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Digital Signature Service

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The Directive (2006/123/EC) on services in the internal market, via its Article 8, obliges Member States to make sure that service providers (businesses) can complete the procedures and formalities that are necessary to start or carry out their activities with Member States\' administrations via Points of Single Contact and by electronic means, including across borders. Completion of procedures may involve the use of e-signatures. In order to facilitate the cross-border use and validation of advanced e-signatures the Commission had adopted a couple of measures, which include Decision 2011/130/EU which applies to cases where businesses may have to submit to competent authorities documents that have been issued and signed electronically by competent authorities in another MS. The Decision defines some most commonly used e-signature formats that all MS will have to be able to process technically when receiving an electronically signed document from another MS. In order to assist Member States with the implementation of the Decision, the Commission has commissioned open source software (in addition to the one for TL edition/maintenance) that could be used by MS at national level. Even if the legal obligation in the Decision concentrates on the receiving side and validation of a signed document, the software is both for the creation and validation of e-signatures in order to provide support also for those Member States who may lack signature creation tools as well. Finally, the software relies in its validation component on the information in MS trusted lists created in accordance with Commission Decision 2009/767/EC, as amended by Decision 2010/425/EU.

Even if developed in the context of the Services Directive, the software can be used more widely, whenever there is a need to create or validate an e-signature.