The following section details questions (FAQs) often asked by suppliers when transacting via PEPPOL.

What is PEPPOL?

PEPPOL is a set of technical specifications that can be implemented in existing eProcurement and eBusiness exchange solutions to make them interoperable between disparate systems.  PEPPOL enables trading partners to exchange electronic documents (such as invoices and orders) over the PEPPOL network based on a 4-corner model.

Who governs PEPPOL?

The use of PEPPOL is governed by a multi-lateral agreement which is owned and maintained by OpenPEPPOL. OpenPEPPOL is a non-profit international association under Belgian law and consists of both public sector and private members. The association has assumed full responsibility for the development and maintenance of the PEPPOL specifications, building blocks and its services and implementation.

What is a PEPPOL Access Point?

PEPPOL Access Points connect users to the PEPPOL network and exchange electronic documents based on the PEPPOL specifications. Buyers and suppliers are free to choose their preferred Access Point provider to connect to all PEPPOL participants already on the network. (‘Connect once, connect to all’).

What is the PEPPOL four corner model?

The exchange of documents in the PEPPOL network is based on a so-called “4-corner model”, consisting of a sender, a recipient and both their access points. The PEPPOL format UBL (“Universal Business Language”) is used to ensure seamless cooperation between the different systems.

The PEPPOL network contains partner directories – a service similar to the Yellow Pages – to identify recipients, permitted processes and their access point providers.

What is Scan4Safety?

Scan4Safety is an initiative led by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that is enabling the delivery of better patient care, improved clinical productivity and supply chain efficiency in the NHS.  The foundation pillars of Scan4Safety are the adoption of two standards: GS1 – covering product and location identification; PEPPOL – covering document specification and exchange.

What countries are adopting PEPPOL?

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What documents can be exchanged via the PEPPOL network?

PEPPOL supports all of the key documents within the purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash processes, and include the following: Order, Order Acknowledgement, Advance Shipping Notes, Invoice, Catalogue, Message Level Response, etc.

Where can I find out more about PEPPOL?

More information can be found here:

Who can I trade with on PEPPOL?

Once registered with a PEPPOL Access Point, you can trade with any other organisation on PEPPOL, in any country. Connect once, connect to all.

If you are a supplier to the UK NHS, click here for a list of UK NHS Buyers.

Who can I trade with through the CloudTrade Network?

CloudTrade provide e-invoicing services to over 500 clients.  In the UK, we are one of the largest providers of e-invoicing solutions to the Public Sector.  For a full list of our Public Sector clients, click here.

How do I register on PEPPOL?

The registration process takes less than five minutes and simply requires the registering organisation to provide company name, address, VAT Registration number and/or GLN (if the organisation already has one) together with confirmation of which documents (invoice, orders, order acknowledgment, etc) they plan to send / receive. Once provided, CloudTrade will register the new organisation on the PEPPOL SMP, which in turn will generate a unique PEPPOL ID.

Can I register with more than one Access Point?

Yes. Once registered on PEPPOL, you are assigned a unique PEPPOL ID which your customers quote on their orders and is used to ensure the document is delivered to the right recipient. Much like the telephone network, an organisation can have multiple PEPPOL IDs across many different PEPPOL Access Points.

What is a GLN?

The Global Location Number (GLN) is part of the GS1 systems of standards. It is a tool used to identify a physical location (e.g. address, store room) or legal entities.

What is a GTIN?

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is part of the GS1 systems of standards to uniquely identify a product. In North America it is 12 digits, but usually 13 digits long in the rest of the world  (or occasionally 8 digits for very small products).

How do I submit a PEPPOL invoice if CloudTrade is my Access Point?

It’s as simple as sending an email. Although CloudTrade provides organisations with the option to transfer a file (e.g. XML, UBL, Tradacoms, etc) via their preferred transfer protocol (e.g. SFTP, HTTPS, AS2), by far the most popular method (due to speed and simplicity of set up and use) is for an organisation to simply generate and send a PDF file (e.g. invoice) via email.

When a PDF is generated by an application, in almost all instances it will ‘carry’ the document data, as put there by the application that generated it. CloudTrade’s patented technology takes advantage of the data layer within the PDF and maps it direct into the PEPPOL structure. As we act on the data direct from the PDF (no OCR), we can never make the mistakes that OCR make, which is why we are able to offer a 100% quality guarantee.

Do I need to change anything on the way I invoice currently?

When sending an invoice, the receivers PEPPOL ID must be included on the invoice. Although this can be included as a stand alone data element on the invoice, organisations often use one of the address lines for the buyer to store their PEPPOL ID. Additionally, every address relating to the buyer quoted on the invoice (e.g. delivery address), must also have a GLN, which the buyer will provide. It should be noted however, that a GLN does not need to be unique per address – if the buyer isn’t able to provide them (which is often the case), then the PEPPOL ID for the buyer (which is usually based on a GLN) can often be used and automatically inserted/ mapped by CloudTrade. As with PEPPOL ID’s, GLN’s are often stored as an address line.

How do I receive an order through PEPPOL?

Once registered, a unique PEPPOL ID for your organisation is generated. This ID is then given to your customers who quote it on their orders they submit to PEPPOL via their Access Point. This allows the Buyers Access Point to determine the Supplier’s Access Point to post the order to and the Supplier’s Access Point to determine the end point organisation for onward delivering. An Order received via PEPPOL by CloudTrade can be on-ward delivered to you, either as a PDF via email or uploaded direct into your order processing environment.

Are there any other documents that I send / receive through PEPPOL?

Yes. PEPPOL supports all of the key documents within the purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash processes, and include the following: Order, Order Acknowledgement, Advance Shipping Notes, Invoice, etc.

How much does it cost?

Free to register. If you work with any of our current customers there is no charge to register, set you up and transact to those organisations.  Any orders received from CloudTrade customers via PEPPOL for onward delivery to you via email are also free.  Charges apply if you wish to receive orders via direct file integration.

If you want to send / receive business documents with other PEPPOL registered organisations, transaction charges will apply. Contact us for more information on our charges.

What are the benefits?

PEPPOL allows an organisation to have one channel by which to trade electronically with ANY other organisation on PEPPOL. PEPPOL supports all purchasing documents, such as invoices, orders, order acknowledgements and dispatch advice notes and can be sent/received without the need to worry about document standards or transfer protocols.