Mar 28, 2018 News

PEPPOL AS4 now available for optional use in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network

OpenPEPPOL, together with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eDelivery team, have successfully completed the Phase-in (T2) criteria for the transition from AS2 to AS4 message exchange protocols within the PEPPOL eDelivery network. This begins the process of deploying the PEPPOL AS4 profile as an optional protocol within the 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.


Teams from both sides have joined forces and worked closely with solution providers in dedicated task forces to demonstrate that AS4 will deliver the same high quality results as AS2.


The release of a first version of the PEPPOL AS4 profile in December 2017 marked the completion of the T2 phase and now both OpenPEPPOL and the CEF eDelivery team are continuing close collaboration to make the Transition (T3) criteria a success so that AS4 becomes a mandatory transport protocol in the PEPPOL network according to the planned timeframe (Q2 2019).


AS4 is typically used for the secure and reliable exchange of documents and data. AS4 can be used in virtually every sector or business domain. This infographic provides a handy overview of the AS4 protocol.


Today, AS4 is the message exchange protocol promoted by CEF eDelivery. 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. CEF eDelivery is a network of nodes for digital communications. It is based on a distributed model where every participant becomes a node using standard transport protocols and security policies.


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. The PEPPOL project remains one of the key Connecting Europe Success Stories, the benefits of which continue to be built-upon. Currently, more than 160 certified Access Points are connected to the PEPPOL eDelivery Network in 20 European countries and North America. The PEPPOL eDelivery Network is today mostly used for electronic invoicing, and plays an important role for the implementation of directive 2014/55/EU on e-invoicing in public procurement in many countries today. The latest country being Ireland, with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform signing on as a PEPPOL Authority in January 2018.


The European Commission also provides CEF grant funding to support the transition from AS2 to AS4 (see the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) for details).


In this context, OpenPEPPOL Access Point Providers are therefore strongly encouraged to plan their upgrade from AS2 to AS4. For more information or practical details, contact OpenPEPPOL or CEF eDelivery.