Sending Electronic Documents in Germany

As a customer in Germany, you can send electronic documents either by email (as attached files) or through the PEPPOL eDelivery Network.

Continia Document Output connects you directly to the PEPPOL eDelivery Network, thereby eliminating the need to sign up with any third parties for integration. Once connected, you can start sending electronic documents to your customers in Germany and other countries. To learn more about how to connect to the PEPPOL eDelivery Network, see Setting up the Continia Delivery Network.

To promote the general adoption of PEPPOL, the German authorities mandate that all public authorities must be able to receive electronic documents through the PEPPOL eDelivery Network.

The XRechnung format is being widely adopted by both businesses and public authorities in Germany. Document Output supports this format, and documents can be sent through the PEPPOL eDelivery Network.

You can also export and send electronic documents to customers in other countries. Most widespread formats are supported, but not all. For a list of supported formats, see Supported Formats.


On the German market, the file type ZUGFeRD—a cross-industry PDF standard file containing an embedded XML file—is dominant, and it will likely remain that way until the Peppol format XRechnung gains enough popularity.

A ZUGFeRD PDF must always be attached to an email template, and it must be converted to a PDF-A, which is an archival format of PDF that embeds all fonts used in the document within the PDF file.
A special cross-industry XML file, which is similar to XRechnung in many ways, is embedded in the PDF file.

Document Output comes with the ready-to-use Output Profile ZUGFERD, which automatically configures the features needed for generating the file in accordance with ZUGFeRD standards.


When you set up an Output Profile for the ZUGFeRD format, the following is required:

  • The ZUGFERD profile must be attached to a document type template (invoice or credit memo)
  • The Email field must be marked with PDF
  • There must be a checkmark in Create PFD/A and Append E-Document to PDF
  • E-Document Setup Code is set to CII


In FOB-based versions of Document Output, the ZUGFERD Output Profile is only available in the German localization. The profile can be manually generated by following above-mentioned steps.


In French-speaking countries, the format Factur-X can be used. This is the exact same format as ZUGFeRD, and the ZUGFERD profile can also be used for sending Factur-X PDF files.

See also

Setting up the Continia Delivery Network
Output Profiles