AdvisoreIDAS regulation

The eIDAS Regulation describes the EU Regulation No. 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in european domestic market.

Anyone who has ever signed documents digitally or had to identify themselves on the internet has certainly come into contact with the EU regulation eIDAS. It is an integral part when it comes to legal security on the internet, because it sets the standards for electronic identification and other trust services. In this guide, you will find out what the eIDAS regulation is and what impact it has on electronic transactions.

What is the eIDAS regulation?

The abbreviation eIDAS stands for the “electronic Identification, Authentication and trust services” –  regulation, which has been in force since 1 July 2016. This EU regulation lays down binding rules on “electronic identification” and “electronic trust services” that all countries within the European Union must adhere to. Also the regulation establishes uniform framework conditions in the European area.

Goals of the regulation

eIDAS Regulation is an additional step for the EU to transform into a digital single market. The aim of the regulation is to create a uniform standard for digital signatures in the EU and to establish further “trust services” in order to digitise processes that were previously analogue. Trustworthy electronic transactions can thus be standardised and offer users significantly greater legal certainty. This will enable more citizens, businesses and public authorities to use these processes for themselves and thus carry out electronic transactions easily and securely across national borders.

What are electronic trust services according to eIDAS?

The eIDAS regulation is implemented in each EU member state by a national law without changing the contents of the Regulation (e.g. in Austria the Signature and Trust Services Act (SVG)). The national laws specify regulations and obligations to which trust service providers must adhere. They can also specify contents that are not precisely regulated in the eIDAS regulation. This includes, for example, the retention periods for data processed by the trust service. The trust services provided in this way must be recognised in every other EU country.

The following trust services are mainly included in eIDAS:


Electronic signature

With a qualified electronic signature you can sign documents digitally in a legal secure manner.

Electronic seals

Legal entities such as companies or public authorities use electronic seals as company stamps or official seal.


The time stamp are used to prove that a document is available in a corresponding form at a selected point in time.

Registered and delivery service

The registered mail and delivery service can securely transmit documents while providing proof of dispatch and receipt.

Validation service

You can use a validation service to check electronic signature and seals, as well as timestamps. An example of such a validator is the signature check of the Austrian Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH or the Validator by the Swiss Government.

Checking and archiving service

The verification and archiving service preserves the probative value of signed or sealed documents in a electronic manner.

Advantages of the EU regulation

The eIDAS Regulation has several advantages for citizens and businesses in the European Union.

On the one hand, eIDAS is a great digitalisation driver. It enables the use of digital remote signatures, which plays a particularly important role in contract management. In this way, a large number of bureaucratic processes, such as the identification and signing of documents, can take place simply, digitally and without media disruption.

In addition, the eIDAS Regulation increases legal certainty for electronic signatures and offers increased security for transactions with regulated identification via the internet. Every qualified electronic signature of an authorised trust service provider must be recognised throughout the EU.

The eIDAS Regulation also clarifies and standardises the legal basis for electronic identification and trust services so that the guidelines are clear and transparent for all.

In addition to the benefits for the citizens and businesses of the European Union, the introduction of the eIDAS Regulation will also have a positive impact on the economic growth of the EU and create new jobs.

Definition of electronic signatures according to eIDAS regulation

Simple electronic Signature

According to eIDAS, the simple electronic signature is a designation for “data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other electronic data and which the signatory uses to sign”. Thus, the simple signature has only a relatively low complexity, which means that it is not very secure and does not have a high probative value. A typical example is an e-mail sender or an image file in a Word document.

Advanced electronic signature

In contrast to the simple electronic signature, the advanced electronic signature is more complex and must meet higher requirements. For example, eIDAS prescribes three criteria. Firstly, the signature must be assigned to a specific person and must be able to show whether data was subsequently changed in the document. The third criterion is that the signing person must prove that he or she set the signature.  Here too, there is a very wide range as to what can or cannot be considered an “advanced electronic signature”. This signature is also subject to the free assessment of evidence in court.

Qualified electronic signature

According to the eIDAS Regulation, the qualified electronic signature is equivalent to a handwritten signature and therefore has a high level of legal security. The regulation provides precise specifications on the basis of many standards as to how such a qualified electronic signature is to be constructed and which registration methods are permitted for this signature. This leads to a reversal of evidence in many jurisdictions: In the case of a qualified electronic signature, the courts initially assume that the signature is correct until the opposite can be proven.

Significance of the eIDAS signature for contract management

The eIDAS Regulation plays an important role for contract management, because it enables the use of remote signatures. Through the EU regulation, trust service providers offer electronic signatures, which makes signature creation simple and quick on any device.

Before a person can sign remotely, he or she must identify him or herself once and register a means of authentication for the digital expression of will. To sign a document, the person releases the signature through the authentication device (e.g. via an app with a fingerprint).

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