Oct 2018
ASC x12
(Last Updated On: November 20, 2020)

This post was updated to reflect current trends and information.

To exchange business documents and transactions between business partners via EDI (electronic data interchange), most companies in North America use the EDI ANSI ASC X12 Standards. This overview provides some basic information about the ANSI X12 standards for electronic data interchange (EDI).

Useful: What is EDI? (A technical introduction to EDI)

What does ANSI and ASC X12 mean?

American National Standards Institute


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit organization that controls the development of standards for processes, services, and products in the United States. ANSI also synchronizes U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used all over the world.

Accredited Standards Committee X12

In 1979 ANSI chartered a standards organization Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12) to create and maintain EDI standards and XML schemas. ASC X12’s membership comprises 3,000 standard experts representing over 600 companies from various industries. ASC X12 Membership is open to any organization, company, or even individual, who directly and materially affected by ASC X12 activities. The members of ASC X12 have to pay annual membership dues.

What is EDI ANSI ASC X12 Standards?

The ANSI ASC X12 Standards is sometimes called the EDI ASC X12, ANSI X12, ASC X12, or simply the X12 Standard. X12 is a set of standards and rules that determine a specific syntax for structuring and transferring electronically business documents between partners. There are different types of business documents in EDI, which often are called “Transaction Sets”.

ASC X12 Transaction Set

The Transaction Set – is a single business document such as a Purchase Order, Invoice, Student Educational Record (Transcript), Healthcare claim, Ship Notice (ASN). There are hundreds of Transaction Sets available in the ANSI ASC X12 standards. Each set of transaction data is identified by a 3 digits code number:

ASC X12 Transaction Set

ASC X12 Structure

Many X12 transaction sets have 3 parts. The segments that can be used in each of these parts in a particular document (such as an invoice) are listed in the related tables defined in the X12 standards document. For example:

ASC X12 StructureASC X12 Segments and Sequence

The following Purchase Order example, shows which segments can be used in the transaction set and the desired sequence of segments:

ID            TITLE

ST           Transaction Set Header
BEG        Beginning Segment for Purchase Order
CUR       Currency
REF         Reference Identification
PER        Administrative Communications Contract
TAX        Tax Reference
FOB        F.O.B. Related Information
CTP        Pricing Information
PAM      Period Amount
CSH        Sales Requirements
TC2         Commodity

Beginning and Ending ASC X12 Transaction Sets:

• A transaction in an X12 document, always begins with the Transaction Set Header (ST) segment

• A transaction in an X12 document always ends with the Transaction Set Trailer (SE) segment

Beginning and Ending ASC X12 Transaction Sets

If you want to learn more about a structure EDI ANSI ASC X12, please read this article: EDI ANSI ASC X12 – Technical Overview

ANSI X12 EDI document types

Since a uniform standard of EDI (electronic data interchange) ANSI X12 was developed, a huge number of companies use it in its business-to-business (B2B) operations. Although ANSI X12 standard was developed to support companies in different types of industries in North America, these days, businesses worldwide are using X12 EDI standard.

As mentioned above, there is a huge amount of ANSI X12 document types available for use. ANSI X12 standard is used in finance, transportation, healthcare, insurance, government, supply chain and other industries for performing diverse operations. The example below shows some of those EDI documents:

Communications and Control:

  • X12-864 Text Messages
  • X12-997 Functional Acknowledgment


  • X12-130 Student Educational Record (Transcript)
  • X12 -810 Invoice
  • X12-812 Credit/Debit Adjustment


  • X12-120 Vehicle Shipping Order
  • X12-419 Advance Car Disposition

Supply Chain:


  • X12-270 Health Care Eligibility/Benefit Inquiry
  • X12-271 Health Care Eligibility/Benefit Response


  • X12-113 Election Campaign and Lobbyist Reporting
  • X12-826 Tax Information Reporting

EDI outsourcing

We support all EDI standards including ANSI(ASC) X12, EDIFACT, RosettaNet, HIPAA / X12. We provide cloud-based, fully managed EDI integration solution under our program EDI2XML as a Service which allows our clients to interact with their business partners without implementing a complex EDI infrastructure.

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Benefits of EDI2XML as a Service include:

• Time: Reduced transaction processing time and improved customer service

• Cost: Improved inventory management and minimized use of paper and physical storage

• Quality: Enhanced business relationships with your business partners, and accuracy of information

• Profit: Reduce costs

• Efficiency: Increased productivity

EDI2XML web services

EDI2XML web services, our REST API to convert X12 to XML and vice versa meant for companies who got their own technical resources to work with REST API (call and consume HTTP Rest Web services)

Benefits of EDI2XML web service:

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Contact us for more information and for pricing.

Free EDI Consultation