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    What are the validation rules?

    5755 13 Created on 2019-11-04 16:08:26; Last updated on 2022-07-01 13:01:10

    The validation rules are in place to ensure that Kuehne Nagel has all the information they need to process your invoices.  This means that there will be no delays in processing your payment once you invoice us.


    The validation rules are detailed below:


    Invoice Validation Rules


    Invoice date: In order to stop back-dating of invoices, your customer has implemented a “static validation rule” on Tradeshift, meaning that the invoice date on the invoice must be no more, or no less than 14 days from the current date. Note that for certain countries, this rule is changed to 7 days. Please enquire with your customer for clarification.


    File Reference ID and the PO Number: All invoices sent via Tradeshift must contain either a File Reference ID, or a PO Number. These numbers should be issued to you by your representative at the time of order placement. These numbers can be provided once at the invoice header level, or, on all lines of the invoice.
    The File Reference ID is a “static validation” requiring a value that is comprised of 12, 14, 15, 16 or 17 alpha-numerics, dots or dashes. The PO Number is a “dynamic validation” which requires an exact match to an open and valid PO number. Tradeshift validates this against a real-time data feed received from your customer.


    Person Reference: while the Person Reference is not a mandatory field for your customer on Tradeshift, its presence is preferred as it can greatly assist the speed of processing in some instances. If you choose to provide a value in the Person Reference field, this value will undergo a “dynamic validation” against a list of your customer’s pre-approved employees that are authorized to receive invoices in that specific legal entity. The format of the field is also specific, and must follow one of the two following formats: “firstname.lastname@your-customer.com”, or “firstname.lastname”.


    Branch / Centre ID: while the Branch / Center ID is not a mandatory field for your customer on Tradeshift, its presence might be required in some exceptional cases. If you provide a value in the Branch / Centre field, this value will undergo a “dynamic validation” against a list of your customer’s pre-approved Branch / Centre IDs.


    Credit Note Validation Rules


    Credit notes: by default, must contain the referenced invoice number. If not available, simply enter "N/A" for Not Applicable, or the credit note number itself. For automated senders, the canonical element is “CreditNoteInvoiceID”.


    Credit notes can be back-dated by X days (X = KN country choice, recommend up to 160 days). Credit notes must contain the referenced invoice number. If not available, simply enter "N/A" for Not Applicable, or the credit note number itself. For automated senders, the canonical element is “CreditNoteInvoiceID”.

    If a document sent by a supplier has standard VAT rates e.g. 20%/5% or reverse charge then the supplier must save their VAT number on their profile.

    A zero value invoice cannot be sent.

    We then apply an additional “category” to each supplier, depending on what references they are able to provide. Categories A to D exist and are explained below.


    1. Category A Suppliers

     Must provide a PO Number; or KN File-number (issued by KN to the Supplier).


    1.1. KN File Reference:

    Supplier must provide a reference that is 12,14,15,16 or 17 digits long – this is a static validation.File reference should not include spaces. Characters such as dash (-) and dot (.) can be used, but only within 15-digit and 17-digit ref.

    Example accepted formats below using country code 14:



    Note: multiple file references can be used:·  

    • A KN file reference at the header of the document covers the whole invoice (all lines).
    • If there is a different reference for some lines, then these can be entered at line level.
    • Or, if each line has its own reference, then leave the header blank, and enter each reference at line level
    • In the example below, KN File ID at header level covers lines 2,3 & 5. Lines 1 & 4 have their own reference entered:



    Examples of correct formats: 

    KN Export reference:

    207801701027 (12 digits)

    14207801701027 (14 digits)

    1420780170102700 (16 digits)

    1420-7801-701.027 (17 digits)

    KN Import reference should be entered in the below format (with the dash between tracking number & short code):

    1012642415-1872 (15 digits)


    1.2. PO Number

    The PO Number is a “dynamic validation” which requires an exact match to an open and valid PO number. Tradeshift validates this against a real-time data feed received from KN.

    The PO number must be provided in ALL CAPS to be an exact match.

    e.g. POGBBN14123456

    It is important to note:

    • Tradeshift only looks for the PO number to match.
    • Supplier should have only 1 PO per invoice at header level – multiple PO’s on 1 invoice is not valid


    2. Category B Suppliers

    Must provide person reference in one of the two following formats:

    • A valid KN email address jack.smith@Kuehne-nagel.com or;
    • The name only without the full email. e.g. jack.smith

    This value will undergo a “dynamic validation” against a list of KN’s pre-approved employees that are authorized to receive invoices in that specific legal entity.


    3. Category C Suppliers

    Must give a Branch and Centre number e.g. 20ES

    The branch & centre should be entered in CAPS & without spaces.


    4. Category D Suppliers

    No specific reference is required for this category.

    Regular invoice data is enough for invoice acceptance.

    However, if any references (i.e. POs, file numbers, branch/centres) are placed in the validated fields, they will be validated as normal


    All of the invoice data needs to be correct. Once an invoice is sent, the data cannot be changed or removed.

    If there are any validation errors on the invoice (for example an invalid reference or the date is out of range) the supplier will receive an instant failure message from Tradeshift. The invoice would then be saved with the status “draft” or “failed delivery”.  It can then be edited before trying to send again.

    If the invoice passes the validation then it will be sent to Kuehne Nagel and processed. The status will change from “sending” to “sent”.

    Updates that could be made to the status include “disputed”, “approved”, “payment sent”, “rejected”.


    If an incorrect invoice is sent, it must be credited and sent again correctly.


    Additional information


    Please notice that in some countries there might be additional requirements due to local legislation, e.g. relating to payment references, etc. If you are unsure of which validation rules apply to you, please contact your customer's local representative.

    Further to this, it is important to note that there are some “standard fields” on typical invoices that your customer does not receive from the Tradeshift platform (not visible in the web interface, and simply ignored in the case of EDI files); they are:

    • Invoice due date: invoices will always be paid based on the previously agreed terms and conditions, as stipulated in your supplier agreement, and therefore are not necessary within the individual invoice.
    • Payment details: invoices will always be paid, based on the payment details that your customer has registered within its financial system. If you need these changed, then you should contact your customer directly.

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