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Annex 1: Principles for the Interoperability of Electronic Invoicing Systems in the APEC Region

In the spirit of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and Aotearoa Plan of Action, in particular, the objectives of promoting seamless connectivity and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions;

Acknowledging the economic importance and regional development benefits of promoting the global adoption of interoperable electronic invoicing systems;

Recognising the benefits of electronic invoicing in increasing the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of cross-border trade transactions;

Mindful that across the APEC region, electronic invoicing systems have been developed in a wide range of different approaches, formats and regulatory environments;

Striving for systems used for electronic invoicing within one jurisdiction to be interoperable with the systems used in another jurisdiction;

APEC economies are encouraged to:

  • accord electronic invoices the same legal effect as paper invoices issued for the sale of goods or services;

  • base measures related to electronic invoicing on applicable international, open standards, guidelines or recommendations; 

  • implement policies, infrastructure and processes that facilitate the development and use of electronic invoicing that allow buyers and sellers to exchange documents in a secure manner;

  • promote the use of common, open standards and protocols, including data language and syntax, to enable interoperability among different electronic invoicing systems and related documents;

  • build confidence in, and understanding of, each other’s electronic invoicing policies, infrastructure and processes through the sharing of best practices; and

  • support initiatives which facilitate, and build capacity for, the development and adoption of interoperable electronic invoicing systems.