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CEF Digital CEF Digital - Connecting Europe

Context of the pilot

The eIDAS regulation (EU) No 910/2014 (hereafter eIDAS) is the regulatory framework that sets out the rules for electronic identification and trust services in Europe - namely electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamp, electronic delivery and website authentication services.

Article 14 of the eIDAS Regulation deals with the international aspects of this framework, and it establishes that "trust services provided by trust service providers established in a third country shall be recognised as legally equivalent to qualified trust services provided by qualified trust service providers established in the Union where the trust services originating from the third country are recognised under an agreement concluded between the Union and the third country in question or an international organisation in accordance with Article 218 TFEU".

This pilot aims to illustrate how the mutual recognition between the EU and a third country (hereafter 3rd country) of the qualified trust service providers (QTSP) and the qualified trust services (QTSs) they provide (hereafter collectively QTSPs/QTSs) could be (technically) implemented under Article 14 of eIDAS.

For that purpose, this pilot simulates a test List of Trusted Lists (LOTL) that points to the trusted lists referred in the current LOTL and also points to a test 3rd country trusted list as a result of the mutual recognition above. This hypothetical mutual recognition is further described in the documentation below.

More information on the implementation of the technical pilot can be found here.

Documentation

The technical pilot includes a bundle of documents which may be used by a 3rd country in the context of a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) of the QTSPs/QTSs with the EU. This bundle of documents comprises:

  1. MRA cookbook presenting:
    • An overview of eIDAS and Article 14;
    • The MRA process flow and methodology;
    • The minimal requirements a 3rd country should be aware of when seeking mutual recognition with the EU on QTSPs/QTSs;
    • The technical implications or the assumptions about the technical specifications underlying such a mutual recognition and its operationalisation through the LOTL and the 3rd country trusted list; and
    • The following documents.
  2. eIDAS Article 14 Assessment Check-List presenting a structured approach covering the four pillars (legal context, supervision and auditing, best practice, trust representation) described in ETSI TR 103 684, for 3rd countries to perform a self-assessment on how compliance against those minimal legal requirements could be claimed under their current framework and regulatory situation, existing or under development, with regards to the types of trust services for which mutual recognition with the EU is sought.
  3. MRA element specification (and XML Schema Definition) specifying the necessary adaptations to the eIDAS LOTL (and to the 3rd country trusted list) to implement the execution of an eIDAS Art.14 MRA.
  4. MRA element usage describing the necessary adaptation of standards for the validation of 3rd country electronic signatures/seals based on the content of the EU LOTL pointing to the 3rd country trusted list.

Tools

Browse the LOTL and trusted lists

The test LOTL and the pointed trusted lists (including the 3rd country trusted list) can be browsed via an updated version of the Trusted List Browser.

These can also be browsed via the menu on the left, through the updated version of DSS library.

Updated version of Trusted List Browser
Updated version of Trusted List Browser
Validate the trusted lists outputs

Certificates, signatures, timestamps... for which a trust anchor is found in the pointed trusted lists (including the 3rd country trusted list) can be validated via this website, relying on an updated version of DSS library:

  • Validate a signature. For testing purposes, a sample signed document can be downloaded and validated, as signed electronically with a qualified electronic signature from an EU Member State (Belgium) and a qualified electronic signature based on the certificate issued by the test QTSP/QTS from the 3rd country.
  • Validate a certificate. For testing purposes, a sample certificate can be downloaded and validated, as issued by the test QTSP/QTS from the 3rd country.

Please note that you may also use this DSS demo instance to sign other documents with the test keystore (p12 file with password "password") from the 3rd country QTSP/QTS.

Updated version of DSS demo
Updated version of DSS demo