Featured asset: ICCS' birth,…

Featured asset: ICCS' birth, marriage and death certificates (convention 16)


The International Commission on Civil Status (ICCS, French - Commission Internationale de l’État CiviI - CIEC) is one of the organisations that was part of the first wave of the federation of semantic asset repositories. Through their federated repository on Joinup (ICCS-CIEC Civil Status Forms) the XML schemas for cross-border information exchange on civil status (extracts from birth, marriage and death registration) are listed and described with the Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS).

ICCS-CIEC is an intergovernmental organisation which aim is to facilitate international co-operation in civil-status matters and the exchange of information between civil registrars.  The organisation has drawn up 33 conventions for the international exchange of civil-status data or for the issue of civil-status documents to individuals. The conventions are implemented by means of standardised forms.

One of these conventions is Convention No. 16 on the issue of certain extract from civil status record for use abroad, signed in Vienna in 1976 and ratified by 10 countries (9 European Member States). Convention No. 16 arranges the exchange of birth, marriage or death registration extracts. To enable electronic exchange of these extracts, three XML schemas were developed that are currently not yet multilingual but are planned to be in the future:

 The core information of the civil status extract is fully represented in the XML”, Paul Polydoras from Ubitech, the contractor to build the data exchange platform (see below),  explains. “However, the administrative part (sender, receiver, date of exchange, signature, ...) of the data  exchanged is missing.”  The purpose of the XML schemas is twofold:

  • They serve as a schema for the XML documents that encompass civil status information that is  actually exchanged between civil status offices; and
  • They constitute a means of mapping XML representations of civil status information used in national systems to and from the CIEC representation, through XSL transformations.

For example, imagine a person that was born in Rome, Italy and died in Brussels, Belgium. In that case information has to be exchanged between the authorities of the two countries. The XML schemas enable the exchange of this information between the sending and receiving civil status offices, i.e. the Italian one in Rome and the Belgian one in Brussels. Eventually the official CIEC certificate, having legal validity, is generated from the corresponding XML certificate and delivered to the receiving civil status office (the Italian in the example) in PDF.

The ICCS-CIEC Data Exchange Platform

Image removed. The ICCS-CIEC Data Exchange Platform, developed by Ubitech, intends to be the platform for all participating States, to enable cross-border electronic exchange of civil-status data with standardised applications and documents, like the XML schemas to exchange civil status information mentioned above. The development of a platform is a consequence of Convention 30. It will give public administrations the possibility to exchange civil-status data electronically in a standardised way which will improve the efficiency of procedures, enable free movement of citizens and reduce fraud.

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