other PEPPOL markets.

Is Pagero accredited with NSO?

There is currently no intermediary officially accredited with NSO, as the accreditation criteria have not yet been set. The accreditation process is expected to be similar to SDI.

Will the NSO mandate impact e-invoicing via SDI?

Yes. Certain data elements from an e-order approved by NSO must be populated in the e-invoice before being submitted to SDI. This means that the NSO mandate will impact e-invoicing via SDI.

Which documents can be sent via NSO?

Besides orders and pre-agreed orders which are mandatory, the parties may (but are not obliged to) exchange order confirmations, order changes and order cancellations.

How do I know which order profile (simple or full) applies?

Whether the order should have a simple or a full profile should be agreed on upfront between the buyer and the supplier. Currently, MEF has no plans to build a database where this information would be available.

How do I know if the e-order has been validated by the NSO?

NSO validates documents and the distribution of documents can be done by either NSO or an accredited intermediary. Once validated, NSO will send a notification to the issuer and a copy of the message to PCC (Piattaforma dei Crediti Commerciali), along with a unique NSO ID (IdT).

Is it possible to start prior to 1 October 2019?

Provided that NSO is ready for end-to-end processing of e-orders, buyers and suppliers can start earlier than 1 October 2019 upon a mutual agreement.

Is it currently possible to test the flows?

At present, it is not possible to test the flows. NSO is still under development by Sogei and according to available information any real testing will not be possible before summer 2019.

Is there anything I can do to start preparing?

If you sign up as an NSO customer with Pagero, you will receive detailed information of the expected impact on your systems and processes, as well as what you can do to be prepared for the NSO mandate and test the system once it is ready.

Does Pagero foresee any issues with the e-ordering mandate?

NSO is built on the same platform as SDI, therefore we foresee similar challenges, such as response times, accuracy of the decisions, frequent changes and changes with a short notice. Despite limited time until the mandate enters into force, the NSO platform is not yet available for testing. The implementation will be challenging both the buyers and the suppliers, especially given the very broad scope of the mandate – all orders from the public healthcare segment to all suppliers, both domestic and foreign.

Is it possible that the NSO mandate gets postponed?

It is not impossible that the mandate gets postponed. However, we would strongly recommend not to think in those terms. Many expected the e-invoicing mandate to be postponed, but this never happened. We suggest getting in the mindset that NSO is a matter of “when” and not “if”. Think rather of the overall benefits such far-reaching digitalisation brings to your operations.

Meet requirements in Italy with Pagero

Pagero has been operational in Italy since 2015. We are accredited by SDI with our own integration channel. We already support B2G, B2B, B2C and cross-border e-invoicing in Italy and we are participating in the pilot phase of the NSO e-ordering mandate.

Pagero Health Solutions

Pagero is one of the largest open e-invoicing O2C and P2P network specialised within healthcare. We support both suppliers and hospitals across the world.