Accounts Payable


Following CERN's measures and recommendations in relation to the coronavirus COVID-19 situation, the Organization has taken the decision to limit activities on-site to those essential for the safety and security of the site and equipment. This means the activities of our mail service are also limited, and as a result paper invoices may have large delays reaching Accounts Payable.

The Accounts Payable Service will continue to work remotely, and to process your invoices and questions sent by email to Please accept our apologies for any delay and thank you for your patience and understanding.


All invoices and credit notes from suppliers are received in the accounts payable section (FAP-ACC-AP). They are recorded, controlled and authorized for payment.

The section collaborates closely with:

  • The technical party
  • The commercial party
  • General Accounting
  • The Treasury service
  • Suppliers

The section treats between 45,000 and 50,000 invoices per year.

If the controller detects differences when they are controlling an invoice, they make contact with the technical contact, the commercial contact or the supplier depending on the nature of the differences in order to find a solution.

Some orders require the “qualitative” approval of the Technical contact before the invoice can be paid in order to ensure the goods or services are conform to the order (these orders denoted as 'Manual' in the DAI).

The section is also responsible for all requests from suppliers related to invoices and payment. Using the email address via a ticketing system will ensure that the request is followed by the A/P service and assigned to the correct contact.

Postal Address

Finance and Administrative Processes Department
Accounts Payable (4-3-009)
CH - 1211 GENEVA 23


Head of Section: Christophe Marme

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Accounts payable for CERN

Why do I receive EDH Reception Approval documents from different sources?

The EDH Reception Approval document is automatically generated and sent in the name of the Reception service for orders designated 'manual' where the goods are received by Reception.  These manual orders require a 'qualitative' reception by the technical contact (to ensure the quality is accepted and not just the physical goods).

The same format EDH Reception Approval document is generated by Accounts Payable for manual orders which have not passed through reception but an invoice has been received (typically for services). 

In addition, for all orders (manual and automatic), if there is a difference between the invoice and the orders (for example charges exceed the order), Accounts Payable will also initiate the EDH document or re-route the existing document. 

What are the implications for the technical responsible of signing the "Delivery acceptance" EDH document ?

When signing this document, the technical responsible agrees on :

  • the quantities received
  • the conformity of the goods or services delivered

The agreement will result in the payment of the invoice to the supplier.

Accounts payable for suppliers

Who should I contact in case of unpaid invoices?

For questions related to billing and payment of invoices, please send an email directly to

Please include in the email a reference to the CERN order number or CERN contract and attach a copy of the invoice.

Under what conditions can bank guarantees be accepted at CERN?

Bank guarantees addressed to CERN by suppliers are validated by the controller responsible for the related contract or order. (Note that not all contracts or orders require a bank guarantee).


Where a bank guarantee is required, it must meet the following requirements:


  • Be provided by a bank with a rating higher or equivalent to BBB+. The supplier must obtain certification of this from the bank and provide it with the bank guarantee. Bank guarantees provided by insurance companies are not accepted.

  • Be in accordance with CERN model attached.

  • Meet all requirements set out in the contract (amount, deadline etc.)


The process for cancelling/expiring bank guarantees is followed up by the General accounting section.

What is CERN's SIRET (France) number?

CERN is identified in the French company register with the following SIRET code (Système d'Identification du Répertoire des établissements): 394 610 661 000 16

It is useful in absence of the French VAT identification number.

Indeed, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is an Intergovernmental Organization with a diplomatic status and is not subject to any value added taxes (VAT) neither in Switzerland nor in France.
For this reason, CERN does NOT have any French VAT identification number.

To whom should I send invoices?

One copy of invoice should be addressed to:

Finance and Administrative Processes Department
Accounts Payable / Bureau des factures (4-3-009)
CH – 1211 GENEVA 23

We would request that invoices are sent by post to the above address, or by email to .

Please do not send invoices with packages, they are received by another service. 

All invoices must mention the CERN order number(s) or CERN contract number under which the order was placed, along with the name of the technician who placed the order. These conditions are mandatory in order for invoices to be treated promptly.

Supplier bank account details – IBAN and SWIFT code or the complete bank account number – should also appear on invoices. Payment slips are not necessary.    


What is CERN's Swiss registration number?

CERN is listed in the Swiss Administration register, IDE n° CHE-108.967.751

What is CERN’s VAT number?

As an international organisation, CERN is exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT) in its Host States, Switzerland and France therefore does not have a VAT number.

For more information, including guidance on how invoices should be drawn up, please see the VAT and Invoicing Guide:

Who should I contact to find out about the details of a bank transfer?

Please contact our Payment Service: CERN Payment Service <>


To whom should I ask a copy of the A/OI form?

The A/OI form is valid for 5 years and is required to justify our exoneration to the fiscal authorities.

The copy of it should be ask directly to your commercial contact at CERN which is mention on the last purchase order.

Why my invoice was paid without the transport fees initially included?

An invoice is paid without the transport fees when delivery instructions for orders placed by the CERN purchase service under the Incoterm FCA (2010) have not been followed.

Delivery instructions specified on the command are mandatory and must be followed by our suppliers.

 In the future, if you have used the normal postal service and wish to be reimbursed, please attach the proof of payment as required in our shipping instructions.

What informations must my invoice contain?

  • the date of issue

  • invoice number

  • the supplier’s full name and address

  • the supplier’s VAT identification number

  • the supplier bank account details – IBAN and SWIFT code or the complete bank account number – should also appear on invoices. Payment slips are not necessary

  • CERN name and address

  • the CERN order number(s) or CERN contract number or lacking that your technician contact at CERN

  • a description of the quantity and nature of the goods supplied or services rendered

  • the date of the supply

  • the VAT rate applied

  • the VAT amount payable

  • a break-down of the VAT amount payable per VAT rate or exemption

  • the unit price of the goods or services exclusive of tax, discounts or rebates (unless included in the unit price)

How should I send invoices?

Invoices should be sent in paper format by mail or by email ( in PDF format.

Updated on: 05/08/2016