Jun 14, 2017 News

AS4 now optional message exchange protocol in PEPPOL eDelivery network

On 19 September 2016, the European Commission and OpenPEPPOL signed a Letter of Understanding, outlining the transition from AS2 to AS4 message exchange protocols within the PEPPOL eDelivery network.


Following an OpenPEPPOL Management Committee decision earlier this year, the European Commission and OpenPEPPOL are happy to announce that AS4 has been agreed as an optional protocol for message exchange in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network.


Currently the OpenPEPPOL AS4 Transition Work Group is preparing a PEPPOL AS4 profile to clearly specify how AS4 is to be used in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network. This new profile will be well aligned with the CEF/e-SENS AS4 profile and based on the experience gained during the e-SENS eTendering pilot.


The adoption of AS4 is part of a well-defined, step-by-step transition process. This approach has been adopted to minimise the risks associated with the adoption of a new technology.


The use of AS4 within the PEPPOL eDelivery network will become mandatory, and AS2 be made optional, the timeline agreed indicates Q2 2019 as the target date for this transition. The conditions for the transition is laid down in the Letter of Understanding, which can be downloaded from here.


The European Commission provides Grant funding, under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), to support the transition from AS2 to AS4 (see the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) for details). In 2017, CEF eInvoicing will have an indicative budget of €10 million, with Calls for Proposals foreseen to open 28 June 2017 until 28 November 2017.


Finally, users of AS2 and AS4 are invited to join the CEF eDelivery User Community. The eDelivery User Community space enables stakeholders working with AS2 and/or AS4 to share experiences and best practices on the exchange of electronic data and documents between public administrations, businesses and citizens.


OpenPEPPOL was established after successful completion of the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) project, which saw PEPPOL specifications being implemented in several European countries solving interoperability issues for electronic procurement.


CEF eDelivery helps public administrations to exchange electronic data and documents with other public administrations, businesses and citizens, in an interoperable, secure, reliable and trusted way. Through the use of this building block, every participant becomes a node in the network using standard transport protocols and security policies.