Trade Data Initiatives

Various initiatives are in place to promote the adoption of paper-free supply chain processes. These initiatives involve the automation of trade data interchanges, which usually leads to replacing paper with data and their associated processes to provide message interchange with reduced or no human intervention. Some of these intiatives are still at the pilot projet level, while others are already mature.
Through these initiatives, experience is gained on how the introduction of e-business solutions and standards, data models, technical specifications, etc. are developed for use in other contexts.

EU Initiatives


Started in 2008 from EU Commission funding , PEPPOL, the Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine project, aims at expanding market connectivity and inter-operability between eProcurement communities. PEPPOL enables access to its standards-based IT transport infrastructure through access points, and provides services for e-procurement with standardized electronic document formats (based on UBL and CEN/BII).


The European Commission is running an e-Invoicing and e-Ordering pilot project with a number of suppliers. The main goal of this project is to gain real-life experience with e-Invoicing and to share the lessons learnt with Member States and other interested stakeholders. The solution developed within the European Commission is based on an Enterprise Service Bus. The name of this infrastructure is called e-PRIOR, an acronym for electronic PRocurement, Invoicing and ORdering.

EU Core e-Invoice

This is an EU-specific data set and guidelines delivered by a CEN workgroup and incorporating a subset of the latest invoice data models and other artefacts from UN/CEFACT. This is in compliance with the e-Invoice EU expert group findings, which attempts to provide inter-operability using one messaging standard.

CEN Workshop Agreements (CWA)

CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs) are consensus-based specifications, drawn up in an open Workshop environment. These are effectively white papers drawn up to provide assistance with EU Standards including the eInv3 Workshop, BII2, eBes and others.