The Royal Decree establishing the reference numbers for standards for the qualified electronic archiving service was published in the Official Journal on 23 May 2019, and entered into force immediately.
The 2016 Digital Act is intended to ensure a secure and reliable framework for electronic archiving to be equivalent to paper archiving. The law makes the bar very high by specifying that only ‘qualified’ e-archiving would be considered equivalent to paper archiving. Once enough providers can offer this qualified e-archiving, it will be made mandatory. However, in the meantime, all existing e-archiving is ‘unqualified’. The conditions to become ‘qualified’ are onerous: requiring significant investments in audits, security measures and systems.
Following the insistence of companies and of Beltug, representing the voice of the digital technology users, the cabinet of the minister of the digital agenda created an 'e-archiving task force', to specify the standards to obtain the ‘qualified’ status.
The cabinet sent the following message when the Royal Decree was published:
“Thank you again for your collaboration on this important file! With the publication of this text, the first and most important step to stimulate the development of qualified e-archiving services has now been taken. We will continue to work further with all stakeholders on the elaboration of the needed certification schemes and keep you informed on further developments.”
The Cabinet reiterated that a link to the text will be published on the website of the FOD/SPF Economie, together with the needed explanations and FAQ, as soon as possible.