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Bertrams Customer EDI FAQ

This FAQ covers EDI messages, we also support trading using XML Web Services which has it's own set of documentation.  Click here for our web services guide. 

  1. Question: How do I quote a promotion number in a BIC TRADACOMS EDI Order Message?

    Answer:  The segment to use is the ORD  Composite element: SCRF  Sub Element: Contract Number

    For example to quote promotion number 546:


  2. Question: How do I quote a promotion number in an EDItEUR EDIFACT EDI Order Message?

    Answer: The segment to use is RFF qualified with PD element

    For example to quote promotion number 10654:


  3. Question: How do you handle ISBN substitute in BIC TRADACOMS EDI Orders and Acks?

    Answer: Let your account manager know if you want us to automatically supply substitute ISBN's if the ISBN you order is not available.  You will then be told in the EDI Ack what action has been taken with your order.

    The key to understanding the Ack is picking up the action code in the DNB segment.  The possible values of the action code are:

    01 : Order Accepted / Backordered - Original ISBN
    02 : Order Cancelled
    04 : Order Accepted but converted to Substitute ISBN
    05 : Order Cancelled but Substitute ISBN is available.

    Example 1
    Substitute available for immediate supply - the substitute ISBN is shown at the end of the ALD segment in bold.

    Example 2
    Substitute product available but order line canceled - the substitute ISBN is shown at the end of the ALD segment in bold.

  4. Question: In EDIFACT how do I control if items which are not available for immediate dispatch are backordered or canceled?

    Answer: We prefer you to send the backorder flag at line level in the FTX segment as follows:


    In this example  LIN = Subject qualifier and is a fixed value of “LIN”  and DUN = Backorder record flag. This should be “DUN” for do NOT backorder if not available for immediate dispatch or “DUY” for backorder if not available for dispatch.

    1B =  Fixed Value of ”1B”
    28 =  Fixed Value of “28”

    So an example order line would look like this:


  5. Question : How can you update me regarding status changes of backordered items?

    Answer: We can re-acknowledge all backorders once a week or on a daily basis.  This will update you on the current status of all backordered items, and items cancelled as unavailable within the last 7 days.  The re-acknowledgements file is in the same format as your existing order acknowledgements file.  If you would like to have this feature switched on, please contact your Bertram Books sales rep.

  6. Question : What EDI standards do you support?

    Answer: We support all popular and established EDI standards for example BIC TRADACOMS, EDItEUR EDIFACT and BISG ANSI X12.  We support all popular messages for example Orders, Order Response, ASN, Despatch Notes, Invoices etc.  For specfic details please contact your sales rep. 

  7. Question: What networks / communications methods do you support?

    Answer: Our prefered method of exchanging EDI messages is using FTP over the Internet.  We also support AS2 (EDIINT), TRADANET / GEIS and the Teleordering network.  If you want to trade with us using a different network please contact us as we support interconnects with all major networks. 

  8. Question: Where can I find your EDI specfications?

    Answer: We don't have our own EDI guides.  It is our policy to adhere to the industry standard message formats and back these up with our own FAQ and other guides on this website. 

    We recommend the following industry standard guides:
    BIC TRADACOMS Messages
    BIC Code Lists
    EDItEUR EDIFACT Messages
    EDItEUR Code Lists

  9. Question: Do you support EDI order cancellations?

    Answer: No.  This EDI message never became established in the UK.  We do support the BIC / EDItEUR XML Order Cancellation web service in both SOAP and REST formats.   Click here for details.

  10. Question: Does your EDI invoicing systems comply with HMRC VAT Notice 700/63

    Answer: Yes. We have always complied with this notice however in December 2003 HMRC issued an updated version of this notice which significantly relaxed the requirements to encourage the use of Electronic Trading in the UK. Prior to this it was necassary to seek approval to use EDI invoicing from HMRC in advance, this is no longer necassary as long as both the customer and the supplier comply with this notice.

    The key requirement of this notice now is that electronic invoices contain exactly the same data as shown on the paper version of the invoice or credit note.  Where customers receive EDI invoices from us these become the legal taxable document.  We can provide paper 'copy invoices' or these can be downloaded from our website but we obviously discourage the use of paper invoices whereever possible to reduce the impact on the environment.   

    To read the full text of VAT Notice 700/63 - click here.


We are constantly adding to this FAQ, to be notified of changes we recommend following us on Twitter.  Click here for our @BertramBooks Twitter page.   For further information about eCommerce please contact our Head of Technology, John Garrould at Bertrams (john.garrould@bertrams.com)