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EU designates UBL2.1 as referable standard. But what does that mean?

November 12, 2014  |  Europe, Purchase-to-pay, Standards

The European Commission issued a decision on the identification of Universal Business Language version 2.1 for referencing in public procurement as Ken Holman mentioned in this LinkedIN discussion. Article 1 of the EC Decision states: “Universal Business Language version 2.1 developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards is eligible for referencing in public procurement.”

This interesting but ambiguous decision, sparks some questions, like “What does ‘designate as a referable standard” mean? Why was the EU Forum on ICT standardisation consulted, but not (also) the EU forum on e-invoicing? How does it relate to the assignment of the EC to develop a standard for e-invoicing?

Thankfully some of the experts provided the answers to these questions:

  1. The [decision] means that from now on, public sector contracting authorities are allowed to say in purchases: the thing we want to buy must be able to understand UBL 2.1 ( …. elegible for referencing in public procurement ….)
  2. [The decision] has no relation whatsoever to what PC 434 is doing. The only relation you might consider is, that if UBL 2.1 would be one of the syntaxes delivered by PC 434, the contracting authorities purchasing invoicing systems could now safely say: “the system we want to purchase must be able to understand UBL 2.1” — this has NOTHING to do with the way in which the system purchased will be invoiced itself.


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