The electronic mailbox system introduced in 2009 has primarily been used by state authorities and courts to communicate with businesses. The authenticity of electronic documents sent via the Electronic Mailbox Information System (ISDS) is guaranteed through an electronic certificate and a time stamp with a limited period of validity.
What is the problem?
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, all electronic documents sent via the ISDS since the launch of the system until 15 July 2010, shall expire on 22 June 2012. Or more precisely, the electronic system certificate assigning the actual time-stamps shall expire. Therefore, unless a new electronic time-stamp is attached (revalidation) to the document, the document ceases to be an original and its authenticity may be questioned or challenged. In practice this could mean that businesses may be forced to request that the relevant authority issue a new original of any such documents. However, this may not always be possible.
Which documents are affected?
In its Press Release issued on its official website on 1 June 2012, the Czech Post, the provider of the Electronic Mailbox System, has confirmed that all documents transferred through the ISDS until 15 July 2010 are affected, i.e. their electronic certificates will expire.
What can you do?
Users of the ISDS that wish to extend the validity of their electronic documents transferred via the ISDS system until 15 July 2010 must extend the validity of the existing time-stamps by 21 June 2012. Revalidation after this date is not possible.
Long Term Validator
The Czech Post, the largest certification authority in the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the company Dignita, has introduced a new, free, electronic application called the Long Term Validator. This application enables users to extend the validity of the relevant time-stamps directly from their electronic Mailbox. A new certificate (time-stamp) can be attached to each data message (.zfo file) in the electronic mailbox interface directly. The application also enables the transfer of data messages (electronic documents) from individual Electronic Mailboxes into the central ISDS. The ISDS then automatically verifies the validity of the documents and where possible, ensures their revalidation. Instructions on how to use the Long Term Validator may be found on the Czech Post web site.
This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq
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The original publication date for this article was 20/06/2012.