EDI learns a new language

GS1 has announced the inclusion of Universal Business Language (UBL) in its EDI standard syntax portfolio that already includes EDIFACT/EANCOM, GS1 XML and GS1 UN/CEFACT XML syntaxes.

As part of the new EDI strategy, GS1 will undertake a major harmonisation initiative to provide a single content description for transactional data. This approach will apply to all existing EDI syntaxes, new API syntaxes and future technologies used to exchange transactional data.

GS1 says UBL will provide an entry point into eCommerce for small and medium size businesses and could also be used for cross sector transactions including business-to-government eInvoicing or business-to-business transactions between two trading partners from different private sectors.

The Government progressing eInvoicing joint media release issued by The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services with The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, and The Hon Craig Laundy MP, Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace and Deregulation released on the 31 March 2018, announced that the Turnbull Government will commence work to progressively adopt eInvoicing across all levels of government to improve processes and help businesses.

GS1 Australia’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Maria Palazzolo said, “We welcome the decision by the Australian government to adopt eInvoicing for the benefit of the business community and our members. The addition of UBL to the GS1 EDI standard syntax portfolio provides further support for the government’s eInvoicing program which will simplify doing business with government and industry.”

The government’s eInvoicing program is based on the framework developed by the Digital Business Council and the recently established Trans-Tasman working group made up of representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Department of Jobs and Small Business, Digital Transformation Agency, Treasury, and the New Zealand Government.

The Trans-Tasman working group, recently announced by The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, was established to support industry to standardise eInvoicing processes in Australia and New Zealand, and align with opportunities presented from the digital transformation of our economy.

The addition of UBL will not impact existing B2B EDI standards. EDI user communities that have used EDI for years can continue to use the UN/EDIFACT syntax that GS1 will continue to fully support.

“The new EDI strategy represents a major shift to the development of business-driven standards away from technology driven standards. This new direction will improve operational processes for users of current technologies and lay the foundation for adopting seamless modern technologies such as UBL and APIs,” added Ms Palazzolo.

About GS1 Australia

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. GS1 standards and services improve supply chain efficiency, traceability and food safety across physical and digital channels in the food and beverage sector. With local Member Organisations in 112 countries, 1.5 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes in 25 sectors across the globe. For more information visit the GS1 Australia website.


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