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Invoices dematerialization norms

For an electronic invoice to be recognized as tax-compliant, it must be compliant from its prime source, before printing, and provide guarantees of:

  • enforceability (French RFC 3161 time-stamping),
  • integrity and identification (X509-V3 electronic signature),
  • archiving (french Z42-013),

It must also use sustainable GSI PDF/A or XML formats.

Norms in France

According to this extract form the CGI (Code Général des Impôts – French General Tax Code), article 289-V: “tax-compliant electronic invoices must be compliant from their source before printing and offer guarantees as to their integrity and identification (X509-V3 electronic signature), enforceability (RFC 3161 time-stamping) and archiving (Z42-013) and use sustainable PDF/A or XML GS1 formats”. If these conditions are met, invoices no longer need to be printed.

The direction of legal & administrative information updated by the French Prime Minister on the 9/19/2014 changed dispositions of the annexe III of the French General tax code, concerning invoices sent by an electronic way:

Extract from French JORF n°0098 – 04/26/2013 page 7273, text N°6.

Advanced electronic signature is created by a qualified secure device based on qualified electronic certificate delivered by a qualified trust service provider, specialist in certification services.

This signature should

  • Be unique & made exclusively for the signer
  • Permit identification
  • Guarantee a security that ensures that any ratification on the invoice is detectable.

French Macron Law -21/01/2015

This law imposes electronic invoice from a firm to the government, based on a calendar depending on the company’s size. Starting in January 2017.

Is an electronic invoice enough?

Yes, an electronic invoice is as valuable as a paper invoice. The only condition is that the buyer agrees to receive electronic invoices only. It accordingly becomes the original, but the integrity of the content and authenticity of the origin must be guaranteed.

Norms in Europe


Article 232. The use of an electronic invoice is submitted to the recipient agreement.

Law eIDAS Electronic identification & trusted services

Article 23 An electronic trusted service cannot be rejected unless the recipient is unable to read it or check it for technical reasons.

Article 59. Electronic stamps guarantee the origin & the integrity of the file, it also permits to check that these have never been amended.