As part of the Northern European cooperation on e-commerce and e-procurement, representatives from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK and Iceland have set up a working group for developing a NES subset of UBL 2.0 documents. The work was initiated by Denmark.

The purpose of the NES subset is to facilitate harmonization of different types of e-procurement documents in countries that are already using UBL or that are considering using UBL 2.0 documents. This provides an opportunity to base e-procurement documents and processes on a coordinated NES subset.

The focus of NES is to define the specific use of UBL 2.0 electronic procurement documents domestically and between the member countries. The definition covers semantic interoperability within and between all business sectors, public and private. NES members are also closely involved in the international UBL 2.0 process.

The full Terms of Reference and organizational structure can be found here.

The use of international standards NES has identified UBL as a free and open format, which at this point in time presents the greatest potential for realizing large-scale e-commerce both in a domestic and a cross-border trade. UBL is an open and freely available library of XML documents for e-commerce, covering electronic procurement and transport. The second version of UBL (UBL 2.0) was approved as an OASIS Standard in December 2006. UBL 2 contains 31 business documents, the content of which are based on ebXML Core Components – ISO 15000-5.  Furthermore NES recognises the importance of the standardisation work in progress within UN/CEFACT and are actively working for the adoption of the UBL-specifications in the UN/CEFACT framework. NES supports and is committed to the ongoing convergence between UBL and UN/CEFACT.

Supporting organizations

The countries and organizations currently involved in NES are:


  • Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (VTU)
  • Danish IT and Telecom Agency (ITST)


  • Single Face To Industry(SFTI), the public sector initiative in Sweden to promote e-business by the Swedish National Financial Management Authority (ESV), Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting), and Swedish Administrative Development Agency (Verva)


  • Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration and Reform eProcurement Secretariat (www.ehandel.no)
  • e2b Forum (an e-invoicing initiative in the private sector supported by the government (www.e2b.no).




  • The Financial Management Authority (Fjársýsla Ríkisins).
  • Iceland Committee on e-business and Trade Procedures – ICEPRO