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Legal requirements for document management in europe Legal requirements for document management in europe Document Transcript

  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 1 of 61 Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe March 2010 Coordination: Jürgen Biffar (DocuWare) Stefan Groß (Peters, Schönberger & Partner) Austria: Markus Andréewitch (Andreéwitch & Simon), Herbert F. Maier France: Philippe Martin (Bureau von Dijk) et. al. Germany: Stefan Groß, Dr. Nils Hallermann (Peters, Schönberger & Partner) Italy: Andrea Lisi (Studio Legale Lisi) Spain: Alberto Olivares Antolín (Ernst & Young) Switzerland: Bernhard Blum (Ernst & Young) United Kingdom: Alan Shipman (Group 5 Training) Copyright © 2010 VOI e.V. – All Rights Reserved. VOI - Verband Organisations- und Informationssysteme e.V. Heilsbachstr. 25, 53123 Bonn, Germany www.voi.deSponsors:
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 2 of 61ScopeThe competence center for “Steuern und Recht” (tax and law) of the German trade association fordocument management industry (Verband Organisations- und Informationssysteme e.V. - voiceof information – VOI) has initiated this publication setting out the main legal aspects for documentmanagement in European countries.The publication is designed to offer simple and short descriptions of the legal requirements which haveto be observed in major European countries when documents are stored electronically for long termarchiving purposes. It aims to provide support and offer valuable information to software vendors,consultants and end users acting on a Europe-wide basis.March 2010Table of Content Austria ................................................................................. 3 France ............................................................................... 10 Germany ........................................................................... 23 Italy ................................................................................... 29 Spain ................................................................................. 39 Switzerland ....................................................................... 50 United Kingdom ................................................................ 56 Sponsors ........................................................................... 61DisclaimerThe information provided in this publication is without engagement and is intended solely to provideyou with a general overview of the problems without any pretension to completeness or accuracy ofdetail. This publication is not designed to clarify the details of individual legal regulations or all aspectsof the subjects addressed and does not replace legal and tax advice in individual cases. Beforemaking any business decisions you should consult your tax adviser, auditor or attorney. The legalregulations may have changed since this text was published.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 3 of 61AustriaAuthors:Dkfm. Herbert F. Maier Dr. Markus AndréewitchWirtschaftsprüfer und Steuerberater/certified Rechtsanwalt/attorney-at-lawaccountant and tax advisor 1010 Wien, Stallburggasse 41010 Wien, Walfischgasse 5-7 www.andsim.atwww.hfmaier.at office@andsim.atoffice@hfmaier.at1. Unternehmensrechtliche Aspekte 1. Corporate law aspects1.1. Rechtsgrundlagen 1.1. Legal foundations§ 212 UGB regelt die unternehmensrechtliche § 212 of the Commercial Code specifiesAufbewahrungspflicht und Aufbewahrungsfrist; safekeeping obligations and safekeepingnach § 190 Abs 5 UGB kann der Unternehmer periods for enterprises; according to § 190 Sec.zur ordnungsgemäßen Buchführung und zur 5 of the Commercial Code, an enterprise mayAufbewahrung seiner Geschäftsbriefe use data carriers for orderly bookkeeping andDatenträger benützen; die Vorlage von documentation of business correspondence;Unterlagen auf Datenträgern ist in § 216 UGB submission of documents on data carriers isgeregelt. governed by § 216 of the Commercial Code.1.2. Aufbewahrungspflichtige 1.2. Parties responsible for safekeepingDer Aufbewahrungspflicht unterliegen nach § According to § 212 Sec. 1 of the Commercial212 Abs 1 UGB Unternehmer, d. s.: Code, enterprises obliged to safekeeping are:• Kapitalgesellschaften und unternehmerisch • Corporations and entrepreneurial tätige Personengesellschaften, bei denen partnerships none of whose partners with kein unbeschränkt haftender Gesellschafter unlimited liability is a natural person. eine natürliche Person ist; • All other enterprises with a turnover of more• alle anderen Unternehmen mit einem than EUR 400,000.00. Accounting Umsatz von mehr als EUR 400.000,00. Die obligations apply irrespective of the entry in Rechnungslegungspflicht ist unabhängig the commercial register. von der Eintragung in das Firmenbuch. Exempt from accounting obligations accordingAusgenommen von der to § 189 Sec. 4 of the Commercial Code are theRechnungslegungspflicht sind gemäß § 189 liberal professions, agriculture and forestry, asAbs 4 UGB Angehörige der freien Berufe, Land- well as enterprises whose earnings in the senseund Forstwirte sowie Unternehmer, deren of income tax laws consist of revenues inEinkünfte iSd EStG aus dem Überschuss der excess of professional expenses.Einnahmen über die Werbungskosten bestehen. 1.3. Scope of safekeeping1.3. Aufbewahrungsumfang According to § 212 of the Commercial Code,Nach § 212 UGB hat der Unternehmer folgende entrepreneurs must consign the followingUnterlagen aufzubewahren: documents to safekeeping:• Inventare • Inventories• Eröffnungsbilanzen • Opening balance sheets• Jahresabschlüsse samt den Lageberichten • Annual financial statements and reports• Konzernabschlüsse samt den • Consolidated financial statements and Konzernlageberichten reports
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 4 of 61• empfangene Geschäftsbriefe • Business letters received• Abschriften der abgesendeten • Copies of business letters sent Geschäftsbriefe und • Records (accounting receipts) for postings• Belege für Buchungen in den von ihm made in the books to be kept by the gemäß UGB zu führenden Büchern entrepreneur as per the Commercial Code (Buchungsbelege)1.4. Umfang der Vorlagepflicht von 1.4. Scope of obligations as concerns Unterlagen auf Datenträgern submission of records on data carriersWer Eintragungen oder Aufbewahrungen in To the extent an entrepreneur is committed toelektronischer Form vorgenommen hat, muss, disclosing electronic entries and recordssoweit er zur Einsichtgewährung verpflichtet ist, according to § 216 of the Commercial Code, thegemäß § 216 UGB auf seine Kosten innerhalb entrepreneur must, at his/her own expense andangemessener Frist diejenigen Hilfsmittel zur within a reasonably short period of time, provideVerfügung stellen, die notwendig sind, um die the aids necessary for reading the records asUnterlagen lesbar zu machen, und, soweit well as the required, lasting reproductions whicherforderlich, die benötigte Anzahl ohne Hilfs- can be read without aids.mittel lesbarer, dauernder Wiedergabenbeibringen. 1.5. Safekeeping technique1.5. Aufbewahrungsart According to § 212 of the Commercial Code, safekeeping must be separate and organized.§ 212 UGB bestimmt, dass eine gesonderteAufbewahrung geordnet zu erfolgen hat. The entrepreneur may use data carriers for orderly bookkeeping and maintenance ofDer Unternehmer kann zur ordnungsgemäßen records. In this connection, it is necessary toBuchführung und zur Aufbewahrung seiner ensure that the stored data can at all times beUnterlagen Datenträger benützen. Hierbei muss reproduced consistently in terms of content,die inhaltsgleiche, vollständige und geordnete, fully, in an organized manner and - as concernshinsichtlich der in § 212 Abs 1 UGB genannten documents mentioned in § 212 Sec. 1 of theSchriftstücke auch die urschriftgetreue Commercial Code - true to the originalWiedergabe der gespeicherten Daten bis zum documents until expiry of the statutoryAblauf der gesetzlichen Aufbewahrungsfristen safekeeping deadlines.jederzeit gewährleistet sein. 1.6. Safekeeping sites1.6. Aufbewahrungsort Safekeeping sites have not been prescribed. AtEin bestimmter Ort der Aufbewahrung ist nicht any rate, it must be possible to presentvorgeschrieben. Die Unterlagen müssen je- documents within a reasonably short period ofdenfalls innerhalb angemessener Zeit vorgelegt time. Provided that this condition is fulfilled,werden können. Unter dieser Voraussetzung commercial law also permits safekeeping siteskann der Aufbewahrungsort nach to be located abroad.Unternehmensrecht auch im Ausland liegen. 1.7. Safekeeping periods1.7. Aufbewahrungsfrist The Commercial Code prescribes a basicGrundsätzlich beträgt die Aufbewahrungsfrist safekeeping period of seven years. Thenach UGB sieben Jahre. Eine Verlängerung der safekeeping period is extended by the durationAufbewahrungsfrist tritt für die Dauer eines of any pending judicial or official proceedings inanhängigen gerichtlichen oder behördlichen which the entrepreneur is a party.Verfahrens ein, in dem der UnternehmerParteistellung hat. 1.8. Sanctions1.8. Sanktionen In principle, the Commercial Code does not impose a direct compulsion mechanism to fulfilDas UGB sieht einen direkten Zwang zur accounting requirements prescribed underErfüllung der öffentlich-rechtlichen public law. An indirect compulsion mechanism isBuchführungspflicht grundsätzlich nicht vor. imposed by commercial register court auditIndirekter Zwang geht von der Prüfungspflicht requirements, threat of penalty payments,des Firmenbuchgerichtes und der
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 5 of 61Zwangsstrafendrohung, von den corporate accounting regulations, liabilitygesellschaftsrechtlichen Rechnungsle- issues, bankruptcy laws, penalties under thegungsvorschriften und Haftungstatbeständen, penal code, and tax laws.ferner von Bestimmungen des Insolvenzrechtsund anderen Strafdrohungen desStrafgesetzbuches sowie von steuerrechtlichenVorschriften aus. 2. Tax law aspects2. Steuerrechtliche Aspekte 2.1. Legal foundations2.1. Rechtsgrundlagen The Federal Taxation Code is authoritative inFür den Bereich des Steuerrechts sind die terms of tax laws. According to § 132 Sec. 2 ofBestimmungen der BAO maßgeblich. Nach the Federal Taxation Code, related documents§ 132 Abs 2 BAO kann die Aufbewahrung can be stored on data carriers under certaindieser Unterlagen auf Datenträgern unter conditions.bestimmten Voraussetzungen erfolgen. 2.2. Parties responsible for safekeeping2.2. Aufbewahrungspflichtige According to § 132 of the Federal TaxationDie Aufbewahrungspflicht nach § 132 BAO trifft Code, responsibility for safekeeping applies toalle Personen (Unternehmer, Abgaben- all persons (entrepreneurs, persons liable to paypflichtige), die Buchführungspflichten zu erfüllen tax) obliged to comply with accountinghaben. Diese Pflicht trifft aber nicht nur die zur obligations. Apart from the persons obliged toBuchführung Verpflichteten, sondern auch die comply with accounting obligations, thisfreiwillig Bücher führenden Personen. Der Kreis responsibility also applies to persons whoder Aufbewahrungspflichtigen nach BAO ist voluntarily maintain accounts. Compared withgrößer als der Kreis der Aufbewahrungspflichti- the Commercial Code, the Federal Taxationgen nach UGB. Code defines a larger group of parties responsible for safekeeping.2.3. Umfang der Aufbewahrungspflichten 2.3. Scope of safekeeping commitmentsDie gesamten Daten der Buchführungunterliegen der Aufbewahrungspflicht. Mit der All accounting data are subject to a safekeepingErfüllung der abgabenrechtlichen obligation. Fulfillment of the safekeepingAufbewahrungspflichten sind die unternehmens- obligation prescribed by tax law at any raterechtlichen Aufbewahrungspflichten jedenfalls ensures fulfillment of the safekeeping obligationabgedeckt. prescribed by corporate law.2.4. Umfang der Vorlagepflicht von 2.4. Scope of obligations as concerns Unterlagen auf Datenträgern submission of records on data carriersGemäß § 132 Abs 2 BAO kann die According to § 132 Sec. of the Federal TaxationAufbewahrung der aufbewahrungspflichtigen Code, documents subject to safekeeping mayUnterlagen, auf Datenträgern geschehen, wenn be stored on data carriers if their content can bedie vollständige, geordnete und inhaltsgetreue reproduced completely, in a systematic manner,Wiedergabe bis zum Ablauf der gesetzlichen and accurately at all times up to expiry of theAufbewahrungsfrist jederzeit gewährleistet ist. statutory safekeeping deadline.2.5. Aufbewahrungsart 2.5. Safekeeping techniqueErfolgt die Aufbewahrung von If documents subject to safekeeping are storedaufbewahrungspflichtigen Unterlagen auf on data carriers, it must be possible toDatenträgern, muss die vollständige, geordnete, reproduce their content completely, in ainhaltsgleiche und urschriftgetreue Wiedergabe systematic manner, accurately and true to thebis zum Ablauf der gesetzlichen original at all times up to expiry of the statutoryAufbewahrungsfrist jederzeit gewährleistet sein. safekeeping deadline.2.6. Ort der Aufbewahrung 2.6. Safekeeping site§ 131 Abs 1 BAO bestimmt unter anderem, According to § 131 1 Sec. of the Federaldass Bücher und Aufzeichnungen auf Taxation Code, books and records should beVerlangen der Abgabenbehörde innerhalb transferable to Austria within an appropriate
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 6 of 61angemessen festzusetzender Frist in das Inland deadline on request by tax authorities.zu bringen sind. The permission to maintain and store basicDie Erlaubnis, Grundaufzeichnungen im records abroad and the obligation to transferAusland zu führen und dort aufzubewahren, these records to Austria within an appropriatesowie die Pflicht, diese Unterlagen auf deadline on request apply to processesVerlangen innerhalb angemessener Frist ins associated with businesses, premises andInland zu bringen, gilt hinsichtlich jener properties located abroad.Vorgänge, die einem im Ausland gelegenen Though the remaining basic records may beBetrieb, einer im Ausland gelegenen maintained abroad, it must be possible toBetriebsstätte oder einem im Ausland transfer them to Austria within a reasonablegelegenen Grundbesitz zuzuordnen sind. period of time and maintain them there.Die übrigen Grundaufzeichnungen dürfen zwarim Ausland geführt werden, sind aber innerhalb 2.7. Safekeeping periodsangemessener Frist ins Inland zu bringen und § 132 Sec. 1 of the Federal Taxation Codedort aufzubewahren. prescribes a basic safekeeping period of seven years. Records and documents concerning2.7. Aufbewahrungsfrist properties are subject to an extendedDie Aufbewahrungsfrist beträgt gemäß § 132 safekeeping period of 12 years.Abs 1 BAO grundsätzlich sieben Jahre. Die Fristfür die Aufbewahrung von Aufzeichnungen und 2.8. SanctionsUnterlagen, die Grundstücke betreffen, Intentional manipulations of books, records andverlängert sich auf 12 Jahre. associated receipts subject to safekeeping constitute breaches of financial law and are2.8. Sanktionen punishable.Als Finanzordnungswidrigkeit ist die(vorsätzliche) Verletzung der Bücher, 2.9. Sales tax and electronic invoicesAufzeichnungen und hiezu gehörige Belegeumfassenden Aufbewahrungspflicht ahndbar. An entrepreneur may submit invoices exclusively in electronic format if the following conditions are fulfilled:2.9. Umsatzsteuer und elektronisch übermittelte Rechnungen • The recipient accepts electronic invoices.Ein Unternehmer kann unter folgenden • The electronic invoices authenticity andVoraussetzungen seine Rechnungen integrity of its contents must be ensured.ausschließlich elektronisch übermitteln: • Value added tax regulations concerning• Der Rechnungsempfänger muss die invoice items have been observed. elektronische Rechnung akzeptieren. Authenticity and integrity of contents are• Die Echtheit der Herkunft und die ensured if the invoice is furnished with a Unversehrtheit des Inhaltes einer secure, digital signature and based on a elektronischen Rechnung müssen certificate issued by a certification institute gewährleistet sein. in compliance with signature laws. Invoices submitted via fax or e-mail are• Die Vorschriften des Umsatzsteuergesetzes considered electronic invoices. hinsichtlich der Rechnungsbestandteile müssen eingehalten werden. Die Echtheit der Herkunft und die Unversehrtheit des Inhaltes sind gewährleistet, wenn die Rechnung mit einer (sog. “sicheren“) digitalen Signatur versehen ist und auf einem Zertifikat eines Zertifizierungsanbie- ters im Sinne des Signaturgesetzes beruht.Telefax- oder E-Mail-Rechnungen sindelektronisch übermittelte Rechnungen.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 7 of 613. Zivilrechtliche Aspekte 3. Civil law aspects3.1. Beweismittelkraft elektronischer 3.1. Comparison of the validity of electronic Dokumente im Vergleich documents as evidenceDer zentrale Grundsatz in österreichischen Zivil- A central concept of Austrian civil and criminalund Strafverfahren ist jener der freien Be- proceedings is that of free assessment ofweiswürdigung. Danach hat das Gericht unter evidence. Accordingly, a court must at its ownsorgfältiger Berücksichtigung der Ergebnisse discretion carefully consider the results ofder gesamten Verhandlung und Beweisführung proceedings and evidence in their entirety innach freier Überzeugung zu beurteilen, ob eine order to ascertain the veracity of submittedtatsächliche Angabe für wahr zu halten sei oder details. When providing reasons for itsnicht. In seiner Urteilsbegründung muss das judgement, the court must declare whichGericht aber offenlegen, aufgrund welcher professional experiences it has used as a basisErfahrungssätze es zur Auffassung gelangt ist, for establishing the veracity of thedie festgestellten Tatsachen seien für wahr zu circumstances under consideration.halten. In civil proceedings, this basic concept appliesDieser fundamentale Grundsatz gilt im to all items of evidence, i.e. not just witnessesZivilprozess für alle Beweismittel, also nicht nur statements but also, in particular, documentsfür Zeugenaussagen, sondern insbesondere submitted to the court, regardless of whetherauch für die dem Gericht vorgelegten they are in written or electronic form (includingDokumente, unabhängig davon, ob diese in printouts of e-mails and facsimiles, scannedschriftlicher oder elektronischer Form abgefasst documents etc.).sind (also insbesondere für E-Mail-Ausdrucke, Civil proceedings differentiate between publicFaxausdrucke, gescannte Dokumente, etc.). and private documents. Public documents areIm Zivilverfahren wird zwischen öffentlichen those issued by a public Austrian authority, aUrkunden und Privaturkunden unterschieden. publicly certified notary, or a public foreignÖffentliche Urkunden sind die von einer authority. All other documents are private.österreichischen öffentlichen Behörde, einer mit Public documents are assumed as beingöffentlichen Glauben versehenen authentic, i.e. as originating from the declaredUrkundsperson oder von einer ausländischen source. This assumption of authenticity is notöffentlichen Behörde ausgestellten Urkunden. made in the case of private documents. If aAlle anderen Urkunden sind Privaturkunden. Für private document has been undersigned,öffentliche Urkunden gilt die Vermutung der however, it is full proof that the statementsEchtheit, dass sie also von dem in ihr therein originate from the person who affixedangegebenen Aussteller stammen. Bei his/her signature.Privaturkunden gibt es diese In concurrence, the Austrian signature law (§ 4Echtheitsvermutung nicht. Ist allerdings die Sec. 3) stipulates that the assumption ofPrivaturkunde unterfertigt, begründet dies den authenticity of an undersigned documentsvollen Beweis dafür, dass die darin enthaltenen contents also applies to electronic documentsErklärungen vom Namensträger der Unterschrift furnished with a secure, electronic signature.stammen. Furthermore, public documents fullyIn Übereinstimmung dazu legt das substantiate the official decrees, statements andösterreichische Signaturgesetz (§ 4 Abs. 3) fest, attestations contained therein. This does notdass die Bestimmungen der Vermutung der apply to private documents. The correctness ofEchtheit des Inhalts einer unterschriebenen any private documents contents is subject toPrivaturkunde auch auf elektronische assessment of evidence by a court at its ownDokumente anzuwenden sind, die mit einer discretion.sicheren elektronischen Signatur versehen sind. These rules concerning the authenticity of publicWeiters begründen öffentliche Urkunden vollen and private documents do not apply in the caseBeweis dessen, was darin von der Behörde of criminal proceedings. In this case, the judgeamtlich verfügt, erklärt oder bezeugt wird. Dies makes his/her decision not on the basis ofgilt für Privaturkunden nicht. Die inhaltliche statutory rules concerning validity of evidence,Richtigkeit von Privaturkunden unterliegt stets but on the basis of their own, independentder freien richterlichen Beweiswürdigung. conviction arising from a conscientiousDie dargestellten Regelungen zu dem examination of all items of evidence, pro as wellUrkundenbeweis bezüglich öffentlicher as contra. In case of doubt, judgment should
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 8 of 61Urkunden und Privaturkunden gelten für das always be passed in favour of the accused (inStrafverfahren nicht. Dort entscheidet der dubio pro reo).Richter nicht nach gesetzlichen Beweisregeln,sondern nur nach seiner freien, aus dergewissenhaften Prüfung aller für und wider In the case of documentary evidence as part ofvorgebrachten Beweismittel gewonnenen administrative proceedings, reference is madeÜberzeugung. Im Zweifel ist dabei stets to the rules of the General Administrativezugunsten des Angeklagten zu entscheiden (in Proceedings Act (§ 47 AVG). These rules aredubio pro reo). accordingly also applied to administrative proceedings.Im Verwaltungsverfahren wird hinsichtlich desUrkundenbeweises auf die Bestimmungen derZivilprozessordnung verwiesen (§ 47 AVG).Diese kommen daher auch im Verwaltungsver-fahren zur Anwendung.3.2. Besonderheiten E-Mail 3.2. Special aspects regarding e-mailIn der österreichischen Gerichtspraxis werden In Austrian court practice, e-mails are alwaysE-Mails grundsätzlich in ausgedruckter und presented in printed form, i.e. on paper. Thesomit in Papierform vorgelegt. Für diese relevant principles set forth under item 2.1 applyausgedruckten E-Mails gelten – ebenso wie für to such e-mail printouts as to all e-mails inallenfalls in elektronischer Form vorgelegte – electronic form.die zu Punkt 2.1 dargelegten Grundsätze. 3.3. Burden of proof regarding receipt3.3. Beweislast des Zuganges If a participant in a proceeding denies havingWird von einer Partei im Verfahren bestritten, received an e-mail, this is a problem of receiptein E-Mail erhalten zu haben, so handelt es sich long familiar from postal deliveries as well asum ein Zugangsproblem, das bei postalischer facsimile communications. The principlesPostbeförderung aber auch per Übermittlung concerning burden of proof here also apply toeines Telefaxes schon lange bekannt ist. Die receiving e-mails.diesbezüglichen Grundsätze werden auchbezüglich der Beweislast des Zuganges einer E- In a recent ruling issued by the AustrianMail angewendet. supreme court (OGH 29.11.2007, 2 Ob 108/07g), dispatch of an e-mail does notDer österreichische Oberste Gerichtshof hat constitute prima facie evidence that thehiezu erst unlängst festgehalten (OGH addressee actually received the e-mail.29.11.2007, 2 Ob 108/07g), dass die Consequently, submission of an e-mailAbsendung eines E-Mails keinen transmission log does not constitute prima facieAnscheinsbeweis dahingehend begründet, dass evidence of receipt of the e-mail. As regardsder Empfänger dieses E-Mail auch erhalten hat. proof of receipt of e-mails, the supreme courtEs kann daher mittels eines E-Mail- explained that the sender of an e-mail is able toSendeprotokolls der Anscheinsbeweis des obtain confirmation of mail receipt via a secureZugangs eines E-Mails nicht erbracht werden. communication channel, e-mail response by theErläuternd führte das Höchstgericht zum Beweis addressee announcing receipt of the sent mail,des Zugangs eines E-Mails aus, dass es dem telephone enquiry, etc.Absender eines E-Mails möglich ist, sich denEmpfang desselben auf einem sicherenKommunikationsweg bestätigen zu lassen,durch ein den Empfang des E-Mails bestä-tigendes Antwortmail des Empfängers oderdurch telefonische Rückfrage und anderesmehr. 3.4. Avoidance of liability3.4. Haftung vermeiden Breach of bookkeeping and/or safekeepingDie Verletzung der Buchführung- und/oder obligations has numerous potential legalAufbewahrungspflichten kann zahlreiche rechtli- repercussions which cannot even be roughlyche Konsequenzen nach sich ziehen, die im outlined in this report. Listed here purely asRahmen dieser Stellungnahme auch nicht annä-
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 9 of 61hernd dargestellt werden können. Lediglich zur illustration, however, are some statutory criminalIllustration seien jedoch einige angeführt, dass offences which can be constituted by a breachdie Verletzung derartiger Pflichten gerichtliche of such obligations, e.g. § 292 of the CriminalStraftatbestände erfüllen kann, etwa § 292 Code (suppression of documents), § 122 (lawsStGB (Urkundenunterdrückung) oder § 122 concerning limited liability companies) and §(GmbHG) bzw. § 255 AktG (unrichtige Wieder- 255 of Corporation Laws (incorrect rendering,gabe, Verschleierung oder Verschweigung der disguising or concealment of actual companytatsächlichen Verhältnisse oder Umstände relationships or circumstances).seiner Gesellschaft). By breaching such obligations, moreover,Weiters können Geschäftsführer oder managing directors of companies can becomeVorstände von Gesellschaften bei Verletzung liable to compensate the company for incurredderartiger Pflichten gegenüber der Gesellschaft damage.schadenersatzpflichtig werden. If a participant in civil proceedings fails to submitKommt eine Partei in einem Zivilverfahren an ordered document, the court at its owneinem Auftrag zur Vorlage einer Urkunde nicht discretion assesses the available evidence tonach, unterliegt es der freien Beweiswürdigung decide whether the opposing partys statementsdes Gerichtes, ob die Angaben der Gegenpartei concerning the documents contents are valid.über den Urkundeninhalt als erwiesenanzusehen sind.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 10 of 61FranceAuthors:Philippe Martin Laurent PrévelAssocié Laurent Prével Conseils E-Mail: lprevel.conseil@wanadoo.frBureau van Dijk33 rue de Naples Gérard Weisz75008 Paris - France Sirius System E-Mail: gerard.weisz@sirius-system.comPhone: +43 1 45 24 25 23 Olivier IteanuMobile: +43 6 12 34 74 92 AvocatE-Mail: phm@bvdic.com E-Mail: oiteanu@iteanu.comwww.bvdic.comPrésentation PresentationL’exposé de la situation française est organisé This overview of the French situation isen trois parties : organized into three parts:• Présentation générale du statut des • A general introduction to the status of digital documents numériques dans le contexte documents within the general context of général du droit français French law• Précisions sur le contexte fiscal • Details concerning the fiscal context• Précisions sur le statut et les contraintes • Details concerning the status and liées à la gestion des messages restrictions connected with the management électroniques of electronic messages1. Le contexte général du droit 1. Overall French law context français French law is governed by laws which areLe droit français est régi par des lois regroupées grouped under codes specific to the subjects ofdans des codes spécifiques aux thèmes de the legal action. These law codes are regularlyl’action juridique. Ces codes de lois sont supplemented and clarified by various types ofrégulièrement complétés et précisés par des texts: decrees, orders, circulaires (a decreedifférents types de textes : décrets, arrêtés, specifying how a law should be enforced) andcirculaires, instructions. directives.Quatre codes sont particulièrement importants Four codes are especially important forpour les questions relatives à la gestion des questions relating to business management:affaires : • The Code Général des Impôts (CGI –• Le code général des impôts (CGI) dont le General Tax Code), whose content and contenu et la portée seront traités dans la scope will be dealt with in part 2; partie 2 ; • The Code Civil (Common Law);• Le code civil ; • The Code Pénal (Penal Code);• Le code pénal ; • The Code de Commerce (French Company• Le code de commerce. Law).Le statut juridique du document numérique dans The legal status of the digital document inle droit français est posé par la loi du 13 mars French law is laid down by the law of March 13,2000 qui transpose la directive européenne N° 2000 which transposes the European Directive93 de 1999 en modifiant le code civil. No 93 of 1999 by modifying the code civil (common law).
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 11 of 61Ces modifications définissent la notion d’écrit These modifications define the notion of theélectronique et le rôle de la signature electronic document and the role of theélectronique. Le code civil modifié distingue electronic signature. The modified Code Civill’écrit (nativement) numérique et l’écrit sur (common law) makes a distinction between asupport papier converti par numérisation (natively) digital document and a document onproduisant une copie numérique paper medium converted by digitization to produce a digital copy.Les changements du code civil portent sur lespoints suivants. The changes in the Code civil (Common Law) concern the following points.Le document numérique comme preuve The digital document as evidence• « L’écrit sous forme électronique est admis en preuve au même titre que l’écrit sur • “The document in electronic form is support papier, sous réserve que puisse admissible as evidence in the same way as être dûment identifiée la personne dont il documents on paper medium, provided that émane et qu’il soit établi et conservé dans the person who issued it is duly identified des conditions de nature à garantir and that it has been drawn up and stored l’intégrité. » (art. 1316-1 Code civil) under such conditions as to guarantee its integrity.” (article 1315-1, Code civil –• « L’écrit sur support électronique a la même Common Law) force probante que l’écrit sur support papier. » (art. 1316-3 Code civil) • “Documents in electronic media have the same probative force as documents onEn cas de conflit de preuve paper media” (article 1316-3, Code civil –• « Le juge apprécie la preuve la plus Common Law) vraisemblable sauf en cas de convention de Where there is a dispute over evidence preuve (réseau fermé) » (art. 1316-2 Code civil) • “The judge assesses the most plausible evidence, except where there is anSignature électronique Agreement on evidence (closed network)”La signature électronique identifie l’auteur du (Article 1316-2, Code civil – Common Law)document et garantie l’intégrité du document. Electronic signatureElle est définie dans le code civil modifié : The electronic signature identifies the author of• « Lorsquelle est électronique, elle (la the document and guarantees the integrity of signature) consiste en lusage dun procédé the document. It is defined in the modified code fiable didentification garantissant son lien civil: avec lacte auquel elle sattache. La fiabilité de ce procédé est présumée, jusquà • “When it is electronic, it (the signature) preuve contraire, lorsque la signature consists of the use of a reliable identification électronique est créée, lidentité du procedure that guarantees its link with the signataire assurée et lintégrité de lacte document to which it is attached. It is garantie, dans des conditions fixées par presumed that this process is reliable, until décret en Conseil dÉtat. » (art. 1316-4 there is evidence to the contrary. At the time alinéa 2 Code civil) of creating the electronic signature, that the identity of the signatory is guaranteed andDeux types de signature sont distingués par le the integrity of the document is guaranteed,décret du Conseil d’État du 30 mars 2001. under conditions set by decree of the• Signature simple : « une donnée qui résulte Conseil dÉtat (Council of State).” (Article de lusage dun procédé répondant aux 1316-4, paragraph 2, Code civil - Common conditions définies à la première phrase du Law) second alinéa de larticle 1316-4 du Code A distinction is made between two types of civil » (Décret art. 1.1) signature by the Council of States decree dated• Signature sécurisée : « une signature March 30, 2001. électronique qui satisfait, en outre, aux • Simple signature: “a data item which results exigences suivantes (Décret art. 1.2): from the use of a process meeting the o Être propre au signataire conditions defined in the first sentence of the second paragraph of article 1316-4 of o Être créée par des moyens que le the Code civil” (Decree Article 1.1) signataire puisse garder sous son
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 12 of 61 contrôle exclusif • Secure signature: “an electronic signature o Garantir avec l’acte auquel elle which satisfies, furthermore, the following s’attache un lien tel que toute requirements (Decree Article 1.2): modification ultérieure de l’acte soit détectable. » o It must belong to the signatory La signature sécurisée (« signature o It must be created by means which avancée définie par la directive européenne the signatory can keep under his or de 1999) bénéficie d’une présomption de her exclusive control fiabilité. o It must guarantee a link with the Cette signature est utilisée par les officiers document to which it is attached, ministériels (notaires et huissiers). Sa mise such that any subsequent en œuvre est complexe et couteuse). modification of the documents canLes actes authentiques créés par les notaires et be detected.”les huissiers sont régis par des décrets publiés The secure signature (advanced signatureen 2005. as defined by the European Directive ofLa norme française NF Z 42-013 définit les 1999) benefits from a presumption ofprincipes à respecter pour la conception et reliability.l’exploitation des systèmes informatiques This type of signature is used by memberscapables de conserver les documents of the legal profession (notaries andnumériques dans le respect des exigences bailiffs). Its implementation is complex andlégales résumées ci-dessus. costly. Authentic deeds created by notaries and bailiffs are governed by decrees published in 2005. The French standard NF-Z 42-013 defines theArchivage principles to be respected for the design and use of computer systems capable of storingLa loi du 15 juillet 2008 rappelle que l’archivage digital documents in accordance with the legalest une obligation légale. Elle définit ce qui doit requirements summarized above.être archivé, mais ne définit pas les durées deconservation sauf dans certains cas particuliers.Le code civil définit des durées de prescription Archivingqui constituent, de fait, des durées deconservation minimales des archives. The law of July 15, 2008 mentions that archiving is a legal obligation. It defines what must beLes principes de gestion et d’archivage des stored, but does not define the retentiondonnées relatives aux personnes sont définis et periods, except in certain special cases.contrôlés par la Commission Informatique etLiberté (Loi du 6 janvier 1978) The Code civil (Common Law) defines the prescription periods which constitute, de facto, the minimum file retention periods. The principles for managing and storing data relating to individuals are defined and controlled by the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL – Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés) (Law of January 6, 1978)En résumé, les points importants To sum up the important points:• Les documents nativement numériques (= écrits électroniques natifs) ont le même • Documents which are natively digital (= pouvoir de preuve que les documents sur native electronic documents) have the same support papier à condition de garantir : evidential power as documents on paper media, provided that they guarantee: o L’identification de leur auteur au moyen d’une signature électronique o Identification of their author using an electronic signature o L’intégrité des documents. o Integrity of the documents.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 13 of 61• La numérisation des documents créés ou • Digitization of documents created or reçus sur support papier produit une copie received on paper media produces a digital numérique qui ne se substitue pas en tant copy which does not substitute the paper que preuve à l’original sur papier. original as evidence.• De même, l’impression sur papier d’un • In the same way, the printing on paper of a document nativement numérique produit document which is natively digital produces une copie qui n’a pas la valeur de preuve de a copy which does not have the evidential l’original numérique. value of the digital original.• Les préconisations de la norme NF Z 42- • The recommendations of the French 013 visent à construire des systèmes standard NF Z 42-013 aim at designing d’archivage électronique répondant aux electronic storage systems which meet exigences du droit français en matière de French law requirements in terms of preuve. La valeur de ce référentiel sera evidence. The value of this reference prochainement renforcée par la mise en document will shortly be strengthened by place d’une procédure de certification. the establishment of a certification procedure.MAIS, BUT,• dans la situation actuelle du droit français, aucun texte n’autorise la destruction des • in the current French law situation, there is documents originaux créés ou reçus sur no text which authorizes the destruction of support papier. original documents created or received on paper media.DONC, de jure, THEREFORE, de jure,• les juges conservent un pouvoir final d’appréciation de la valeur de preuve des • judges have the final power to assess the documents numériques. evidential value of digital documents.2. Précisions sur le contexte fiscal 2. Details concerning the fiscalDans le paysage réglementaire et législatif contextfrançais évoqué ci-dessus, l’aspect fiscal est Fiscal matters are a dominating aspect in theassez prépondérant. Le droit fiscal français French regulatory and legislative contextrepose sur de nombreux textes, principalement mentioned above. French fiscal law is based onconstitués autour de ceux-ci : numerous texts, mainly constituted around the• Le code général des impôts (CGI) ; following:• Le livre de procédures fiscales (LPF) ; • The code général des impôts (CGI – General Tax Code);• Des instructions de la Direction Générale des Impôts (DGI) à travers la publication du • The livre de procédures fiscales (LPF- Book Bulletin Officiel des Impôts (BOI). of Fiscal Procedure);En matière de gestion et de conservation de • Directives from the DGI (Direction Généraledocuments, les exigences fiscales sont assez des Impôts - French National Tax Office)strictes, sur des durées relativement courtes (3 through the publication of the BOI (Bulletinà 6 ans), inférieures à celles d’usage en droit Officiel des Impôts - Official Tax Bulletin).commercial (10 ans), mais il est fréquent qu’un The fiscal requirements are quite strictmême document relève à la fois du droit fiscal regarding the management and retention ofet du droit commercial. documents, for relatively short periods (3 to 6Cette réglementation est présentée ici à propos years), which are less than those in use inde deux cas concrets. commercial law (10 years), but it is often the case that the same document falls within the scope of the fiscal law and the commercial law. An introduction to these regulations is given here, with regards to two real cases.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 14 of 612.1. Les factures 2.1. InvoicesEn droit français, trois formes de factures sont In French law, three forms of invoices arereconnues : recognized:• La facture sous forme papier ; • An invoice on paper media;• La facture sous la forme « EDI » (échange • An invoice in "EDI" (échange de données de données informatisées), en respectant informatisées – exchange of computerized les spécifications de la norme internationale data) format, meeting the specifications of EDIFACT ; the international EDIFACT standard;• La facture « dématérialisée », au sens • The “dematerialized” invoice or “e-invoice”, fiscal, en respectant les spécifications in the fiscal sense, meeting specifications mentionnées dans les textes définissant mentioned in texts defining this form of cette forme de facture (décrets n°2003-632 invoice (Decrees nos. 2003-632 of July 7, du 7 juillet 2003 & n°2002-659 du 18 juillet 2003 & 2002-659 of July 18, 2003, and BOI 2003, et BOI n°136 du 7 août 2003). no. 136 of August 7, 2003).Pour la conservation des factures papier, une For the retention of paper invoices, a differencedifférence de traitement existe selon le flux, et in processing exists according to their flow, andrepose sur la distinction, fondamentale en droit is based on the distinction, fundamental infrançais, entre un original et une copie : French law, between an original and a copy:• La facture client : les entreprises adressent • Customer invoice: Companies send these ces factures à leurs clients, elles leur invoices to their customers: they therefore transmettent donc l’original, et sont ainsi send them the original, and so are amenés à conserver des copies, qui compelled to retain copies, which could peuvent être aussi bien sous forme papier either be on paper media or electronic qu’au format électronique ; ceci est énoncé format; this is set out in BOI no. 4 of dans le BOI n°4 du janvier 2007 dans le January 2007 within the scope of an "easing cadre d’une « mesure d’assouplissement of the restrictions relating to client invoices", relatif aux factures clients », qui confirme which confirms that companies sending que les entreprises qui transmettent des invoices on paper media may keep an factures sur support papier peuvent en "electronic copy"; conserver un « double électronique » ; • The supplier invoice: Companies receive• La facture fournisseur : les entreprises these invoices from their suppliers: they are reçoivent ces factures de leurs fournisseurs therefore the recipients of paper originals, ; elles sont donc destinataires d’originaux and so must retain these invoices on paper papier, et doivent ainsi conserver ces media to be able to justify deduction of VAT. factures sous forme papier pour pouvoir Only electronic storage is acceptable for the justifier de la déduction de la TVA. retention of "e-invoices", a priori, in accordancePour la conservation des factures with best practice - that is, in compliance with« dématérialisées », seul un archivage French Standard Z 42-013.électronique est admis, a priori, dans le respect Furthermore, the requirements are lessde l’état de l’art, cest-à-dire en conformité avec stringent when the clients are private individualsla Norme Française Z42-013. (and not companies), because in this case VATPar ailleurs, les exigences sont moins fortes deduction is not an issue.lorsque les clients sont des particuliers (et non In general, the six-year period is applied. If thisdes entreprises), car, dans ce cas, la question is not met, the right to deduct VAT can bede la déduction de la TVA ne se pose pas. refused, a fine of €1,500 per document can beD’une manière générale, la durée de six ans est applied, and there can be a ruling on a taxappliquée. En cas de non respect, le droit à adjustment.déduction de la TVA peut être refusé, uneamende de 1500 € par pièce peut êtreappliquée, et un redressement fiscal peut êtreprononcé.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 15 of 612.2. La comptabilité 2.2. AccountingAccompagnant la diffusion des technologies de Along with the distribution of information andl’information et de la communication (TIC), le communication technologies (ICT), thetraitement des documents comptables fait l’objet processing of accounting documents is thede textes de référence : subject of the following reference texts:• Le BOI 13 L-1-06 du 24 janvier 2006, dit • BOI 13 L-1-06 of January 24, 2006, known « instruction pour le contrôle des as the "directive for the control of comptabilités informatisées » ; computerized accounting";• Le livre de procédures fiscales (LPF) qui • The LPF (Livre de procedures fiscales - explicite l’instruction nommée ci-dessus. Book of Fiscal Procedure) which clarifies the directive mentioned above.Les dispositions de ces textes comportentparfois des exigences contradictoires, qu’il The provisions of these texts sometimes includeconvient d’interpréter au cas par cas. contradictory requirements, and it is advisableL’approche globale consiste à : to interpret these on a case-by-case basis. The overall approach consists of:• Adapter les exigences fiscales aux supports informatiques, en intégrant le fait que, • Adapting fiscal requirements to computer désormais, tout document comptable est media, by integrating the fact that, généralement créé soit sous forme henceforth, all accounting documents are électronique de façon native, soit à partir de generally created either in native electronic données informatiques ; format, or from computer data;• Exiger la présentation d’une documentation, • The requirement to produce complete and complète, à jour, relative à l’ensemble des up-to-date documentation relating to all the processus informatiques concernés, de computer processes concerned, in a sorte que la chaîne comptable soit manner that the accounting trail is fully accessible en toute transparence et disclosed and accessible and is easily auditable aisément ; audited;• Recommander, dans le cas d’une • The recommendation, in the case of comptabilité informatisée, une conservation computerized accounting, of retention in the dans le format d’origine (sauf mention original format (unless explicitly stated contraire explicite) ; cet archivage doit être otherwise); this storage must be ensured for assuré pendant une durée de trois années a period of three years using an "online" dans un mode « on-line », puis pendant method, then for three additional years in trois années supplémentaires sur tout any media; support ; • The recommendation for the use of reliable• Préconiser l’utilisation d’un horodatage time and date stamping, in order to maintain fiable, afin de maintenir les règles de chronology rules as far as accounting is chronologie en matière comptable, et d’offrir concerned, and to give traceability of la traçabilité des informations. information. En synthèse, les règles fiscales françaises To sum up, French fiscal rules are restricting.sont contraignantes. La « dématérialisation » a "Paperless commerce" has a tendency totendance à simplifier les procédures et assouplir simplify procedures and relax the requirementsles exigences du droit français. Cependant, il of French law. However, it is advisable to checkconvient de s’assurer, pour chaque type de if special clauses exist for each type ofdocument visé, si des dispositions particulières document specified.existent.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 16 of 61 Exemples de durées de conservation obligatoire des Examples of mandatory retention periods for documents comptables accounting documents Documents à Modalités de Source officielle Documents to Retention Official source conserver conservation be retained methods Livres, registres Durée totale : 6 Livre des Books, registers Total period: 6 Livre des ou pièces ans : procédures or receipts years: procedures justificatives 3 ans sur fiscales article established in 3 years in fiscales (Book of établis sous support L102 B electronic format computer media Fiscal forme informatique +3 years in the Procedure), informatique article L102 B + 3 ans sur company’s support au choix choice of media de l’entreprise Documentation 3 ans Documentation 3 years relative à relating to the l’analyse, la analysis, programmation programming et à l’exécution and execution of des traitements computer informatiques processing3. Précisions sur les contraintes et 3. Details of the restrictions and les enjeux liés à la gestion des issues connected with managing messages électroniques (e-mail) electronic messages (e-mail)Le succès de l’e-mail a provoqué de The success of e-mail has given rise to manynombreuses dérives avec, parmi les abuses, whose consequences include theconséquences, le constat que l’adresse acknowledgement that an electronic addressélectronique a désormais une valeur marchande now has a greater market value than a postalplus importante que l’adresse postale. Plus address. Fast and easily routed, e-mail is nowrapide et facilement routable, l’e-mail est seriously used for commercial ends.désormais fortement exploité à des finscommerciales. 3.1. Legal context The development of the use of messaging3.1. Contexte juridique systems in companies has given rise toLe développement de l’utilisation de la numerous difficulties. This is the case with themessagerie dans les entreprises soulève de use, by a staff member, of their office e-mailnombreuses difficultés. Il en est ainsi de system. Computer system which is at thel’utilisation, par l’employé, de l’e-mail depuis la disposal of the staff member is considered to bemessagerie professionnelle. Le matériel a work tool, and for this reason the employerinformatique mis à disposition de l’employé est can exercise a right to inspect e-mail sent andconsidéré comme un outil de travail et de ce fait received at the workplace, all the more sol’employeur peut exercer un droit de regard sur because this is now also a factor in the increaseles e-mails émis et reçus sur le lieu de travail of companies’ exposure to legal risks.d’autant que celui-ci est également aujourd’huiun facteur d’augmentation d’exposition des 3.1.1. Use of e-mail systems in a workentreprises à des risques juridiques. context In French law, employers are automatically3.1.1. Utilisation des messageries dans un responsible for the work activities of their contexte professionnel employees. In the case of e-mail, this meansEn droit français, lemployeur est de plein droit that employers are responsible for informationresponsable de lactivité de ses employés. Dans conveyed internally or externally from theirle cas de l’e-mail, cela signifie que l’employeur companies. The work e-mail address is aest responsable des informations véhiculées functional address and is not personal, whichdans ou vers l’extérieur de son entreprise. means that once a message is received, theL’adresse mail professionnelle est une adresse employee is not personally the recipient - thefonctionnelle et non personnelle ce qui signifie real recipient is the company. When a memberque dès la réception d’un message, l’employé of staff sends or receives an e-mail, then’en est pas personnellement le destinataire, le recipient or the sender is in fact the company. Inréel destinataire est l’entreprise. Lorsqu’un this case, it would appear legitimate that the
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 17 of 61employé émet ou reçoit un e-mail, le employer should be aware of the contents ofdestinataire ou l’émetteur est en réalité messages sent or received by the workplace e-l’entreprise. Dans ce cas, il paraît légitime que mail system, since these are only supposed tol’employeur puisse prendre connaissance du contain information relating to the companyscontenu des messages, émis ou reçus depuis la business activity. Therefore, the employer ismessagerie professionnelle, puisque ceux-ci held responsible, whatever the content of thesont censés ne contenir que des informations message, for information which is binding on therelatives à l’activité de l’entreprise. Ainsi, company, abuse, viruses or dissemination ofl’employeur est tenu pour responsable et ce, confidential information.quel que soit le contenu du message : This is why the employer can be forced to checkinformations qui engagent l’entreprise, injures, messages when volumes are too high, for legalvirus ou encore diffusion d’information reasons or to ensure that no information thatconfidentielle. would implicate the companys security or that isC’est pourquoi l’employeur peut être amené à damaging to the reputation and/or the image ofcontrôler des messages lorsque les volumes the companys brand is disclosed. Whatever thesont trop importants, pour des raisons légales meaning of the message conveyed in each e-ou encore pour s’assurer qu’il n’y a pas de mail, its contents always represent the companydivulgation d’informations mettant en cause la who issued it.sécurité de l’entreprise ou portant atteinte à la Drawing up rules or good practices for the useréputation et/ou à l’image de marque de of the e-mail system in the workplace allowsl’entreprise. Quel que soit le sens du message employees to be kept aware of the risksvéhiculé dans chaque e-mail, son contenu incurred by the simple sending of an e-mail andreprésente toujours l’entreprise émettrice. to reduce the potential legal consequences forL’élaboration de règles ou bonnes pratiques de the company. These provisions may takel’utilisation de la messagerie dans various forms: clauses in employee contracts,l’environnement professionnel permet de tenir an e-mail charter or internal policy andau courant les employés des risques encourus procedure articles. The aim of these articles ispar le simple envoi d’un e-mail et d’atténuer les to set out the rules to be followed regarding theéventuelles conséquences juridiques pour processing of workplace and also personal e-l’entreprise. Ces dispositions peuvent prendre mails.diverses formes : clauses dans les contrats desemployés, charte e-mail ou articles durèglement intérieur. Elles ont pour objectifd’exposer les règles à suivre en matière detraitement des e-mails professionnels maisaussi personnels.3.1.2. Secret de la correspondance 3.1.2. Secrecy of correspondenceRien n’interdit pas l’usage de la messagerie There is nothing which prohibits the use of theprofessionnelle à des fins personnelles. En workplace e-mail system for personal purposes.théorie, l’employé ne devrait en avoir qu’un In theory, staff members should only use it forusage professionnel, mais rien ne l’empêche work matters, but nothing prevents employeesd’en avoir un usage privé. from using it for private purpose.Un des problèmes principaux de l’e-mail est sa One of the main issues of e-mail is its legalnature juridique dans la mesure où aucun texte nature, considering that there is no law whichne le vise directement. On peut donc deals with it directly. The application of secrecylégitimement s’interroger sur l’application du of correspondence by e-mail exchanged usingsecret des correspondances aux e-mails workplace e-mail systems might thereforeéchangés à partir des messageries legitimately be questioned. If employers haveprofessionnelles. Si l’employeur est en droit de the right to access their employees e-mails,disposer d’un accès aux e-mails de ses given the risks ensuing for the company, it iscollaborateurs étant donnés les risques qui completely different within law texts. Beingpèsent sur l’entreprise, dans les textes il en est aware of the contents of an e-mail is a means oftout autrement. La prise de connaissance du controlling the employee, and this control cancontenu d’un e-mail sert à contrôler l’employé et only be carried out according to the employmentce contrôle ne peut se faire que selon les règles law regulations.du droit du travail
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 18 of 61Ainsi, l’e-mail est assujetti, de la même manière Therefore the e-mail is subject, in the same wayqu’un courrier papier, au secret des as a paper letter, to secrecy of correspondence.correspondances. Les correspondances privées Private correspondence is protected by law andsont protégées par la loi et de fait, l’employeur de facto the employer cannot exercise anyne peut opérer de contrôle sur celles-ci. Il n’a control over this. The employer does not havepas le droit de prendre connaissance du the right to know the contents of the messagescontenu des messages émis et reçus par sent and received by the employee, even whenl’employé et même lorsqu’il a interdit une personal use of the workplace e-mail system isutilisation personnelle de la messagerie prohibited by the employer.professionnelle. 3.1.3. The evidence value of e-mails3.1.3. La valeur probante des e-mails From a legal standpoint, a company, anDu point de vue juridique, une entreprise -une organization or any individual may be heldorganisation ou tout individu peut être tenue responsible for the content of an e-mail. An e-responsable du contenu d’un e-mail. Un e-mail mail can be used as proof in court when the lawpeut permettre de prouver en justice lorsque la accepts evidence by any means (in particular inloi admet la preuve par tout moyen (notamment Commercial law). In this way, the retention of e-en Droit commercial). Ainsi, la conservation des mails becomes imperative in so far as it hase-mails devient un impératif d’autant que celle-ci been recognized since the LCEN (Loi sur laest reconnue depuis la LCEN n°2004-575 du 21 Confiance dans lEconomie Numérique - Law onjuin 2004 loi pour la confiance dans l’économie the Confidence in The Digital Economy) nonumérique qui transpose la directive 2004-575 of June 21, 2004, which transposeseuropéenne 2000/31/CE. Le texte stipule que the European directive 2000/31/CE. The textles écrits exigés pour la validité d’un acte states that documents required for the validity ofjuridique peuvent être établis et conservés sous a deed can be drawn up and kept in electronicforme électronique ce qui signifie que la valeur format, which means that the value of and’un « original » sous forme électronique est "original" in electronic format is now recognized.désormais reconnue. As the electronic messaging system becomesLa messagerie électronique s’étant imposé the most used means of communication withincomme moyen de communication le plus utilisé companies, there is a resulting obligation for theau sein des entreprises, il en résulte l’obligation latter to manage and store e-mails in order topour celle-ci de gérer et d’archiver les e-mails keep data which is sensitive to the companyspour préserver des données sensibles de business activity.l’activité de l’entreprise. Electronic storage of e-mails within theL’archivage électronique des mails dans les companies must take into account the issue of aentreprises doit prendre en compte la significant volume of data which is difficult toproblématique d’une volumétrie importante et control, without forgetting that it is difficult todifficilement maîtrisable sans oublier qu’il est assess the value of an e-mail and itsdifficile de juger de la valeur d’un e-mail et de subsequent usefulness. Furthermore, subjectingson utilité postérieure. En outre, e-mails to correspondence secrecy, even withinl’assujettissement des e-mails au secret des the scope of the workplace, shows that there iscorrespondances, même dans le cadre a legal loophole concerning the recognition of e-professionnel, démontre un vide juridique mails of a strictly professional nature andconcernant la reconnaissance des e-mails à involves a certain number of social restrictions,caractère strictement professionnel et implique which do not facilitate the implementation of thisun certain nombre de contraintes sociales qui type of project.ne facilitent pas la mise en place de ce type deprojet. 3.1.4. Compliance with the European directive3.1.4. Conformité à la directive européenne In April 2008, the European Union decided toEn avril 2008, l’Union européenne a décidée adopt a directive, inspired by American lawd’adopter une directive, inspirée de la loi (Sarbannes-Oxley), called EuroSOX, which isaméricaine (Sarbannes-Oxley), appelée applicable since 2009.EuroSOX qui s’applique dès 2009. Following the US model, all companies quotedA l’image des Etats-Unis, toutes les entreprises on the European stock exchanges are affected.cotées aux marchés boursiers européens sont This new European regulation involves a new
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 19 of 61concernées. Cette nouvelle réglementation technical and organizational management ofeuropéenne implique une nouvelle gestion documents. To meet the requirements fortechnique et organisationnelle des documents. complying with this, each company will have toPour répondre aux exigences de conformité de implement devices such as e-mails archivingcelle-ci, chaque entreprise va être dans system, and therefore reduce their exposure tol’obligation de mettre en place des dispositifs risks.tels que l’archivage des e-mails et ainsi réduire Within a context of globalization, even if Frenchleurs risques d’exposition. regulations do not yet impose the archiving of e-Dans un contexte de globalisation, même si la mails, companies must conform to theréglementation française n’impose pas encore legislation of other countries where they arel’archivage des e-mails, les entreprises doivent carrying out a business activity or makingse conformer aux législations des autres pays investments. Furthermore, thedès lors qu’elles y exercent une activité ou y recommendations of the European Communityinvestissent. En outre, les préconisations de la concerning archiving of e-mails for companiescommunauté européenne concernant with more than 50 staff members and the recentl’archivage des e-mails des entreprises de plus adoption of EuroSOX will make a strongde 50 salariés et la récente adoption de contribution to reinforcing this obligation.l’EuroSOX vont fortement contribuer à renforcer Companies must now be prepared to be able tocette obligation. Les entreprises doivent restore all legal documents in a fast and reliabledésormais se préparer à être capables de way to meet legal requirements.restituer de façon fiable et rapide toutes lespièces légales pour répondre à des impératifs 3.1.5. The storage of personal datalégaux. The Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (French National Data Protection3.1.5. Préserver les données à caractère Agency) in October 2005 also published a personnel decision dealing with electronic archiving ofLa Commission nationale de l’informatique et personal data within the private sector. Indes libertés a également publié une délibération particular, it recommended to adjust theen octobre 2005 portant adoption d’une retention periods according to the data beingrecommandation sur les modalités d’archivage processed and control of access to andélectronique, dans le secteur privé, de données distribution of this data, and the use ofà caractère personnel. Elle préconise procedures for masking sensitive information.notamment l’attribution de durées deconservation selon les données traitées et uncontrôle de l’accès et de la diffusion de cesdonnées, l’utilisation de procédésd’anonymisation. 3.2. Issues related to e-mails archiving3.2. Les enjeux liés à l’archivage des e-mails3.2.1. Gérer l’accroissement des volumes 3.2.1. Managing the growth in volumeLes e-mails émis par les entreprises E-mails sent by companies represent almost two thirds of the e-mails circulating daily in thereprésentent près des deux tiers des e-mails quicirculent chaque jour dans le monde. Ils sont la world. They are the main cause of the increasepremière cause de l’augmentation des espaces in storage space within a company. According to one study, the number of messages receivedde stockage en entreprise. Selon une étude, lenombre de messages reçus par jour par per day per employee is assessed at 133employé est évalué à 133 (Source Radicati (source: Radicati Group Dec. 2007) within companies and is estimated to be 166 in 2009Group Dec. 2007) dans les entreprises etestimés à 166 en 2009 nécessitant 21,3 Mo de requiring 21.3 Mb of storage daily. In fact,capacité de stockage quotidienne. De fait, les storage costs represent between 15 and 25% of IT budgets.coûts de stockage représentent entre 15 et 25%des budgets informatiques 3.2.2. Finding messages efficiently3.2.2. Retrouver efficacement les messages The storage of e-mails must be designed in aL’archivage des e-mails doit être conçu de centralized way without having to save the native messaging system files for each
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 20 of 61façon centralisée sans avoir recours à la employee, in order to secure and protectsauvegarde des fichiers natifs de la messagerie documents from fairly frequent crashes on userde chaque employé afin de sécuriser et workstations.préserver les documents des pannes assez These provisions allow reducing the overall riskfréquentes sur les postes utilisateurs. for companies regarding loss of information byCes dispositions permettent de réduire le risque centralizing the storage of e-mail systemglobal pour les entreprises de perte content, including files.d’informations en centralisant le stockage du Centralization of e-mail storage in one or morecontenu des messageries y compris les fichiers. rapid-access container applications and a high-La centralisation du stockage des e-mails dans performance search tool favors informationun ou plusieurs conteneurs à accès rapide et un sharing, but also allows a piece of informationoutil de recherche performant permettent de buried in the mass to be found more easily andfavoriser le partage des informations mais allows rapid restoring of specific e-mails onsurtout de retrouver plus facilement une request in order to respond to the recentinformation noyée dans la masse et permet une obligations regarding restitution of evidence.récupération rapide de-mails spécifiques viades requêtes afin de répondre aux obligations 3.2.3. Give users a sense of responsibilityrécentes en matière de restitution de preuve. The need to give users a sense of responsibility stems from the fact that it is they who are the3.2.3. Responsabiliser les utilisateurs keepers of the e-mails and the informationLe besoin de responsabiliser les utilisateurs which they contain, in so far as each user is theprovient du fait que ce sont eux qui sont les one who manages his own e-mail.détenteurs des e-mails et des informations qu’ils The human factor in the management of e-mailscontiennent dans la mesure où c’est chaque is therefore essential.utilisateur qui gère sa messagerie. Implementation of a storage solution must allowLe facteur humain dans la gestion des e-mails users to facilitate the management of their e-est donc essentiel. mail whilst reducing the time they spend on thisLa mise en place d’une solution d’archivage doit task. However, management rules must bepermettre aux utilisateurs de faciliter la gestion defined whilst respecting colleagues usualde leurs messageries tout en réduisant le temps working practices, and that these must apply toqui leur est consacré. Cependant, des règles de make optimal usage of the storage process.gestion doivent être définies, en respectant les They must also respect their working methods.habitudes des collaborateurs, et que ceux-cidevront appliquer pour faire un usage optimal 3.2.4. Integrate the overall informationdu processus d’archivage. Elles doivent storage policyégalement respecter leurs méthodes de travail. E-mail must therefore be integrated into any considerations regarding the organization and3.2.4. Intégrer la politique globale de processing of information and more specifically conservation des informations of documents. Currently, while paper mail isL’e-mail doit donc être intégré dans la réflexion subject to a processing procedure (distribution,sur l’organisation et le traitement de opening, dissemination, processing andl’information et plus spécifiquement des storage), e-mails are in the majority of casesdocuments. Actuellement, alors que le courrier kept by the recipient(s) without necessarilypapier fait l’objet d’un processus de traitement being subject to a regulated classification and(distribution, ouverture, diffusion, traitement et filing system.conservation), les e-mails sont, dans le meilleur As for all documents containing sensitivedes cas, conservés par le ou les destinataires information, the filing of e-mails must besans nécessairement faire l’objet d’un considered because it becomes strategic whenclassement et d’un archivage réglementé. the company is induced to prove an e-mailComme pour tous les documents contenant des send-and-receipt trail, or to confirm a date orinformations sensibles, l’archivage des emails content.doit être envisagé car il devient stratégique dèslors que l’entreprise est amenée à prouver latrace d’un envoi ou la réception d’un e-mail, ouencore à attester une date ou un contenu.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 21 of 613.2.5. Identifier le ROI (retour sur 3.2.5. Identifying ROI (return on investment) investissement) From the standpoint of productivity, storageDu point de vue de la productivité, l’archivage allows the time allocated for managing e-mailspermet de réduire le temps accordé à la gestion to be reduced, whether this is for the users ordes e-mails que ce soit pour les utilisateurs et le the companys computing department.service informatique de l’entreprise. In this way, the staff member does not have toAinsi le collaborateur n’a plus à se soucier de worry about sorting, saving and regularlytrier, vider, sauvegarder et archiver archiving his or her inbox when it gets full.régulièrement sa messagerie lorsque celle-ci In the same way, IT services reduce their ownest saturée. involvement with users to carry out backupDe même, les services informatiques réduisent operations of mailboxes or e-mails recovery.leurs démarches personnelles auprès des Furthermore, the search and recovery of an e-utilisateurs pour effectuer des sauvegardes des mail is eased by centralizing information and bymessageries ou de restitution d’e-mails. En using powerful search tool.outre, la recherche et la restitution d’un e-mail From a regulatory point of view, the benefit tosont facilitées par la centralisation des the company is to comply with regulations. Byinformations et un outil de recherche. implementing e-mail archiving, the companyDu point de vue réglementaire, le bénéfice pour ensures, in case of litigation or inspection, thatl’entreprise est d’être conforme à la législation. they are able to provide all the requiredEn mettant en place un archivage des e-mails, documents. If the cost of storage induced as al’entreprise s’assure, en cas de litige ou de result of archiving can be assessed, the cost ofcontrôle, de pouvoir fournir toutes les pièces the loss of a strategic e-mail can also benécessaires. Si l’on peut évaluer estimated.approximativement le coût de stockage induit If directives and legal texts are not respected,par l’archivage, on peut également mesurer the company cannot avoid lost lawsuits andcelui de la perte d’un e-mail stratégique. financial sanctions. In addition, it would riskDans le cas d’un non-respect des directives et damaging its reputation and its brand image iftextes légaux, l’entreprise ne pourrait éviter les this non-respect of regulation came to theprocès perdus et les sanctions financières. Elle attention of its clientele and the public.risquerait, en sus, de nuire à sa réputation et àson image de marque si ce non-respect au 3.3. Conclusionrèglement venait à être connu de sa clientèle etdu public. The French legal framework for managing e- mails is still limited, or even non-existent, in so far as an e-mail is for the moment categorized3.3. Conclusion to be the same as "traditional" mail.Le cadre juridique français pour la gestion des Email properties, such as the sending ofe-mails est encore limité voire inexistant dans la modifiable attachments, forwarding, andmesure où l’e-mail est pour le moment assimilé message histories are all sources of potentialà un courrier « traditionnel ». litigation which should be taken into account byLes caractéristiques propres aux e-mails telles the law, particularly within the scope of theque le transport de pièces jointes modifiables, le evidential value of electronic messages.transfert vers d’autres adresses, l’empilement On the other hand, in the same way thatde messages sont autant de sources de litiges traditional mail can be sent in the form oféventuels dont le droit devra tenir compte registered letter with a request fornotamment dans le cadre de la valeur acknowledgement of receipt (LRAR - lettreprobatoire des messages électroniques. recommandée avec demande d’avis deD’autre part, au même titre que le courrier réception), it becomes necessary to be providedtraditionnel peut être expédié sous forme de with a text which allows electronic registrationlettre recommandée avec demande d’avis de as an alternative to the registered letter, subjectréception (LRAR), il devient nécessaire de to technical clauses allowing the technicaldisposer d’un texte qui permette de reconnaître reliability of this to be ensured.le recommandé électronique en alternative à la To be efficient and profitable, an e-mailLRAR sous réserve de dispositions techniques archiving solution must be designed to allow:
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 22 of 61permettant d’assurer la fiabilité technique decelui-ci.Pour être efficace et rentable une solution • Management of volume and its growth,darchivage de-mails doit être conçue pour • Protection of critical data,permettre : • Improvement in user productivity,• de gérer la volumétrie et sa croissance, • Preservation of a computerized memory for• de protéger les données critiques, the company• d’améliorer la productivité des utilisateurs, • Conformity with the legislation and• de garder une mémoire informationnelle de regulations. l’entreprise• d’être en conformité avec la législation et la réglementation.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 23 of 61GermanyAuthor:Stefan GroßTax AttorneyCertified Information System Auditor (CISA)Dr. Nils C. HallermannAttorney-at-lawPeters, Schönberger & Partner GbR, Schackstr. 2, D-80539 MünchenE-mail: s.gross@psp.eu, n.hallermann@psp.euInternet: http://www.psp.eu1. Steuerrechtliche Aspekte 1. Fiscal aspects1.1. Aufbewahrungsform 1.1. Storage formatSteuerrecht und Handelsrecht gestatten über Under § 147 Paragraph 2 of the German Tax§ 147 Absatz 2 AO, § 257 Absatz 3 HGB im Code (Abgabenordnung – AO), and § 257Grundsatz, die Aufbewahrung von Unterlagen Paragraph 3 of the German Commercial Codeauf einem Bild- oder anderen Datenträger, wenn (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB) tax law and tradedies in Grundsätzen ordnungsmäßiger law in principle allow documents to be stored onBuchführung (GOB) entspricht. Bezogen auf an image or other data carrier if this compliesdas Steuerrecht gilt, dass die Wiedergabe oder with German generally accepted accountingdie Daten mit den empfangenen Handels- und principles (Grundsätze ordnungsmäßigerGeschäftsbriefen und den Buchungsbelegen Buchführung - GOB). With regard to tax law, thebildlich und mit den anderen Unterlagen reproduction or data must be visually identical toinhaltlich übereinstimmen müssen, wenn sie the commercial and businesslesbar gemacht werden. correspondence and accounting documents and must be identical to the other documents inSoweit die entsprechenden Unterlagen mit Hilfe terms of content when they are made readable.eines Datenverarbeitungssystems erstelltworden sind, besteht auf der Grundlage des If the documents were created using a data§ 147 Absatz 6 AO, ein elektronisches Zugriffs- processing system, the tax auditor has a rightund Auswertungsrecht für den Betriebsprüfer. under § 147 Paragraph 6 AO to access andHier verlangt das Steuerrecht, dass die Daten evaluate them electronically. In this case, taxüber die Aufbewahrungsfrist jederzeit verfügbar law demands that the data remain available atsind, unverzüglich lesbar gemacht werden all times during the retention period, that thekönnen und maschinell auswertbar sind. Für data can be made immediately readable anddas Datenzugriffsrecht (GDPdU) gilt der that the data can be evaluated by computer .Grundsatz, dass originär digitale Unterlagen auf With regard to the right to access data (GDPdUmaschinell verwertbaren Datenträgern zu - principles for data access and verifiabilityarchivieren sind. Diese dürfen mithin nicht of digital documents), the principle is thatausschließlich in ausgedruckter Form documents originally created digitally must beaufbewahrt werden, sondern sind auf Medien zu archived on data carriers that can be evaluatedarchivieren, die eine maschinelle Auswertung by computer. These may therefore not be storedzulassen. exclusively in printed form, but must be archived on media that allow computer evaluation.1.2. Aufbewahrungsfristen 1.2. Retention periodsMaßgeblich für die steuerlichen Aufzeichnungs- The German Tax Code (AO) is the mainund Aufbewahrungspflichten in Deutschland ist authority on fiscal record-keeping and retentiondie Abgabenordnung (AO). Entsprechend § 147 obligations in Germany. Under § 147 ParagraphAbs. 1 AO sind Bücher und Aufzeichnungen, 1 AO, books and records, inventories, annualInventare, Jahresabschlüsse, Lageberichte, die financial statements, annual reports, opening
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 24 of 61Eröffnungsbilanz sowie die zu ihrem balance sheets and the instructions required forVerständnis erforderlichen Arbeitsanweisungen reading them along with other organizationalund sonstigen Organisationsunterlagen sowie documents and accounting documents must beBuchungsbelege 6 Jahre aufzubewahren. Für kept for 6 years. Commercial and businessempfangenen Handels- oder Geschäftsbriefe, correspondence received, reproductions ofWiedergaben der abgesandten Handels- oder commercial and business correspondence sentGeschäftsbriefe sowie sonstige Unterlagen, as well as other documents, insofar as thesesoweit sie für die Besteuerung von Bedeutung are important for taxation purposes, must besind, gilt eine 10-jährige Aufbewahrungspflicht. kept for 10 years. For invoices, the ValueFür Rechnungen sieht das Added Tax Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz – UstG)Umsatzsteuergesetz eine eigenständige stipulates a separate storage period (§ 14 bAufbewahrungsvorschrift vor (§ 14 b UStG). UStG). According to this provision, the businessDemnach hat der Unternehmer ein Doppel der owner must keep a duplicate of the invoice plusRechnung sowie alle Rechnungen, die er all invoices that he has received or which theerhalten oder die ein Leistungsempfänger oder recipient of a service or a third party has issuedein Dritter in dessen Namen für dessen in his name under his invoice for 10 years.Rechnung ausgestellt hat, 10 Jahreaufzubewahren.1.3. E-Mails 1.3. E-mailsBei der Qualifizierung steuerlich relevanter With regard to qualification as tax-relevant data,Daten sind insbesondere E-mails und deren e-mails in particular and their classification areAbgrenzung in der Diskussion. Gerade hier still under discussion. The crucial question isstellt sich die entscheidende Frage, ob die whether an e-mail contains tax-relevantelektronische Post steuerrelevante information. Information transmitted byInformationen zum Gegenstand hat. Auch electronic means can be relevant for tax andMitteilungen, die auf elektronischem Weg therefore by its nature falls within the scope of aübermittelt werden, können Steuerrelevanz tax audit. From a tax point of view, e-mails mustbesitzen und damit zum sachlichen Umfang be retained if they represent records oreiner Außenprüfung rechnen. Aus steuerlicher business correspondence or contain other tax-Sicht sind E-mails aufbewahrungspflichtig, wenn relevant information and are therefore importantsie Aufzeichnungen oder Geschäftsbriefe for determining the facts for tax purposes. Ondarstellen bzw. sonstige steuerlich relevante the basis of the principles of generally acceptedInformationen enthalten und damit für die computer-assisted accounting systemssteuerliche Sachverhaltsermittlung von (Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger DV-gestützterBedeutung sind. Auf der Grundlage der Buchführungssysteme - GoBS), electronic mailGrundsätzen ordnungsmäßiger DV-gestützter must be archived by transferring the contentBuchführungssysteme (GoBS) ist die and formatting data on to a data carrier togetherelektronische Post durch Übertragung der with an non-modifiable index, under which it willInhalts- und Formatierungsdaten auf einem be processed and administered.Datenträger zu archivieren und mit einemunveränderbaren Index zu versehen, unterwelchem sie bearbeitet und verwaltet wird. 1.4. Electronic invoices1.4. Elektronische Rechnungen Electronic invoicing constitutes a specialEinen Sonderfall stellen elektronische case, which requires a qualified electronicRechnungen (Electronic Invoicing) dar, die auf signature on the basis of §14 Paragraph 3 of theder Grundlage des § 14 Absatz 3 UStG Value Added Tax Act (UStG). In these cases,insbesondere einer qualifiziert elektronischen the electronic version contains additionalSignatur bedürfen. Die elektronische Version information not contained in the printedenthält in diesen Fällen gegenüber dem document and the relevant retention and auditausgedruckten Beleg eine Mehrinformation, für rules apply to such information. The electronicdie entsprechende Aufbewahrungs- und invoice is subject to stricter requirements overPrüfbarkeitsvorschriften zur Anwendung and above the already extensive invoicingkommen. Insoweit werden an die elektronische requirements of the VAT Act. If theseRechnung neben den ohnehin bestehenden requirements are not met, the documentsumfangreichen Rechnungsanforderungen des transmitted may not be treated as valid invoices,Umsatzsteuergesetzes erhöhte Anforderungen which compromises the input tax deduction.gestellt, welche bei Missachtung dazu führen, Moreover, specific auditing requirements exist
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 25 of 61dass die übermittelten Dokumente nicht als under the GDPdU, which demand mandatoryRechnungen gelten und der Vorsteuerabzug electronic storage.gefährdet ist. Daneben existieren spezifischePrüfungsvoraussetzungen nach den GDPdU,welche eine elektronische Aufbewahrung 1.5. Destruction of original documentszwingend voraussetzen. For reasons of cost and efficiency, companies are increasingly scanning their paper-based1.5. Vernichtung von Originalbelegen documents and then destroying them. It mustImmer mehr Unternehmen gehen aus Effizienz- therefore be ensured, especially for theund Kostenüberlegungen dazu über, ihre purposes of input tax deductionpapierbasierten Dokumente einzuscannen und (Vorsteuerabzug), which on the basis of § 15anschließend zu vernichten. So muss Para. 1 Clause 1 No. 1 sentence 2 UStGinsbesondere für Zwecke des Vorsteuerabzugs, demands the possession of an invoice issuedwelcher auf der Grundlage des § 15 Abs. 1 Satz under §§ 14, 14a UStG, that the electronic1 Nr. 1 Satz 2 UStG den Besitz einer nach counterpart plays a role that is equivalent and§§ 14, 14a UStG ausgestellten Rechnung identical in terms of its legally binding force toverlangt, sichergestellt sein, dass das that of the original document. Of particularelektronische Pendant eine dem Original interest here is the administrative directive ofgleichgestellte und hinsichtlich der damit the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF-verbundenen Rechtsverbindlichkeit identische Schreiben) of January 29, 2004, which explicitlyRolle einnimmt. Von besonderem Interesse ist comments on the conditions under whichhier das BMF-Schreiben vom 29.1.2004, original documents may be destroyed from awelches explizit zu den Voraussetzungen der VAT perspective. Briefly, it states that a paperVernichtung von Originalbelegen aus invoice may generally be scanned and thenumsatzsteuerlicher Sicht Stellung nimmt. destroyed in compliance with input taxZusammengefasst gilt: eine Papierrechnung deduction rules if the scanning and archivingkann unter Wahrung des Vorsteuerabzugs procedure meets the accepted rules relating togrundsätzlich eingescannt und anschließend data processing-assisted accounting systemsvernichtet werden, wenn das Erfassungs- und (GoBS).Archivierungsverfahren den GoBS entspricht.2. Zivilrechtliche Aspekte 2. Civil law aspects 2.1. Probative force of electronic documents2.1. Beweismittelkraft elektronischer Dokumente im Vergleich In a court case, probative value is crucially important. A judge is generally free to evaluateIn einem Gerichtsprozess ist der Beweiswert evidence and may decide, in his or her ownvon entscheidender Bedeutung. Im Rahmen discretion, whether a piece of evidence iseiner grundsätzlich freien Beweiswürdigung credible or not, provided such evaluation iskann ein Richter nach seiner eigenen founded on verifiable arguments. This appliesÜberzeugung entscheiden, ob er einem not only to witness statements intended toBeweismittel Glauben schenkt oder nicht, confirm evidence given verbally or by othersoweit diese Beweiswürdigung mit means, but also to photocopies, fax copies,nachprüfbaren Argumenten begründet wird. scanned documents and electronic data carriersDies gilt nicht nur für Zeugenaussagen welche and their printed data contents such asmündliche oder auf andere Weise abgegebene microfilm reproductions, etc. A special probativeErklärungen bestätigen sollen, sondern auch für value is attached to written statements on paperFotokopien, Faxkopien, gescannte Dokumente (documents), which are laid before the court asund EDV-Datenträger und dessen evidence.ausgedruckten Datenbestand wieMikrofilmreproduktionen etc. Dabei wirdschriftlichen Erklärungen auf Papier (Urkunden),die dem Gericht zu Beweiszwecken vorgelegtwerden, ein besonderer Beweiswertbeigemessen.Elektronischen Dokumenten kommt dieser This special probative value only attaches tobesondere Beweiswert gemäß § 371 a ZPO nur electronic documents under § 371a Code of
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 26 of 61zu, soweit sie mit einer qualifizierten, Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung - ZPO) ifelektronischen Signatur versehen sind. Der they are stamped with a qualified electronicSicherheitsmechanismus elektronischer signature. The security mechanism ofSignaturen knüpft unmittelbar beim Dokument electronic signatures is directly tied to thean. Ergibt die Prüfung der Signatur des document. If the verification of the signature onelektronischen Dokumentes nach dem the electronic document according to the DigitalSignaturgesetz, dass das Dokument vom Signature Act (Signaturgesetz) establishes thatSignaturschlüssel-lnhaber signiert wurde, so the document was signed by the signature key-wird die Echtheit der Erklärung „vermutet“. owner, the authenticity of the statement isSoweit kein Gegenbeweis geführt werden kann, “assumed”. If no evidence to the contrary canmuss sich der Signierende die Erklärung als be provided, the statement must be deemed toseine eigene zurechnen lassen. be the signatory’s own. Of course, paperSelbstverständlich können auch (nach wie vor) printouts of electronic documents can also (asPapierausdrucke elektronischer Dokumente im before) be submitted in civil proceedings.Zivilprozess vorgelegt werden, jedoch However, they are then subject “only” to the freeunterliegen die dann„nur“ der freien assessment of evidence by the judge. InBeweiswürdigung durch den Richter. Im consequence, an electronic signature canErgebnis kann durch eine elektronische increase the probative force and by shifting theSignatur die Beweiskraft erhöht und über eine burden of proof minimize legal risks.Beweiserleichterung rechtliche Risiken The above limitations on a courts freeminimiert werden. assessment of documentary evidence in a civilDie dargestellten Einschränkungen der freien case do not exist in German criminalrichterlichen Beweiswürdigung für Urkunden im proceedings. The judge himself may, and must,Zivilprozess gibt es im Strafprozess nicht. Der freely evaluate each piece of evidence and itsTatrichter darf und muss jedes Beweismittel und probative value. The trial judge must give theseinen Wert selbst frei würdigen. Dabei muss defendant the benefit of the doubt so that theder Strafrichter den Grundsatz „Im Zweifel für decision always goes against the state in casesden Angeklagten“ berücksichtigen, so dass of doubt. Furthermore, the accused is notZweifelsfragen stets zu Lasten des Staates obliged to cooperate or contribute anything togehen. Zudem ist die Person, gegen die (oder the criminal proceedings.deren Organisation) ermittelt wird, nicht zurMitwirkung verpflichtet. Denn es gilt, dass For proceedings before an administrative court,niemand an der eigenen Strafverfolgung aktiv §98 VwGO (Rules of the Administrative Courts)mitzuwirken verpflichtet ist. refers to the rules of civil proceedings, which areIn § 98 VwGO wird für den Verwaltungsprozess applicable, mutatis mutandis, in administrativeauf die Regelungen des Zivilprozesses proceedings.verwiesen, die im Verwaltungsprozessentsprechend anwendbar sind. 2.2. Special characteristics of e-mails2.2. Besonderheiten E-Mail In principle, e-mails are treated in the same wayE-Mails werden grundsätzlich genauso as other electronic documents. With regard tobehandelt wie die sonstigen elektronischen their probative force, one must distinguish, asDokumente. Im Hinblick auf deren Beweiskraft described above, between e-mails with andmuss man wie beschrieben zwischen E-Mails without a qualified electronic signature.mit und ohne qualifizierter elektronischerSignatur unterscheiden. In the past, printouts of (unsigned) e-mails haveBislang wurden in Rechtsstreitigkeiten zumeist usually been submitted as documentation ofAusdrucke (unsignierter) E-Mails als electronic communications in litigation. Even ifDokumentation elektronischer Kommunikation these do not carry the same probative value asvorgelegt. Auch wenn es sich hierbei nicht um (signed) written documents or electronic(unterzeichnete) schriftliche Urkunden oder documents treated as such within the meaningihnen gleichgestellte elektronische Dokumente of the law of civil procedure, a judge is alreadymit entsprechendem Beweiswert im Sinne des bound to the existence, content and person ofZivilprozessrechts handelt, ist ein Richter an the witness if the opponent does not disputeExistenz, Inhalt und die Person des Erklärenden having sent a statement of this content by e-bereits dann gebunden, wenn der Gegner nicht mail. The qualified electronic signature (with
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 27 of 61bestreitet, eine Erklärung dieses Inhalts per E- specifications for encryption to ensure theMail abgegeben zu haben. Die qualifizierte integrity check) as such will then assumeelektronische Signatur als solche (mit particular significance in the actual caseVerschlüsselungsvorgaben zur Gewährleistung especially if the integrity, existence or attributionder Integritätsprüfung) wird im konkreten to the author is disputed.Prozess insbesondere dann besondereBedeutung erlangen, wenn die Integrität,Existenz oder die Zurechnung zum Verfasserbestritten wird. 2.3. Burden of proof of receipt2.3. Beweislast des Zuganges If a litigating party in the case denies everErklärt eine Partei im Prozess, eine E-Mail nie having received an e-mail, this is a problem oferhalten zu haben, so handelt es sich um ein receipt, which has long been an issue in theZugangsproblem, das bei postalischer handling of postal correspondence: in such aBriefbeförderung schon lange bekannt ist: die case the burden of proof of receipt is on theBeweislast für den Zugang trifft in diesem Fall sender. A qualified electronic signature couldden Absender. Hier könnte eine qualifizierte only be of assistance in this case if the recipientelektronische Signatur nur dann Abhilfe sends an automated return mail with a qualifiedschaffen, wenn der Empfänger automatisiert electronic signature (reply mail which includeseine qualifiziert elektronisch signierte Rückmail the original text), which legally constitutes a so-(Antwortmail unter Beifügung des called “acknowledgement of receipt”, or usesursprünglichen Textes) absetzt, was juristisch “electronic registered post”.eine sog. „Empfangsbekenntnis“ darstellt odersich eines "elektronischen Einschreibens"bedient. If, during the proceedings, a party denies ever having sent an e-mail, the party is obliged toErklärt eine Partei im Prozess, eine E-Mail nie explain how the recipient has neverthelessversendet zu haben, so wird sie zur received the e-mail. There are basically twoPlausibilisierung vortragen müssen, wie der possible cases: one is that the internet accessEmpfänger dennoch zu dieser Mail gekommen was used without authorization (password spiedist. Hier sind im wesentlichen zwei Fälle out by a third party, etc.);the other is that thedenkbar: zum einen kann der Zugang unerlaubt recipient has “made up” the e-mail (totalbenutzt worden sein (Ausspähen des Passworts forgery). In such a case, a qualified electronicdurch einen Dritten etc.), zum anderen kann signature can significantly strengthen the legalsich der Empfänger die E-Mail „ausgedacht“ position. With regard to documents not subjecthaben (Totalfälschung). An dieser Stelle kann to any legal retention obligations one musteine qualifizierte elektronische Signatur die always decide whether they shouldRechtsposition deutlich stärken. Für nevertheless be stored electronically in theDokumente, für welche keine gesetzlichen company’s own interests.Aufbewahrungspflichten bestehen, istunabhängig davon stets zu entscheiden, obdiese dennoch im eigenbetrieblichen Interesse 2.4 Avoiding liabilityelektronisch aufbewahrt werden sollten. A breach of retention obligations could have2.4. Haftung vermeiden penal, professional and procedural, consequences. Examples: A breach of theDie Verletzung von Aufbewahrungspflichten mandatory duty to keep books of account underkann straf- und berufsrechtliche, aber auch commercial law may be an offence underprozessuale Konsequenzen haben. Beispiele: § 283b, § 274 German Penal CodeDie Verletzung der handelsrechtlichen (Strafgesetzbuch – StGB) or under § 370 AO. ItBuchführungspflicht kann eine Straftat nach may also constitute an administrative offence for§ 283 b, § 274 StGB bzw. nach § 370 AO sowie minor tax fraud under § 379 AO. A breach ofeine Ordnungswidrigkeit wegen retention obligations may result in the CEOs orSteuergefährdung nach § 379 AO darstellen. directors of the affected companies becomingGeschäftsführer oder Vorstände der betroffenen liable for damages under § 43 Paragraph 2Gesellschaften kann bei der Verletzung von German Limited Liability Companies ActAufbewahrungspflichten eine (Gesetz betreffend die Gesellschaften mitSchadensersatzpflicht nach § 43 Abs. 2 beschränkter Haftung - GmbHG) or § 92GmbHG bzw. § 92 Abs. 2 AktG treffen. Paragraph 2 German Companies Act (Aktiengesetz - AktG).
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 28 of 61Im Rahmen der prozessualen Konsequenzen ist With regard to procedural consequences, § 427§ 427 ZPO zu beachten. Danach gilt der Inhalt ZPO should be noted. This provides that theder Abschrift einer Urkunde als bewiesen, wenn content of the copy of a document is deemed toder Gegner der Anordnung, die in seinen be proved if the opposing party fails to submitHänden befindliche Urkunde vorzulegen, nicht the document in his possession.nachgekommen ist.Die deutsche Fassung geht vor. Die englische The German version shall prevail. The EnglishFassung dient allein der Information. version is for information purposes only. DisclaimerDisclaimer The information provided above is withoutDie dargestellten Ausführungen sind ohne engagement and is intended solely to provideGewähr und sollen Ihnen die Probleme in you with a general overview of the problemsgroben Zügen überblicksweise und ohne without any pretension to completeness orAnspruch auf Vollständigkeit und accuracy of detail. This Statement is notDetailgenauigkeit näher bringen. Die designed to clarify the details of individual legalvorliegenden Ausführungen sind nicht geeignet, regulations or all aspects of the subjectsEinzelheiten der jeweiligen gesetzlichen addressed and does not replace legal and taxRegelungen und alle Aspekte der advice in individual cases. Before making anyangesprochenen Themen zu beleuchten und business decisions you should consult your taxersetzt nicht die rechtliche und steuerliche adviser, auditor or attorney. The legalBeratung im Einzelfall. Vor geschäftlichen regulations may have changed since this textEntscheidungen setzen Sie sich bitte mit Ihrem was published.Steuerberater, Wirtschaftsprüfer oderRechtsanwalt in Verbindung. Die gesetzlichenRegelungen können sich seit Erscheinen diesesTextes geändert haben.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 29 of 61ItalyAuthor:Andrea LisiAvvocato specializzato in diritto dell’informaticaPresidente di ANORCStudio Legale LisiVia Mario Stampacchia, 21 -73100 Lecce – ItaliaTel - Fax: +39/ 0832/ 25.60.65 -520140e-mail: andrealisi@scintlex.itwww.studiolegalelisi.it1. Premesse generali sulla 1. General Background on Italian legislazione italiana in materia di legislation on the digitisation of digitalizzazione documentale documentsIn Italia esiste una copiosa e complessa In Italy, there are copious and complex legally-normativa in materia di formazione, spedizione, relevant regulations on the creation, dispatch,protocollazione, archiviazione, fascicolazione, registration, storage, collation, preservation andconservazione, esibizione dei documenti presentation of electronic documents.informatici giuridicamente rilevanti. The legislative process in this area began in theL’iter legislativo in materia si è avviato nei primi early 1990s and has now reached a level ofanni ’90 per giungere in quest’ultimo periodo ad maturity that allows completely paperlessuna maturità che consente ormai una completa management of a company or publicgestione “paperless” dell’azienda o della administration.pubblica amministrazione. In many cases, the same regulations makeLa stessa normativa rende possibile in molti possible the replacement of the paper archivecasi la sostituzione dell’archivio cartaceo by scanning the legally-relevant document andattraverso un processo di scansione del storing it in a digital archive in accordance withdocumento rilevante giuridicamente e la sua the law, by implementing what is known as aconservazione a norma in un archivio digitale, replacement storage system.attraverso la predisposizione di un sistema di The main Italian legislation currently in forceconservazione cosiddetta sostitutiva. with regards to the digitisation of documents isQui di seguito riportiamo la principale normativa sub-divided into high-level areas:italiana attualmente in vigore in materia didigitalizzazione documentale suddivisa permacroaree: 1.1. GENERAL RULES • Legislative Decree, 7 March, 2005, No.1.1. NORMATIVA GENERALE 82: Digital Administration Code (as amended by Legislative Decree No.• Decreto Legislativo 7 marzo 2005, n. 82: 159/2006) Codice dellAmministrazione Digitale (come modificato dal D. Lgs. 159/2006) • Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers dated 30 March, 2009 –• Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Technical rules relating to the generation, Ministri 30 marzo 2009 - Regole tecniche attachment and verification of digital in materia di generazione, apposizione e signatures and time validity of electronic verifica delle firme digitali e validazione documents temporale dei documenti informatici
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 30 of 611.2. NORMATIVA SULLA POSTA 1.2. LEGISLATION ON CERTIFIED MAIL ELETTRONICA CERTIFICATA • Decree of the President of the Republic,• Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica February 11, 2005, No. 68 – Provisions for 11 Febbraio 2005, n. 68 - Disposizioni per the use of Certified Electronic Mail (CEM) l’utilizzo della Posta Elettronica Certificata • Ministerial Decree dated 2 November,• Decreto Ministeriale 2 novembre 2005 - 2005 – Technical rules for the creation, Regole tecniche per la formazione, la transmission and validation, including time trasmissione e la validazione, anche validation, of Certified Electronic Mail temporale, della posta elettronica certificata” • Articles 16 and 16a of the Law, 28• Articoli 16 e 16 bis della Legge 28 gennaio January, 2009, No. 2 – Conversion into 2009, n. 2 - Conversione in legge, con law, with amendments, of Decree Law modificazioni, del decreto-legge 29 dated 29 November 2008, No. 185 on novembre 2008, n. 185, recante misure emergency measures to support families, urgenti per il sostegno a famiglie, lavoro, jobs, employment and business and for the occupazione e impresa e per ridisegnare in redesign, for crisis response, of the National funzione anti-crisi il quadro strategico Strategic Framework (contains specific rules nazionale (contiene norme specifiche on obligations of CEM for certain legal sull’obbligatorietà della PEC per determinati entities) soggetti giuridici) • Decree of the President of the Council of• Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministers dated 06.05.09 – Provisions Ministri 6 maggio 2009 - Disposizioni in relating to the issue and use of certified materia di rilascio e di uso della casella di electronic mailboxes assigned to citizens posta elettronica certificata assegnata ai cittadini 1.3. TAX LEGISLATION1.3. NORMATIVA IN MATERIA TRIBUTARIA • Decree Law, 10 June, 1994, No. 357,• Decreto Legge 10 giugno 1994, n.357, converted into law, August 8, 1994 No. 489, convertito dalla legge 8 agosto 1994 n.489, containing emergency tax provisions to contenente Disposizioni tributarie urgenti accelerate recovery of the economy and per accelerare la ripresa delleconomia e employment and to reduce the burden to delloccupazione, nonché per ridurre gli the taxpayer adempimenti a carico del contribuente • January 23, 2004, Decree of the Ministry• Decreto 23 gennaio 2004 del Ministero of Economy and Finance on dell’Economia e delle Finanze inerente arrangements for the fulfilment of tax alle modalità di assolvimento degli obblighi obligations relating to electronic documents fiscali relativi ai documenti informatici e alla and their reproduction in different types of loro riproduzione in diversi tipi di supporti media• Decreto Legislativo. 20 febbraio 2004, n. • Legislative Decree, February 20, 2004, 52 riguardante l’attuazione della direttiva No. 52 on the implementation of Directive 2001/115/CE che semplifica ed armonizza 2001/115/EC, which simplifies and le modalità di fatturazione in materia di IVA harmonises VAT billing• Circolare 6 dicembre 2006, n. 36 • Circular, 6 December, 2006, No. 36 dell’Agenzia delle Entrate - Decreto Revenue Agency – Ministerial Decree, ministeriale 23 gennaio 2004 – Modalità di January 23, 2004 – Arrangements for the assolvimento degli obblighi fiscali relativi ai fulfilment of tax obligations relating to documenti informatici ed alla loro electronic documents and their reproduction riproduzione in diversi tipi di supporto in different types of media• Circolare 19 ottobre 2005, n. 45 • Circular, 19 October, 2005, No. 45 of the dell’Agenzia delle Entrate - Decreto Revenue Agency – Legislative Decree, 20 legislativo 20 febbraio 2004, n. 52 - February 2004, No. 52 – Implementation of Attuazione della direttiva 2001/115/CE che Directive 2001/115/EC, which simplifies and semplifica ed armonizza le modalità di harmonises arrangements for VAT billing fatturazione in materia di IVA
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 31 of 611.4. NORMATIVA IN MATERIA DI 1.4. RULES ON EMPLOYMENT DOCUMENTS DOCUMENTI DEL LAVORO • Articles 39 and 16a of the Law dated• articoli 39 e 40 della Legge 6 agosto 2008, 06.08.08, No. 133 – Conversion into law, n. 133 - Conversione in legge, con with amendments, of Decree Law dated modificazioni, del decreto-legge 25 giugno 25.06.08, No. 112 on emergency measures 2008, n. 112, recante disposizioni urgenti for economic development, simplification, per lo sviluppo economico, la competitiveness and stabilisation of public semplificazione, la competitività, la finances and tax equalisation (contains the stabilizzazione della finanza pubblica e la general rules on computer processing for perequazione tributaria (contiene le norme the Single Employment Ledger) generali sulla tenuta informatica del Libro Unico del Lavoro) • Decree of the Ministry of Labour, 9 July, 2008 8 – Set-up and processing of the• Decreto Ministero Lavoro 9 luglio 2008 - Single Employment Ledger Istituzione e tenuta del Libro unico del lavoro • Circular No. 20/2008, 21 August, 2008, Ministry of Labour (includes operating• Circolare n. 20/2008 del 21 agosto 2008 instructions for inspection staff) Ministero Lavoro (contiene le istruzioni operative per il personale ispettivo) 1.5. RULES ON INSURANCE CONTRACTS1.5. NORMATIVA IN MATERIA DI REGISTRI E AND RECORDS CONTRATTI ASSICURATIVI • Regulation No. ISVAP 27 dated 14• Regolamento ISVAP n. 27 del 14 ottobre October, 2008 concerning the retention of 2008 concernente la tenuta dei registri insurance records covered by Article 101 of assicurativi di cui all’articolo 101 del decreto Legislative Decree dated 7 September, legislativo 7 settembre 2005, n. 209 – 2005, No. 209 – Code of Private Insurance codice delle assicurazioni private 1.6. TECHNICAL REFERENCES1.6. RIFERIMENTI TECNICI • CNIPA Deliberation, 19 February, 2004• Deliberazione CNIPA 19 febbraio 2004 n. No. 11 – Technical Rules for the 11 - Regole tecniche per la riproduzione e reproduction and storage of documents on conservazione di documenti su supporto optical media such as to ensure conformity ottico idoneo a garantire la conformità dei with the originals documenti agli originali • CNIPA Deliberation, 21 May, 2009, No.45• Deliberazione CNIPA 21 maggio 2009, n. – contains the rules for recognition and 45 - contenente le Regole per il verification of electronic documents riconoscimento e la verifica del documento informatico2. Valore formale e probatorio del 2. Formal and probative value of documento informatico electronic documentsNel Codice dell’Amministrazione Digitale The Digital Administration Code (Legislative(Decreto Legislativo 7 marzo 2005, n. 82, di Decree dated 7 March, 2005, No. 82,seguito CAD), testo normativo fondamentale in hereinafter referred to as CAD), the basic legalmateria di digitalizzazione documentale per PA text in the digitisation of documents for PAe privati, vengono definiti i concetti di (Public Administration) and private agencies,documento informatico (quale defines the concepts of electronic document“rappresentazione informatica di atti, fatti, dati (as “computer representation of legally-relevantgiuridicamente rilevanti”), di firma elettronica acts, facts and data”), of electronic signature(e, cioè, “linsieme dei dati in forma elettronica, (“all data in electronic form logically attached toallegati oppure connessi tramite associazione or associated with other electronic data, used as
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 32 of 61logica ad altri dati elettronici, utilizzati come a method of electronic identification”) andmetodo di identificazione informatica”) e firma digital signature (defined as “a special type ofdigitale (definita come “un particolare tipo di qualified electronic signature based on a systemfirma elettronica qualificata basata su un of linked cryptographic keys, one public and onesistema di chiavi crittografiche, una pubblica e private, which allows the owner through theuna privata, correlate tra loro, che consente al private key and the recipient through the publictitolare tramite la chiave privata e al destinatario key, respectively, to display and verify the origintramite la chiave pubblica, rispettivamente, di and integrity of an electronic document or a setrendere manifesta e di verificare la provenienza of electronic documents”).e lintegrità di un documento informatico o di un Electronic documents without an electronicinsieme di documenti informatici”). signature refer, for legal purposes, toI documenti informatici privi di firma photographic reproductions or film, soundelettronica vengono ricondotti per i loro effetti recordings and, generally, to any othergiuridici alle riproduzioni fotografiche o mechanical or computer representation of factscinematografiche, alle registrazioni fonografiche or things, whose probative value is governed bye, in genere, ad ogni altra rappresentazione Article 2712 Civil Code (as ruled in the Court ofmeccanica o informatica di fatti o cose, la cui Cassation civil section, 6.12.2001, No. 11445).efficacia probatoria è disciplinata dallarticolo Repudiation of facts, as opposed to rules, does2712 codice civile (così si è pronunciata la not preclude the court from freely using theCorte di Cassazione sez. civile 6.12.2001, n. document, when it is judged to be reliable, to11445). In caso di disconoscimento, arrive at its own opinion.concernendo fatti e non regole, questo non The “simple” document with an electronicpreclude al giudice di utilizzare liberamente il signature can satisfy the requirement for thedocumento, apprezzandone lattendibilità, per “written form” and may be admissible in court,formare il proprio convincimento. judged against its objective features of qualityIl documento con firma elettronica “semplice” and security, integrity and inalterability.può soddisfare il requisito della “forma scritta” The electronic document to which a digitaled è liberamente valutabile in giudizio, tenuto signature, or other qualified electronicconto delle sue caratteristiche oggettive di signature, is attached satisfies the requirementqualità e sicurezza, integrità e immodificabilità. of the “written form”, even in cases provided forIl documento informatico a cui è apposta under penalty of invalidity, of Article 1350, firstuna firma digitale o altro tipo di firma paragraph Nos. 1 through 12 of the Civil Code.elettronica qualificata soddisfa sempre il The use of the signature device is presumed torequisito della forma scritta, anche nei casi be attributable to the owner, unless they canprevisti, sotto pena di nullità, dallarticolo 1350, prove otherwise.primo comma, numeri da 1 a 12, del codice For electronic documents, the CAD defines ancivile. L’utilizzo del dispositivo di firma si important tool, that of time validation, definedpresume riconducibile al titolare, salvo che as the “result of the computer procedure whichquesti dia la prova contraria. is used to attach a date and a time enforceablePer i documenti informatici il CAD definisce un against third parties to one or more electronicimportante strumento, quello della validazione documents”. This time validation takes on, fortemporale, definendola come il “risultato della electronic documents, the regulation of theprocedura informatica con cui si attribuiscono, means of computation of the date with respectad uno o più documenti informatici, una data ed to third parties, in a similar way to the provisionsun orario opponibili ai terzi”. Tale validazione for paper documents: validation involvestemporale assume nei riguardi del documento attachment to the electronic document of ainformatico la funzione di disciplinare le digital “sign” that has the purpose of makingmodalità di computazione della data rispetto ai certain and enforceable against third parties theterzi, in modo analogo a quanto previsto per il date (and time) of the creation of the document.documento cartaceo: con la validazione vieneapposto sul documento informatico un “segno”digitale che ha lo scopo di rendere certa edopponibile ai terzi la data (e lora) di formazionedel documento.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 33 of 613. Posta elettronica semplice e 3. Simple and certified electronic Posta Elettronica Certificata mailIn Italia non esiste una regolamentazione In Italy there is no specific legislation relating tonormativa specifica in materia di comunicazioni email communications, which may howevere-mail, le quali possono comunque assumere have legal value as electronic documents with avalore in giudizio quali documenti informatici simple electronic signature and, moreover,con firma elettronica semplice e, inoltre, molti many courts have considered the e-mail (evenTribunali hanno ritenuto il messaggio e-mail without digital signature) as a valid written(anche privo di firma digitale) quale valida proof for obtaining an injunction. Obviously,prova scritta per l’ottenimento di un decreto the transmission of simple e-mails, even if it is aingiuntivo. Ovvio che la trasmissione di widely used system, lends itself to possiblesemplici e-mail, seppure sia un sistema molto challenges in court and has no certainutilizzato, si presta a possibili contestazioni in guarantees on the person who sent thegiudizio e non è dotata di garanzie certe sul message, on the time it was sent, or on themittente che ha spedito il messaggio, sull’orario notification of receipt and on other elements ofdi invio, sulla notifica di ricezione e su altri the e-mail message. For this reason the needelementi del messaggio di posta elettronica. Per was highlighted to provide a communicationquesto si è avvertita la necessità di dotarsi di un system that gives greater guarantees, butsistema di comunicazione che dia maggiori without losing the advantages of traditional e-garanzie, senza perdere i vantaggi dell’e-mail mail. Certified Electronic Mail (CEM) was thustradizionale. È nata così in Italia la Posta born in Italy. CEM consists of an electronic mailElettronica Certificata (c.d. PEC) che consiste in system in which, after sending the message /un sistema di posta elettronica nel quale, a electronic document the sender is provided withseguito dell’invio del messaggio/documento legally valid electronic documentation, attestinginformatico viene fornita al mittente una the dispatch and delivery of electronicdocumentazione elettronica, con valenza legale, messages / documents. This tool, similar to aattestante linvio e la consegna dei real letter registered with a return receipt, is nowmessaggi/documenti informatici. Tale mandatory for certain professional categories,strumento, paragonabile a una vera e propria for companies and for the public administration.lettera raccomandata con ricevuta di ritorno, è According to Art. 45 of CAD “the documentsoggi obbligatorio per determinate categorie submitted by anyone to the public administrationprofessionali, per le società e per le pubbliche by any electronic means, including fax, such asamministrazioni. to make possible verification of the originalAi sensi dell’art. 45 del CAD “i documenti source, satisfy the requirement of “written form”trasmessi da chiunque ad una pubblica and the transmission should not beamministrazione con qualsiasi mezzo telematico accompanied by that of the original document.o informatico, ivi compreso il fax, idoneo ad 2. Electronic documents transmittedaccertarne la fonte di provenienza, soddisfano il electronically cover those sent by the sender torequisito della forma scritta e la loro his/her provider, and is understood to betrasmissione non deve essere seguita da quella delivered to the addressee if made available atdel documento originale. addressees electronic address, in the2. Il documento informatico trasmesso per via addressees email inbox made available by thetelematica si intende spedito dal mittente se provider.”inviato al proprio gestore, e si intende The confidentiality of electronic communicationconsegnato al destinatario se reso disponibile is protected, even from the standpoint ofallindirizzo elettronico da questi dichiarato, nella criminal law. In particular Art. 616 Penal Codecasella di posta elettronica del destinatario entitled “breach, misappropriation and removalmessa a disposizione dal gestore”. of correspondence” treats as fully equivalentLa comunicazione telematica viene tutelata paper and electronic mail, stating that “for thenella sua riservatezza, anche dal punto di vista purposes of the provisions of this section,penale. In particolare, l’art. 616 codice penale correspondence means letters, telegraphic andrubricato “violazione, sottrazione e telephonic communication, computer or othersoppressione di corrispondenza” opera una electronic communication or correspondencepiena equiparazione tra corrispondenza made with other forms of distancecartacea e telematica affermando che “agli communication”. Furthermore – according toeffetti delle disposizioni di questa sezione, per Art. 49 of the CAD “Persons using electroniccorrispondenza si intende quella epistolare, transmission of formatted records – data and
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 34 of 61telegrafica, telefonica, informatica o telematica documents using computer technology may notovvero effettuata con ogni altra forma di take cognisance of the electroniccomunicazione a distanza”. Inoltre, secondo correspondence, copy by any means or pass onl’art. 49 del CAD “gli addetti alle operazioni di information to third parties in any capacitytrasmissione per via telematica di atti, dati e including in a summary or as extract on thedocumenti formati con strumenti informatici non existence or content of the correspondence,possono prendere cognizione della communications or messages transmitted bycorrispondenza telematica, duplicare con electronic means, except in the case ofqualsiasi mezzo o cedere a terzi a qualsiasi information which, by its nature or by expresstitolo informazioni anche in forma sintetica o per indication of the sender, is intended for theestratto sullesistenza o sul contenuto di public domain. For purposes of this Code, thecorrispondenza, comunicazioni o messaggi records, data and documents transmittedtrasmessi per via telematica, salvo che si tratti electronically are considered, in the context ofdi informazioni per loro natura o per espressa the operator of the information transmissionindicazione del mittente destinate ad essere system, the property of the sender until theyrese pubbliche. Agli effetti del presente codice, have been delivered to the recipient.”.gli atti, i dati e i documenti trasmessi per viatelematica si considerano, nei confronti delgestore del sistema di trasporto delleinformazioni, di proprietà del mittente sino a chenon sia avvenuta la consegna al destinatario”.4. Fattura inoltrata telematicamente 4. Electronic bill delivery and e Fattura Elettronica electronic billsGià con la Risoluzione del 30/07/1990 prot. Resolution dated 30/07/1990, Prot. 450217, had already recognised the legitimacy of450217 il Ministero delle Finanze hariconosciuto la legittimità dei dati trasmessi electronically transmitted data, subject toper via telematica, fermo restando il rispetto compliance with the regulations of the relevant transactions for VAT purposes, i.e. the datadella regolamentazione di operazioni rilevanti aifini dell’Iva, ovvero i dati contenuti nel contained in the documents kept by the issuerdocumento conservato dall’emittente e in quello and the data in the document sent to theinviato al cliente devono essere i medesimi. Ma customer must be identical. But to avoid theper evitare la stampa delle fatture trasmesse printing of invoices sent by e-mail, the requirements of the Decree Law 52/2004via e-mail occorre rispettare i requisitiprevisti nel D. Lgs. 52/2004: in questo caso, la must be adhered to: in this case, the invoicefattura deve essere emessa elettronicamente e, must be issued electronically, i.e., the invoice shall be created, must be transmitted and storedcioè, la fattura deve nascere, deve esseretrasmessa e conservata esclusivamente in exclusively in digital format either by the issuerformato digitale sia dall’emittente sia dal or by the recipient (when there is an agreement on the electronic transmission of the bill). Thedestinatario (nel momento in cui vi è un accordosulla trasmissione elettronica della stessa). La electronic invoice is defined by Circular 45/2005 of the Revenue Office as thefattura elettronica viene definita dalla “computer document, prepared in electronicCircolare 45/2005 dell’Agenzia delle Entratecome il “documento informatico, predisposto in form in accordance with specific arrangementsforma elettronica, secondo specifiche modalità to guarantee the integrity of the data contained and the unambiguous attribution of theche garantiscono l’integrità dei dati contenuti el’attribuzione univoca del documento al soggetto document to the issuing person, without theemittente, senza necessità di provvedere alla need to arrange for printing on paper”. The electronic bill, in particular, should not containstampa su supporto cartaceo”. La fatturaelettronica, in particolare, non deve contenere executable code or macros, and certification ofmacroistruzioni né codici eseguibili, e the date, the authenticity of the origin andl’attestazione della data, l’autenticità dell’origine integrity of the contents of the bill itself aree l’integrità del contenuto della fattura stessa guaranteed respectively by attaching to each invoice, or batch of invoices, the time referencesono garantite rispettivamente mediantel’apposizione, su ciascuna fattura o su un lotto (understood as internal time validation) and thedi fatture, del riferimento temporale (inteso qualified electronic signature of the issuer or through EDI systems for electronic transmissioncome validazione temporale interna) e dellafirma elettronica qualificata dell’emittente, o of data to ensure the above-mentioned
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 35 of 61mediante sistemi EDI di trasmissione elettronica requirements of authenticity and integrity.dei dati che garantiscano i predetti requisiti diautenticità ed integrità. 5. Electronic document storage Electronic storage can be defined as those5. La conservazione sostitutiva dei processes that enable assurance of the legal documenti validity in time of a document which is electronicLa conservazione sostitutiva può essere definita ab origine or a similar document that is latercome quel procedimento che permette di digitised.assicurare la validità legale nel tempo a un This type of process enables the same legaldocumento ab origine informatico o a un status conferred on paper documents to bedocumento analogico successivamente applied to electronic ones and enablesdigitalizzato. companies and the public administration to saveQuesta tipologia di processi consente di on printing costs, storage and paper-basedconferire la stessa efficacia giuridica dei archiving or otherwise dispense with paper files,documenti cartacei a quelli elettronici e by replacing them with systems of electronicpermette alle aziende e allamministrazione storage.pubblica di risparmiare sui costi di stampa, di For the purposes of correct storage it isstoccaggio e di archiviazione cartacea o necessary to implement a process thatcomunque di liberare archivi cartacei conforms to the current technical parametersrimpiazzandoli con sistemi di conservazione set by CNIPA (contained in Resolution 11/2004sostitutiva. for document retention) and, as regardsAi fini di una corretta conservazione occorre documents relevant for tax purposes, therealizzare un processo che permetta di Decree of the Ministry of Economy and Financeassecondare gli attuali parametri tecnici fissati dated 23 January, 2004.dal CNIPA (contenuti nella Deliberazione In particular, according to Art. 44 of the CAD,11/2004 per la conservazione dei documenti) e, “the electronic document storage system mustper quanto concerne i documenti rilevanti ai fini guarantee:tributari, dal Decreto del Ministerodell’Economia e delle Finanze del 23 Gennaio • The certain identification of the person who2004. created the document;In particolare, secondo l’art. 44 del CAD, “il • The integrity of the document;sistema di conservazione dei documenti • The readability and easy availability ofinformatici deve garantire: documents and the identifying information,• lidentificazione certa del soggetto che ha including original registration and formato il documento; classification data;• lintegrità del documento; • The compliance with the security measures provided for in Articles 31 to 36 of the• la leggibilità e lagevole reperibilità dei Decree of 30 June, 2003, No. 196, and the documenti e delle informazioni identificative, Technical Regulations published in Annex B inclusi i dati di registrazione e di of the decree.“ classificazione originari;• il rispetto delle misure di sicurezza previste dagli articoli da 31 a 36 del decreto 5.1. The storage process for electronic legislativo 30 giugno 2003, n. 196, e dal documents (ab origine) disciplinare tecnico pubblicato in allegato B a tale decreto”. The process takes place via storage on optical media (or other suitable media) and ends with the attachment to all documents, or to an electronic proof containing one or more5.1. il processo di conservazione dei fingerprints of documents or groups of documenti originariamente informatici documents, of the digital signature and timeIl processo avviene mediante memorizzazione stamp (as a time validation enforceable againstsu supporti ottici (o comunque supporti third parties) by the person responsible forinformatici idonei) e si conclude con storage, which certifies the exact developmentl’apposizione, sull’insieme dei documenti o su of the process.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 36 of 61una evidenza informatica contenente una o piùimpronte dei documenti o di insiemi di essi,della firma digitale e della marca temporale(quale validazione temporale opponibile a terzi) 5.2. The storage process for electronicad opera del Responsabile della conservazione documents (originally analogue)che certifica, in tal modo, l’esatto svolgimento The process of electronic storage of analoguedel processo. documents takes place by storing its image directly on optical media (or other suitable media), and possibly also the fingerprint, and ends with the attachment to all documents or to5.2. il processo di conservazione sostitutiva electronic evidence containing one or more di documenti originariamente analogici fingerprints of the documents or groups ofIl processo di conservazione sostitutiva di documents, of the digital signature and timedocumenti analogici avviene mediante stamp by the person responsible for storagememorizzazione della relativa immagine which attests the correct development of thedirettamente sui supporti ottici (o supporti process.idonei), eventualmente, anche della relativa The destruction of analogue documents whoseimpronta, e termina con lapposizione, storage is required, is only allowed after thesullinsieme dei documenti o su una evidenza completion of the electronic storage.informatica contenente una o più impronte deidocumenti o di insiemi di essi, della firmadigitale e della marca temporale da parte delResponsabile della conservazione che attesta 5.3. The format of the document to be storedcosì il corretto svolgimento del processo In order to store the electronic document it mustLa distruzione di documenti analogici, di cui è be static and non-modifiable – that is, it mustobbligatoria la conservazione, è consentita have been produced in such a way that thesoltanto dopo il completamento della procedura content cannot be modified during the accessdi conservazione sostitutiva. and storage phases, or over time; for this purpose the electronic document should not contain executable code or macros to activate functionality that could alter the records, facts or5.3. il formato del documento da conservare data contained in the document.Il documento informatico per poter passare inconservazione deve essere statico e nonmodificabile e, cioè, redatto in modo tale per cuiil contenuto risulti inalterabile durante le fasi di 5.4. Storage mediaaccesso e di conservazione, nonché immutabile It is possible to use laser technology, such asnel tempo; a tal fine il documento informatico optical discs (CD-R and DVD, with high storagenon deve contenere macroistruzioni o codici capacity), or other suitable digital storageeseguibili tali da attivare funzionalità che media; the only limit to free choice is the factpossano modificare gli atti, i fatti o i dati nello that these media must still ensure conformity ofstesso rappresentati. the electronic documents with the originals and the readability of their contents over time.5.4. il supporto di conservazioneÈ possibile utilizzare supporti dotati di 5.5. Production of evidence for supervisorytecnologia laser, come i dischi ottici (Cd-R e authoritiesDvd, provvisti di notevole capacità di For monitoring or inspection by thememorizzazione), o altri idonei supporti di administration, whether the document ismemorizzazione digitale; l’unico limite alla libera electronic or an analogue document stored onscelta è costituito dal fatto che tali supporti electronic media, it must be made legible by thedevono comunque garantire la conformità dei system of electronic storage and, wheredocumenti agli originali e la leggibilità del loro requested, made available on papercontenuto nel tempo. In case of non-compliance with the law on the proper storage or on the proper handling of personal data contained in the stored5.5. l’esibizione avanti le autorità di vigilanza documents, administrative sanctions are
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 37 of 61 applicable (including penalties and criminal law).Qualora si renda necessario un controllo oun’ispezione ad opera dell’Amministrazione, siail documento informatico sia quello analogico,conservato su supporto informatico, devono 5.6. Digitally storable documentsessere resi leggibili presso il sistema diconservazione sostitutiva e, a seguito di It is possible to store digitally all accounting documents (invoices, tax receipts, letters,eventuale richiesta, resi disponibili su carta. telegrams, transport documents, writings,In caso di inosservanza delle norme sulla records and books etc.), tax returns and formscorretta conservazione o sul corretto relating to payments, documents pertaining totrattamento dei dati personali contenuti nei labour relations (Single Employment Ledger anddocumenti conservati sono applicabili sanzioni pay slips), records and insurance policies.amministrative (e anche sanzioni di rilevanzapenale). 5.7. Storage duration According to Article 2220 of the Civil Code, all5.6. i documenti conservabili digitalmente accounting records must be retained for tenÈ possibile conservare digitalmente tutti i years from the date of registration. Invoicesdocumenti contabili (fatture, ricevute fiscali, must be kept for the same period, as mustlettere, telegrammi, documenti di trasporto, letters and telegrams received and copies ofscritture, registri e libri etc.), le dichiarazioni invoices, letters and telegrams sent.fiscali e la modulistica relativa ai pagamenti, idocumenti inerenti al rapporto di lavoro (LibroUnico del Lavoro e cedolini paga), i registri e lepolizze assicurative. 5.8. The person responsible for storage The retention of electronic documents should be entrusted to a highly skilled and competent person. CNIPA resolution 2004 No. 11 defines5.7. la durata della conservazione the functions of the person responsible forSecondo l’art. 2220 del codice civile tutte le electronic storage, describing in great detail thescritture contabili devono essere conservate per required tasks and responsibilities. In particular,dieci anni dalla data dellultima registrazione. this individual must create a computerisedPer lo stesso periodo devono conservarsi le database of electronic documents in compliancefatture, le lettere e i telegrammi ricevuti e le with proven security principles and observancecopie delle fatture, delle lettere e dei telegrammi of clear tracking procedures, so as to ensure:spediti. proper maintenance; readability of documents stored over time; accessibility to the individual document and its display.5.8. il Responsabile della conservazione This role can also be externally delegated and outsourced to third parties. Sometimes, legalIl processo di conservazione dei documenti professionals are responsible for storage forinformatici deve essere affidato ad una figura several companies; of course, the advantage inaltamente specializzata e competente. La choosing to externally delegate this roledeliberazione CNIPA del 2004 n. 11 definisce le depends on the volume of documents to befunzioni del responsabile della conservazione brought into electronic storage and on the coresostitutiva, attribuendogli scrupolosi compiti e business of the company concerned.responsabilità. In particolare, tale figura hal’obbligo di creare un database relativo aidocumenti informatici nel rispetto di comprovati Disclaimerprincipi di sicurezza e nell’osservanza di chiareprocedure di tracciabilità; quindi, di garantire: la The communicative requirements of this workcorretta conservazione, la leggibilità del mean that the information contained provides adocumento conservato nel tempo, laccessibilità summary and guidelines and it does not seek toal singolo documento e la sua esibizione. help solve concrete and typical cases of the computerisation of documents, which is legallyIl ruolo di Responsabile può essere anche and technically highly complex.demandato all’esterno e conferito a soggettiterzi. A volte, si tratta di veri e propri soggetti Before undertaking a digitisation project, it isgiuridici che diventano Responsabili della always essential to approach legal entities and
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 38 of 61conservazione per diverse aziende; ovviamente, consult a specialist tax adviser and / or a lawyeril vantaggio nella scelta di delegare verso who is an expert in the field.l’esterno tale compito dipende dal volume dei Each individual reported piece of legislation maydocumenti da portare in conservazione have been amended or repealed since this textsostitutiva e dal core business dell’impresa was published.interessata.AvvertenzeLe informazioni fornite rivestono, in ragionedell’esigenza divulgativa dell’opera, un carattereorientativo e sommario e non mirano ad aiutarea risolvere i casi concreti e tipici delladematerializzazione documentale, la quale hauna grande complessità normativa e tecnica.Prima di intraprendere un progetto didigitalizzazione è sempre e comunqueindispensabile rivolgersi a soggetti giuridicispecializzati e interpellare un consulentetributario e/o un avvocato esperto del settore.Ogni singola normativa riportata può aver subitodelle modifiche o abrogazioni da quando il testoè stato pubblicato.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 39 of 61SpainAuthors:Alberto Olivares Antolín, CISAIT Risk & Assurance ManagerErnst & Young, S.L.Calle Ibáñez de Bilbao, 28, 3ª Planta,48009, Bilbao, SpainE-Mail: Alberto.OlivaresAntolin@es.ey.comTeléfono: +34 944 243 777El presente artículo trata de posicionar y dar This article aims to offer the reader insighta conocer al lector el ámbito legislativo into Spanish legislation as regardsespañol respecto a la facturación electrónica electronic invoicing because, of all the fiscalya que, de todos los documentos fiscales, documents, this is the only one to which in-es el único que dispone de un desarrollo depth legislative procedures apply for use innormativo excelso para su tratamiento en any format type (hard copy and digital).cualquier tipo de soporte (papel y digital). 1. Electronic invoice regulations1. Normativa reguladora de la This section is designed to outline the regulatory factura electrónica. framework for electronic invoicing in Spain:Este punto está dedicado a ofrecer al lector elmarco normativo en que se apoya actualmente • Law 56/2007, of 28 December, onla factura electrónica en España: Measures to Promote the Information Society (Spanish Official Gazette 29• Ley 56/2007, de 28 de diciembre, de December 2007) Medidas de Impulso de la Sociedad de la Información (BOE 29 diciembre 2007) • Royal Decree 1496/2003, of 28 November, approving the regulations governing• Real Decreto 1496/2003, de 28 de invoicing requirements. noviembre, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento por el que se regulan las • Order of the Department of Economy and obligaciones de facturación. Finance 962/2007, of 10 April, which develops certain provisions related to online• ORDEN EHA/962/2007, de 10 de abril, por invoicing and electronic invoice storage, la que se desarrollan determinadas contained in Royal Decree 1496/2003, of 28 disposiciones sobre facturación electrónica November, approving the regulations y conservación electrónica de facturas, governing invoicing requirements. contenidas en el RD 1496/2003, de 28 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el • Presidential Order 2971/2007, of 5 October, Reglamento por el que se regulan las on submitting invoices by electronic means obligaciones de facturación. when the recipient is the Civil Service or public organizations related to or subsidiary• ORDEN PRE/2971/2007, de 5 de octubre, thereof, as well as filing invoices issued sobre la expedición de facturas por medios between private individuals with the Civil electrónicos cuando el destinatario de las Service or public organizations related to or mismas sea la Administración General del subsidiary thereof. Estado u organismos públicos vinculados o dependientes de aquélla y sobre la • State Tax Administration Agency Resolution presentación ante la Administración of 24 October 2007, regulating the General del Estado o sus organismos procedure for the homologation of públicos vinculados o dependientes de digitalization software pursuant to facturas expedidas entre particulares. Order/962/2007 of the Department of Economy and Finance, of 10 April 2007.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 40 of 61• Resolución de 24 de octubre de 2007, de la These standards can be viewed at the following Agencia Estatal de la Administración URL both in Spanish and English: Tributaria, sobre procedimiento para la http://www.facturae.es/Documentacion/Normativ homologación de software de digitalización a/FacturaElectronica/ contemplado en la Orden EHA/962/2007, de 10 de abril de 2007.Estas normas se pueden consultar en lasiguiente URL tanto en castellano como eninglés: http://www.facturae.es/Documentacion/Normativa/FacturaElectronica/ 2. Storage of Invoices and Documents2. Conservación de Facturas y The Tax Agency (www.aeat.es) states that Documentos employers and professionals are obliged toTanto para soporte papel como para soporte store the following documents in both hard copyelectrónico (admitido siempre y cuando los and electronic format (as long as the datadatos almacenados conserven fielmente su stored is faithful to the original), for the periodcontenido original) la Agencia Tributaria stipulated in the General Tax Law for fiscal(www.aeat.es) manifiesta que los empresarios y auditing purposes in accordance with Article 19,profesionales tienen el deber de conservar, approving the regulations governing invoicingdurante el plazo fijado en la Ley General requirements (Royal Decree 1496/2003, of 28Tributaria para proceder a la inspección del November) according to the type of procedure:Ejercicio los siguientes documentos según • Any invoices or replacement documentsindica el artículo 19 de Reglamento por el que issued.se regulan las obligaciones de facturación (RealDecreto 1496/2003, de 28 de noviembre), • Any invoice copies or originals issued inatendiendo al tipo de procedimiento: compliance with Article 2.1 and 2 of the aforementioned regulations by means of• Las facturas o documento sustitutivo que which the invoicing requirements and hayan emitido. copies of the replacement documents sent• Las copias y matrices de las facturas are regulated. expedidas conforme al artículo 2.1 y 2 del • Any invoices sent in accordance with Article Reglamento citado por el que se regulan las 2.3 of the aforementioned Regulations, as obligaciones de facturación y la copias de well as any supporting accounting los documentos sustitutivos expedidos. documents.• Las facturas expedidas de acuerdo con el • Supporting receipts for the repayment of the artículo 2.3 del citado Reglamento, así agriculture, farming and fishing special como sus justificantes contables. funding, both in the original copy from the• Los recibos justificativos del reintegro de la issuer and the farm owner’s copy. compensación del régimen especial de la • Import tax payment supporting documents. agricultura, ganadería y pesca, tanto el original de aquél, por parte de su expedidor, Furthermore, Article 30 of the current como la copia, por parte del titular de la Commercial Code stipulates employers’ explotación. obligations to retain accounting records, correspondence, documentation and supporting• Los documentos acreditativos del pago del documents concerning their business for a impuesto a la Importación. period of six years from the date of the last entryPor otro lado, el artículo 30 del Código de made in the accounts. It is, however, more farComercio vigente establece una obligación para reaching than that and according to the abovelos empresarios de conservar libros, Article, in case of the death of the employer, thecorrespondencia, documentación y justificantes obligation is transferred to his legal heirs. In theconcernientes a su negocio durante seis años, event of dissolution of the company, thea partir del último asiento realizado en los libros. obligation passes onto the liquidators.Pero va más allá, y según este mismo artículo, On a fiscal level, the period required is fouren el caso de fallecimiento del empresario, years starting from the end of the voluntarytraslada esta obligación a sus herederos period for settlement of the tax due, or from the
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 41 of 61legales. Y para el caso de disolución de la submission of the relevant declaration.sociedad, traslada la obligación a los Nevertheless, Corporate Tax law states that inliquidadores. the event that there are negative tax bases credited or offset, there remains the requirementA nivel fiscal se requieren cuatro años contados to justify the origin and quantity of thesea partir de la finalización del período voluntario negative tax bases, even if they were generatedde ingreso de la deuda correspondiente a cada outside the limitation period (the offset period ofimpuesto, o de la presentación de la these bases is 15 years). Moreover, following adeclaración de que se trate. Aún así, la ley de recent amendment to the Penal Code, aImpuesto de Sociedades establece, en caso de Tribunal presiding over criminal proceedingsque existan bases imponibles negativas may request documentation dating back to aacreditadas o compensadas, la obligación de maximum of 10 years.justificar la procedencia y cuantía de lasmismas, aunque se hubieran generado fuera It is important to bear in mind that thesedel período de prescripción (el plazo de documents will have to be stored somewhere oncompensación de estas bases es de 15 años). national soil (with the exception of invoices thatAdemás, según una reciente modificación del may be saved in electronic format in an EUCódigo Penal, un Tribunal que juzgue una country). In the case of another country, thiscausa penal podría llegar a pedir requirement shall only be considered as dulydocumentación de hasta 10 años máximo de fulfilled if carried out through the use ofantigüedad. electronic methods that guarantee online access on prior authorization from the State TaxEs importante tener en cuenta que dichos Administration Agency. (Article 22 1496/2007)documentos deberán conservarse en cualquierlugar dentro del territorio nacional (a excepción The requirements for temporary storage arede las facturas que podrían residir en formato identical for all format types. Article 20 ofelectrónico en cualquier país de la UE). En caso Decree 1496/2003 indicates that the documentsde ser otro país, tal obligación únicamente se mentioned above must be stored in such a wayconsiderará válidamente cumplida si se realiza as to guarantee access to the tax authoritymediante el uso de medios electrónicos que without delay, unless duly justified. Thisgaranticen el acceso en línea bajo autorización requirement may be met by electronic means.previa de la Agencia Estatal de AdministraciónTributaria. (Artículo 22 1496/2007)Los requisitos de conservación temporal sonidénticos para cualquier tipo de soporte. Elartículo 20 de Decreto 1496/2003 indica que losdocumentos señalados anteriormente sedeberán conservar de forma que se garantice elacceso a ellos por parte de la Administracióntributaria sin demora, salvo causa debidamentejustificada. Esta obligación podrá cumplirsemediante la utilización de medios electrónicos. 2.1. How to store paper invoices electronically2.1. Cómo se conservan electrónicamente Although the regulations provide for electronic facturas recibidas en papel storage of invoices on condition that theAunque normativamente se prevé la invoices are available for tax auditing in theconservación electrónica de facturas, por la original format in which they were received, itcondición de que las facturas deban estar has generally been understood that until verydisponibles para la inspección tributaria en el recently this so-called electronic storage appliesformato original en el que fueron recibidas, exclusively to invoices that are senthasta muy recientemente se entendía que dicha electronically.conservación electrónica solo aplica a las The Tax Agency (electronic invoice department)facturas remitidas electrónicamente. is currently promoting the concept of CertifiedLa Agencia Tributaria (sección factura Digitization as a process by which anelectrónica) está promoviendo actualmente el electronically signed digital image is producedconcepto de Digitalización Certificada como el from a paper invoice and is legally valid as anproceso en que, partiendo de una factura en original. This is similar to a digitallypapel, se genera una imagen digital firmada authenticated copy and it means that the paperelectrónicamente a la que se le admite tener el invoice can be destroyed.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 42 of 61mismo valor probatorio que la factura original, In order for the above proposal to be authorized,de forma semejante a la de una compulsa it is essential to use certified devices (whichelectrónica permitiendo, por ello, destruir la basically consists of a homologation procedure),propia factura original en papel. as well as to have an audit report of thePara que se dé por buena la presunción digitization process. The details of thedescrita, es preciso utilizar dispositivos homologation process and the features to beauditados (lo que, en definitiva, supone una contained in the digitization software aremodalidad de homologación) así como disponer described in the Resolution of 24 October 2007de un informe de auditoría del proceso de of the State Tax Administration Agency,digitalización. El detalle sobre el proceso de regulating the procedure for the homologation ofhomologación, y las características a cumplir digitalization software pursuant topor el software de digitalización, se encuentra Order/962/2007 of the Department of Economydescrito en la Resolución de 24 de octubre de and Finance, of 10 April 2007.2007, de la Agencia Estatal de Administración In order to guarantee that documents that haveTributaria, sobre procedimiento para la been digitalized in this way fully meet thehomologación de software de digitalización authenticity requirements, it is recommendedcontemplado en la Orden EHA/962/2007, de 10 that the electronic signature ES-X-L is used.de abril de 2007. This has previously been referred to as thePara garantizar que los documentos así complete signature, as anyone responsible fordigitalizados cumplen de forma íntegra las checking the signature does not have tocondiciones de autenticidad, se recomienda concern themselves with finding the validityutilizar la modalidad de firma electrónica ES-X- verification mechanism, which could potentiallyL, descrita anteriormente como firma completa, be different for each provider. It is important toya que quien deba verificar la firma no debe note that there are more than 20 certificationpreocuparse de encontrar el mecanismo de systems in Spain alone, each of which has itscomprobación de validez, que puede ser own verification mechanism.diferente para cada prestador. Debe tenerse en If an OCR (Optical Character Recognition)cuenta que solo en España existen más de 20 system is implemented, it may recognize letterssistemas de certificación, cada uno de los and numbers and superimpose them on a filecuales tiene su propio mecanismos de header, thus simplifying documentation indexingverificación. and search. Also, if the invoice has been printedSi se emplea un sistema OCR (Optical using an authorized template, the OCR willCharacter Recognition) el sistema puede enable the invoice to be encoded in thereconocer letras y números y superponerlos en standard UBL format (endorsed by theuna capa del fichero, de forma que se simplifica International Consortium Oasis), thus facilitatingla indexación y la búsqueda de documentos. Si the insertion of the invoice details in the ITademás la factura se ha impreso según una system and its authorized use.plantilla acordada, el OCR permitirá codificar la There are various initiatives in existence tofactura en el formato estándar UBL (promovido minimize the number of possible templates andpor el consorcio internacional Oasis), facilitando improve the probability of optical recognition.también la inserción del contenido de la factura One of these is the United Nations’ UNeDocs,en el sistema informático y su tratamiento más designed for complex invoices used ino menos automatizado. import/export exchanges, where the need isPara minimizar el número de modelos posibles even greater due to the added difficulty ofy mejorar las probabilidades de reconocimiento multiple languages used in the transit of goods.óptico, existen varias iniciativas. Una de ellas es Another initiative is ASIMELEC’s StandardizedUNeDocs, de las Naciones Unidas, pensada Invoice. The standardized invoice is a templatepara facturas complejas utilizas en intercambios that facilitates the invoicing process and itsde importación y exportación, donde potential digitization by the recipient.seguramente es más necesaria por lasdificultades añadidas por los múltiples idiomasutilizados en un tránsito de mercancías.Otra iniciativa es la Factura Normalizada deASIMELEC. La factura normalizada es unaplantilla que facilita la emisión de facturas, y suposible digitalización por el receptor.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 43 of 612.2. Cómo se conservan en papel las 2.2. How to store invoices received facturas recibidas electrónicamente electronically in paper formatAunque existe la posibilidad de almacenar Despite the fact that it is possible to storefacturas electrónicas en papel mediante un electronic invoices in paper format using a PDF-código de barras PDF-417, es posible otro 417 bar code, this is also another alternative.mecanismo alternativo. If IT applications are available that manage aSi existen aplicaciones informáticas que database of both sent and received invoicesgestionen un repositorio de facturas emitidas o together with the generated or verified electronicrecibidas, según corresponda, junto con la firma signature and which assign an authenticationelectrónica generada o verificada, code for messages associated to each invoice,proporcionando un código de autenticación de it is possible that the invoices can be identifiedmensajes asociado a cada factura, cabe la using this code.posibilidad de identificar las facturas mediante This code allows access to the associateddicho código. document in the database and will guaranteeEste código permitirá el acceso al documento that the invoice meets the requirements outlinedasociado existente en el repositorio y in the regulations.garantizará, al que accede, que la factura As such, any invoices that are transcribed ontocumple con los requisitos contemplados en la paper with this code are valid as long as thenormativa. database containing the invoice and itsPor tanto, una factura transcrita al papel con electronic signature is maintained. There alsoeste código es válida, siempre que se has to be a verification mechanism for themantenga dicho repositorio donde exista la signature in the database and it must befactura y su firma electrónica, exista un possible to fully access the invoice by means ofmecanismo de verificación de la firma en el the electronic authentication code.repositorio y se pueda acceder de forma This management method for electroniccompleta a la factura mediante dicho código invoices on paper is provided for in Article 6 ofelectrónico de autenticación. Order 962/2007 of the Department of EconomyEsta modalidad de gestión de facturas and Finance.electrónicas en papel está prevista en elArtículo 6 de la Orden EHA-962/2007. 3. Email and Invoicing It is worth noting that the vast majority of3. Facturación y Correo Electrónico companies in Spain use email to send theirPodemos afirmar que una gran mayoría de las invoices. The interesting thing is that thisempresas en España utilizan el correo practice is considered to be correct “de facto”.electrónico para el envío de sus facturas. Lo However, closer analysis of the regulationscurioso es que “de facto” se considera que esta reveals that this view is actually incorrect.práctica es correcta. Sin embargo, si se analiza A company that sends conventional invoices byla normativa se puede observar la incorrección email has the sole intention of ensuring thatde esta consideración. they reach the recipient more quickly, thereforeLa empresa que envía facturas tradicionales por reducing the payment terms. They are alsocorreo electrónico lo único que pretende es passing on the cost of printing the invoices tohacerla llegar más rápidamente al destinatario, the client, which are costs the client did notreduciendo el período de maduración y have before (paper, ink / toner, electricity).acortando el plazo del cobro, pero también The Directorate General for Taxation hastraslada a su cliente los costes inherentes a la addressed this matter on a number ofimpresión de las facturas (papel, tinta / tóner, occasions. Take, for example, Query no. 1037-consumo eléctrico, etc.) que antes no tenía. 03 (7/25/2003) which clarifies that:La Dirección General de Tributos se ha “The mere fact of sending an invoice in filepronunciado en diferentes ocasiones sobre este format by email is not tantamount to antema. Citemos como por ejemplo la Consulta nº electronic invoice, as it does not meet the1037-03 (25/7/2003) que aclara que: requirements for these types of invoice.”“El mero hecho de enviar una factura en Likewise, the preamble of Order 962/2007, of 10formato fichero mediante correo electrónico no
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 44 of 61confiere la condición de factura electrónica, al April, of the Department of Economy andno cumplirse los requisitos exigibles a este tipo Finance, which develops certain provisionsde facturas.“ related to online invoicing and electronic invoice storage, contained in Royal Decree 1496/2003,Asimismo, el propio preámbulo de la Orden of 28 November, approving the regulationsEHA/962/2007, de 10 de abril, por la que se governing invoicing requirements (Officialdesarrollan determinadas disposiciones sobre Spanish Gazette from the 14th), states:facturación telemática y conservaciónelectrónica de facturas, contenidas en el Real “The general use of telecommunications andDecreto 1496/2003, de 28 de noviembre, por el email for sending all types of message,que se aprueba el reglamento por el que se including those containing invoices orregulan las obligaciones de facturación (BOE replacement documents, has given rise to thedel 14), dice literalmente: need to clarify the legal validity of the documents sent in electronic format to the“La generalización del uso de las recipient. As already indicated, this practice istelecomunicaciones y del correo electrónico only considered valid on the condition that thepara la remisión de todo tipo de mensajes, authenticity of origin and integrity of theincluidos entre ellos el envío de las facturas o documents sent in this manner are guaranteed.”documentos sustitutivos, hace necesario aclararla validez legal de los remitidos en formato It follows then that the mere act of sendingelectrónico al destinatario, debiendo aceptarse invoices by email without any means ofesta práctica como válida en la medida que, guaranteeing the requirements laid down forcomo ya se ha indicado, incorpore medios que electronic invoicing (authenticity and integrity) isgaranticen la autenticidad de su origen y la not valid for fiscal purposes.integridad de los documentos así remitidos.” In order to use email as a valid means ofSe puede afirmar, por tanto, que el mero hecho sending invoices for tax purposes, the followingde enviar facturas por correo electrónico sin conditions must be met:ningún medio que garantice los requisitosexigidos en el régimen de facturación telemática • Firstly, the sender must have received the(autenticidad e integridad), no es válido a express consent of the recipient (verbal orefectos fiscales. written, preferably written).Para poder utilizar el correo como medio de • Appropriate software must be used in ordertransmisión de la factura con validez a efectos to comply with the aforementionedfiscales, se tendrían que dar las siguientes requirements, enabling the invoice to becircunstancias: stamped with an electronic signature; alternatively the email itself can be signed• En primer lugar, disponer del electronically. In the case of the second consentimiento expreso del destinatario option, the email will have to be archived (verbal o escrito, mejor escrito que verbal) with the invoice attached instead of the para poder hacerlo. invoice alone.• Utilizar una herramienta que le haga cumplir • On signing the invoice or email, a signature con los mencionados requisitos, que bien certificate time stamp of the issuer will have podría ser firmando electrónicamente la to be incorporated in order to verify the factura que se enviaría como anexo al validity of the certificate. The recipient will correo electrónico, o bien, firmando therefore not have to check its validity by electrónicamente el propio correo. Este accessing and consulting the lists of último caso obligaría a tener que conservar repealed certificates by the certification el propio correo con su factura anexada en service provider, although it will be lugar de la propia factura. necessary to check the signature stamp.• En el momento de firmar la factura o el • The sender may also send the signed correo electrónico, habría que incorporar un invoice without the aforementioned stamp; sello de tiempo de la entidad expedidora del however they will have to make the certificado utilizado en la firma que acredite electronic certificate validation and la validez de dicho certificado. De esta verification mechanism used for the manera, el destinatario no quedará obligado signature available to the recipient. a verificar su validez por acceso y consulta de las listas de certificados revocados llevada por la entidad prestadora de los servicios de certificación, aunque sí que
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 45 of 61 debe verificar la firma del sello.• De no incorporar el anterior sello, el expedidor podría igualmente enviar la factura firmada sin dicho requisito, pero tendría que poner a disposición del destinatario de la misma el correspondiente mecanismo de verificación y de validación del certificado electrónico utilizado en el momento de la firma.4. Admisibilidad y Nivel Probatorio 4. Eligibility and Probative Level of de la Factura Electrónica Electronic Invoices Spanish Case Law has required that electronicLa Jurisprudencia Española ha exigido a los documents are assured as regards their origin,documentos electrónicos (para atribuirles el veracity of authorship, and authenticity ofcarácter de documento) que quede asegurada content (in order to ascribe the nature of thela procedencia y veracidad de su autoría así document). This should be readily ascertainedcomo la autenticidad de su contenido, que by means of legal inspection with the help ofsiempre se puede lograr plenamente en sede expert opinions, where necessary.de reconocimiento judicial con la asistencia, ensu caso, de peritos expertos en la materia. As mentioned above, the digital document may be required as evidence in legal proceedings,Según lo expuesto anteriormente, el documento with the legal inspection offering information oninformático puede presentarse como medio de its validity and efficacy in accordance with theprueba en un procedimiento siendo el provisions of Article 356 of the Civil Procedurereconocimiento judicial el que proporcione la Act.información sobre su validez y eficacia,teniendo en cuenta que, de acuerdo con lo Electronically signed documents, which currentespecificado en el artículo 356 de la Ley de legislation today equates to “documents” (in theEnjuiciamiento Civil (L.E.C.). traditional sense of the term), amount to documentary evidence from a legal proceedingsLos documentos firmados electrónicamente, a point of view.los que la más reciente legislación equipara a“documentos” (en el sentido tradicionalmente More precisely, it is Law 34/2002, of 11 July,admitido) a día de hoy y desde un punto de governing the services of the information societyvista procesal, se los asimila a la prueba and electronic commerce and Law 59/2003, ofdocumental. 19 December, regulating Electronic Invoices, that clarify the equivalency between the twoY son precisamente, la Ley 34/2002, de 11 de types of document most clearly for probativejulio, de Servicios de la Sociedad de la procedural purposes.Información y del Comercio Electrónico y la Ley59/2003, de 19 de diciembre, de Firma With regards to electronic documents (amongElectrónica las que de un modo más claro, those which have been included in therealizan a efectos procesales probatorios, la Framework for Electronic Invoices), Article 3.8equiparación entre ambos tipos de documentos. of Law 59/2003, of 19 December, governing Electronic Signatures, states that the format inLa Ley 59/2003, de 19 de diciembre, de Firma which the electronically signed data is to beElectrónica dispone en el artículo 3.8 a found shall be admissible as documentarypropósito de los documentos electrónicos (entre evidence in a court of law.los que enmarcamos a la Factura Electrónica)que el soporte en que se hallen los datos If we take into account the approximation thatfirmados electrónicamente será admisible como Law 59/2003, of 19 December, on Electronicprueba documental en juicio. Signatures makes of the electronic signature to the manuscript itself, electronic documents areSi tenemos en cuenta la equiparación que la governed by the procedural framework ofLey 59/2003, de 19 de diciembre, de Firma documentary evidence.Electrónica, hace de la firma electrónicarespecto a la manuscrita, los documentos This Law on Electronic Signatures employs theelectrónicos deben regirse por el régimen same distinction criteria between public andprocesal de la prueba documental. private documents that are used in the Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Act when
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 46 of 61 distinguishing the nature of these types ofEsta Ley de Firma Electrónica, emplea los document.mismos criterios de distinción entre documentopúblico y documento privado, que se emplean Therefore, the question of the value and legalen el Código Civil y en la Ley de Enjuiciamiento efficacy of the Electronic Invoice as a probativeCivil, a la hora de distinguir la naturaleza de medium is clarified in Article 299.2 of the Civilestos tipos de documentos. Procedures Act and Article 3.8 of Law 59/2003 of 19 December on Electronic Signatures, inPor tanto, la cuestión del valor y la eficacia reference to which Article 299.2 states that: “Injurídica de la Factura Electrónica como medio accordance with the provisions in this act, anyprobatorio, queda clara, a través del artículo tools that allow storage, access to or299,2 de la L.E.C. y del artículo 3, 8 de la Ley reproduction of words, data, figures and59/2003 de 19 de diciembre de Firma mathematical calculations carried out forElectrónica, en virtud de los cuales, artículo accounting or other purposes that are relevant299, 2: “También se admitirán, conforme a lo to the process (…) shall be admissible”.dispuesto en esta Ley, (…) los instrumentos Furthermore, according to Article 3.8 of Lawque permitan archivar y conocer o reproducir 59/2003: “The format in which electronicallypalabras, datos, cifras y operaciones signed data is contained shall be admissible asmatemáticas llevadas a cabo con fines documentary evidence in a court of law.”contables o de otra clase, relevantes para elproceso”. Y según el mencionado artículo 3, 8 When a party affected by the efficacy of ande la Ley 59/2003: “El soporte en el que se electronic document requests or challenges itshallen los datos firmados electrónicamente, authenticity, the provisions of Law 59/2003 shallserá admisible como prueba documental en apply. This means that in order to contest anjuicio”. Electronic Invoice certified by Electronic Signature, it will be necessary to check that allCuando la parte a quien interese la eficacia de the requirements established in the law are metun documento electrónico, lo pida o se impugne on the part of the certification service provider.su autenticidad, se procederá con arreglo a lo These will include the service guaranteeestablecido en la Ley 59/2003. Esto es, para provided as regards the signature and, inimpugnar una Factura Electrónica avalada por particular, the obligations of guaranteeing theFirma Electrónica, será necesario comprobar, confidentiality of the process as well as theque por el prestador de servicios de authenticity, storage and integrity of thecertificación, se cumplen todos los requisitos information issued and the identity of theestablecidos en la ley en cuanto a la garantía signatories.de los servicios que presta respecto de la firma,y en especial, las obligaciones de garantizar laconfidencialidad del proceso así como laautenticidad, conservación e integridad de lainformación emitida y la identidad de losfirmantes. 5. Electronic Invoice Technical Requirements5. Requisitos técnicos de facturas The following information is applicable to electrónicas members of the European Union. For other countries, authorization from the State TaxLo expuesto a continuación es aplicable a los Administration Agency (AEAT) must bepaíses miembros de la Unión Europea. Para obtained.otros Estados, es necesaria la autorización dela Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria Electronic invoices may be issued in various(AEAT). formats (EDIFACT, XML, PDF, html, doc, xls, gif, jpeg or txt, to name but a few) as long asLas facturas electrónicas se pueden emitir en they contain all the content required by law fordiferentes formatos (EDIFACT, XML, PDF, html, all invoice types, and that they meet specificdoc, xls, gif, jpeg o txt, entre otros) siempre que requirements for the incorporation of ase respete el contenido legal exigible a recognized electronic signature that compliescualquier factura y que se cumplan ciertos with the provisions of the Electronic Signaturerequisitos para la incorporación de la firma Directive (Law 59/2003, in the case of Spanishelectrónica reconocida que cumpla lo providers).establecido por la Directiva de FirmaElectrónica (la Ley 59/2003, en el caso de los The regulations recognize two forms of theprestadores españoles). exchange of electronic documents that are
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 47 of 61 considered to be particularly reliable, withoutEl reglamento establece la existencia de dos ruling out, a priori, other technological optionsformas diferentes de intercambiar documentos as long as they are authorized by the Taxelectrónicos a las que se les presume un nivel Agency. These two forms consist of the use ofde fiabilidad alto, sin descartar, a priori, otras an electronic signature on the one hand, andopciones tecnológicas siempre y cuando tengan the use of EDI systems on the other. They bothel reconocimiento de la Agencia Tributaria. guarantee authenticity and integrity, which areEstas dos formas son: Por un lado el empleo de the fundamental requirements for theuna firma electrónica y por otro el uso de documents.sistemas EDI. Estas dos formas garantizan laautenticidad e integridad que son los The electronic invoicing process comprises twoverdaderos requisitos que se exigen a los basic processes that are distinct for each party:documentos. • The issuer or sender sends the electronicEl proceso de facturación electrónica lo forman invoice to the recipient, with theirdos procesos básicos y diferenciados que agreement, by electronic means (includingcorresponden a cada interlocutor: the electronic signature) and keeps a copy of the original (in their database). It is not• El emisor, con la conformidad del receptor, necessary to store the signed electronic transmite a éste por medios telemáticos la documents. factura electrónica (que incluye una firma electrónica) y conserva copia o matriz (la • The recipient receives the invoice in digital base de datos). No es necesario conservar format and saves it in the same format for los documentos electrónicos firmados. future consultation and printing where necessary. Should the invoice consist of an• El receptor, recibe la factura en formato electronically signed document, they will digital y la conserva en soporte informático, need to save the information on the en el formato en el que lo recibió, para su electronic signature validity check. futura consulta e impresión, si fuera necesario. Al ser la factura un documento It is therefore important to ascertain whether the firmado electrónicamente, debe guardar la company intends to implement the process información relativa a la comprobación de la initially from the point of view of the issuer, the validez de la firma electrónica. recipient or both.Por tanto, es importante analizar si la empresa Despite the fact that the production of anva a iniciar la implantación desde el punto de electronic invoice involves both parties (thevista de emisor, desde el punto de vista de issuer and the recipient), the vast majority ofreceptor de facturas o desde una posición projects initiated in Spain target the invoicemixta. issuer.A pesar de que la implantación de la factura The issuer is expected to:electrónica implica necesariamente a ambaspartes (al emisor y al receptor) la gran mayoría • Obtain the prior consent of the recipient.de los proyectos que se inician en España • Guarantee the authenticity of the origin andestán siendo orientados a la posición de integrity of the invoices through the use of aemisión de facturas. recognized electronic signature.Para el emisor se exige: • Keep a copy of the invoices issued. This• Tener el consentimiento previo del receptor. requirement is not mandatory if it is possible to reproduce an invoice based on the• Garantizar la autenticidad del origen y la information saved in the company’s integridad de las facturas, mediante el uso database. de la firma electrónica reconocida. • Any invoices that are archived must contain• Almacenar copia de las facturas. Este specific elements that facilitate search, requisito no es necesario si se puede visualization and printing in the event of an reconstruir una factura a partir de la audit (full and immediate access to the información guardada en la base de datos data). de la empresa. Integration with the ERPs forms a common• Las facturas almacenadas deben contener aspect of the reception process of invoices determinados elementos que faciliten su through the use of electronic signatures. The búsqueda, visualización e impresión en complexity of this process lies in the need to
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 48 of 61 caso de inspección (acceso completo y sin handle an unspecified number of electronic demora a los datos). formats and providers issuing certificates for the invoice electronic signatures, alongside theEn el proceso de recepción de facturas reception of paper invoices.mediante la utilización de la factura electrónica,se busca habitualmente la integración con los To simplify the process, it is possible to opt forERPs. La complejidad en este proceso radica the self-invoicing method in which the recipienten la necesidad de tratar con un número controls the format used for the invoice andindeterminado de formatos electrónicos y de guarantees the reconciliation of accounts. In thisprestadores que emiten certificados que se case, there must be an agreement in placeusan en las firmas electrónicas de las facturas, between the issuer and recipient in order tojunto con la recepción de facturas en papel. implement this procedure. This approach will also be preferable in an international invoicingPara disminuir la complejidad del proceso, se backdrop, where the issuer may have difficultypuede optar por la modalidad de auto- meeting Spanish regulations. Another possibilityfacturación, en la que el propio receptor to consider for recipient companies is the use ofcontrola el formato de recepción y garantiza la external platforms which, under the third-partyconciliación contable. En este caso debe existir invoicing method, facilitate the entire invoiceun acuerdo entre el emisor y el receptor para transformation process and even the certifieddar por bueno este procedimiento. También digitization of documents received in papereste enfoque será preferible en entornos de format.facturación internacional en el que el emisor dela factura tenga dificultades para cumplir la The recipient is expected to:normativa española. Otra posibilidad aconsiderar por las empresas receptoras es el • Have the necessary software for validatinguso de plataformas externas, que, bajo la the electronic signature (the most complexmodalidad de facturación por terceros, part).facilitarán todo el proceso de transformación de • Store the digitally received invoices (invoicelas facturas e incluso la digitalización certificada and signature) in their original format.de los documentos recibidos en papel. • Any invoices that are archived must containPara el receptor se exige: elements that facilitate search, visualization• Disponer del software necesario para la and printing in the event of an audit validación de la firma electrónica (la parte (complete immediate access to the data). más compleja). The possibility of delegating the task of• Almacenar las facturas recibidas producing the invoice material either to the digitalmente (factura y firma) en su formato recipient (self-invoicing) or to third parties original. through contracting their services (third-party invoices) is expressly provided for in current• Las facturas almacenadas deben contener legislation (see Articles 5 and 19.3 of Royal elementos que faciliten su búsqueda, Decree 1496/2003). The act of delegating the visualización e impresión en caso de invoicing process to third parties does not inspección (acceso completo y sin demora release the taxpayer from his duty to be careful a los datos). in the choice of provider.La posibilidad de delegar la ejecución material In order for the delegation of the invoicingde la facturación, bien en los destinatarios de process to be valid, the following requirementslas operaciones (auto factura), bien en terceros must be met:mediante la contratación de sus servicios(facturación por terceros) se reconoce • Prior documented agreement between theexpresamente en la normativa actual (ver taxpayer and the party that manages theartículos 5 y 19.3 del Real Decreto 1496/2003). invoicing procedures – either a third party orEl hecho de delegar la facturación en terceros the recipient (self-invoicing). Theno exime de responsabilidad, por lo que los aforementioned agreement shall expresslyobligados tributarios deberán ser cuidadosos en include the authorization of the issuing partyla elección de su proveedor. and the operations covered by the agreement.Para que la delegación de la facturación seaválida, deberán cumplirse los siguientes • Any employer or professional who transfersrequisitos: the invoicing process to the recipient will have to accept or reject the production of each invoice. They will have fifteen days
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 49 of 61 from the date of receipt of their copy or• Acuerdo previo documentado por escrito online access in which to do so. Rejection entre el obligado tributario emisor y la must be expressed. It is then null and void entidad que efectivamente gestione la or is not issued. These invoices will be sent expedición de la factura, ya sea un tercero in the name of and on behalf of the o el obligado tributario receptor (auto employer or professional who supplied the factura). En el citado acuerdo constará de documented information. manera expresa la autorización del obligado tributario emisor y las operaciones • A specific serial number will have to be comprendidas en el acuerdo. assigned for each party that manages the invoice process on behalf of the sender.• El empresario o profesional que delega la emisión de facturas en el destinatario de las A useful possibility contained in Order 962/2007 mismas deberá aceptar o rechazar la of the Department of Economy and Finance is emisión de cada factura concreta, para lo that of converting paper into electronic invoices que dispondrá de quince días desde la by a third party managing the electronic recepción de la copia o su acceso invoicing procedure. Order 962/2007 of the telemático a ella. El rechazo deberá ser Department of Economy and Finance provides expreso. Si se produce este rechazo, la for Certified Digitization on the electronic factura se anula, o se tiene por no emitida. signature of digital or scanned invoices by the Estas facturas serán expedidas en nombre recipient themselves, without prior agreement y por cuenta del empresario o profesional from the issuer. In this case, certain que haya suministrado los conceptos que requirements will have to be met in the en ellas se documentan. digitization processes, which may be subject to auditing, and which must guarantee that the• Asignar una serie específica por cada process will be carried out with strict adherence entidad que gestiona facturas por cuenta to the content of the original paper documents. del obligado emisor. Moreover, the technical systems used mustUna interesante posibilidad que aparece con la enable electronic signature in the earliestOrden EHA 962/2007 es la de convertir facturas possible stages of digitization. This must also been papel en facturas electrónicas por parte del accredited via an auditing process and may betercero que gestiona la expedición electrónica. obtained from the provider.Aplicar las previsiones de la Orden EHA962/2007 que contempla la Digitalización If the process meets all the requirements, it isCertificada llevada a cabo al firmar possible to destroy the paper copies of theelectrónicamente las facturas digitalizadas o invoices once the certified digitization processescaneadas por el propio receptor, y sin has been completed.necesidad de acuerdo previo con el emisor. Eneste caso, es necesario cumplir ciertosrequisitos en los procesos de digitalización, quepuedan ser auditados, y que permitan confiaren que el proceso se llevará a cabo respetandorigurosamente el contenido de los documentosen papel originales.Además los sistemas técnicos utilizadosdeberán facilitar la firma electrónica en la fasemás temprana de la digitalización que seaposible, lo que se deberá acreditar igualmentecon un proceso de auditoría, que podrá serobtenido por el fabricante.Si el proceso se sigue con todos los requisitos,es posible destruir las facturas en papel, unavez concluido el proceso de su digitalizacióncertificada.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 50 of 61SwitzerlandAuthor:Bernhard BlumRechtsanwaltErnst & Young AG, Legal Services,Belpstrasse 23, Postfach, CH-3001 BernE-Mail: bernhard.blum@ch.ey.comTelefon: +41 58 286 67 38Internet: http://www.ey.com/ch1. Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen 1. General legal conditions including unter Berücksichtigung des tax law Steuerrechts 1.1. Preamble1.1. Vorbemerkungen Archiving of business documents in disregard ofEine nicht gesetzeskonforme Archivierung von statutory provisions can have legalGeschäftsunterlagen kann zu Rechtsnachteilen repercussions and result in a loss of evidence,und zum Verlust von Beweismitteln führen und thereby proving costly during legal disputes.so bei rechtlichen Auseinandersetzungen Especially as regards value added tax, an auditkostspielige Folgen nach sich ziehen. of such tax performed by the competentInsbesondere im Bereich der Mehrwertsteuer authorities as per Art. 49 of the Federal Valuekann eine Kontrolle laut Art. 49 des Added Tax Act can lead to offset claims orBundesgesetzes über die Mehrwertsteuer additional demands spanning the last five years.(MWSTG) zu einer Aufrechnung bzw. For this reason, it is important to observeSteuernachforderung über die letzten fünf Jahre relevant regulations when implementing anführen. Deshalb ist es wichtig, dass bei der electronic safekeeping system.Einführung eines elektronischenAufbewahrungssystems die einschlägigen 1.2. PrinciplesBestimmungen eingehalten werden. Besides the provisions laid down by commercial law, i.e. Art. 957 of the Swiss Code of1.2. Grundlagen Obligations (OR) and the Federal CouncilsNeben den handelsrechtlichen Bestimmungen, decree on maintaining and storing accountnamentlich Art. 957 des Schweizerischen books (GeBüV), tax law specifies diverseObligationenrechts (OR) und der Verordnung regulations concerning safekeeping. Ofdes Bundesrates über die Führung und particular relevance in practice are theAufbewahrung der Geschäftsbücher (GeBüV), ordinances on value added tax (MWSTGV) asfinden sich in der Steuergesetzgebung diverse well as electronic data and information (ElDI-V).Bestimmungen zur Aufbewahrung. Von Also to be observed here is federal lawbesonderer Relevanz sind in der Praxis die regarding certification services for electronicVerordnung zum MWSTG (MWSTGV) sowie signatures (ZertES).der Verordnung über elektronische Daten undInformationen (ElDI-V). Daneben ist ebenfalls 1.3. Safekeeping periodsdas Bundesgesetz über Zertifizierungsdienste Art. 962 of the Code of Obligations specifies aim Bereich der elektronischen Signatur (ZertES) basic safekeeping period of 10 years forzu beachten. account books, vouchers and business correspondence. Longer safekeeping periods1.3. Aufbewahrungsfristen sometimes apply under laws applicable to valueGeschäftsbücher, Buchungsbelege sowie added tax. The safekeeping period for recordsGeschäftskorrespondenz sind nach Art. 962 OR of relevance to value added tax depends on thegrundsätzlich 10 Jahre lang aufzubewahren. legal prescription period for the value added taxNamentlich im Mehrwertsteuerrecht gelten demands under consideration. According to Art.teilweise längere Aufbewahrungsfristen. Die 49 Sec. 1 of the Federal Value Added Tax Act,
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 51 of 61Aufbewahrungsfrist von claims for value added tax prescribe after 5mehrwertsteuerrelevanten Belegen richtet sich years, and absolutely after 15 years; thenach der Verjährungsfrist der betreffenden safekeeping period for relevant records isSteuerforderung. Mehrwertsteuer-Forderungen correspondingly long. According to Art. 58 Sec.verjähren laut Art. 49 Abs. 1 des MWST nach 5 2 of the Federal Value Added Tax Act, businessJahren, absolut nach 15 Jahren und documents related to real estate are to beentsprechend lang sind die Belege stored for 20 years, even 25 years in specialaufzubewahren. Die mit Immobilien cases.zusammenhängenden Geschäftsunterlagen In practice, it is advisable to determine thehingegen sind gemäss Art. 58 Abs. 2 MWSTG different applicable safekeeping periods and towährend 20 Jahren aufzubewahren, in classify and keep all the documents accordingSpezialfällen sogar bis zu 25 Jahre. to the relevant respective safekeeping period.In der Praxis empfiehlt sich, bei derArchivierung von Dokumenten die relevanten 1.4. Safekeeping formAufbewahrungsfristen zu ermitteln und dieDokumente in entsprechende Kategorien According to Art. 957 of the Code ofeinzuteilen sowie aufzubewahren. Obligations, accountant books, vouchers and business correspondence can also be maintained in electronic or similar form provided1.4. Aufbewahrungsform that relevant legislation is adhered to; however,Nach Art. 957 OR können die Bücher, die operating accounts and balance sheets must beBuchungsbelege und die stored in writing, i.e. on paper with originalGeschäftskorrespondenz auch elektronisch signatures.oder vergleichbarer Weise geführt undaufbewahrt werden, soweit dadurch die 1.5. E-mails and electronic invoicesgesetzlichen Vorschriften eingehalten werden;Betriebsrechnung und Bilanz hingegen sind in Electronic invoicing has been permissible injedem Fall schriftlich, d.h. in Papierform und mit Switzerland since coming into effect of ElDI-V (ordinance on electronic data and information).Originalunterschrift, aufzubewahren. This ordinance specifies technical, organizational and procedural requirements for1.5. E-Mails und elektronische Rechnungen probative force and control of data andDie elektronische Rechnungsstellung ist in der information communicated and storedSchweiz seit Inkrafttreten der ElDI-V möglich. electronically or using similar means.Die ElDI-V regelt die technischen, Concerned here are all documents of relevanceorganisatorischen sowie verfahrenstechnischen to input tax deduction, tax determination and taxAnforderungen an Beweiskraft und Kontrolle collection such as electronic invoices. Requiredvon elektronisch oder in vergleichbarer Weise here, in particular, is an advanced, electronicübermittelten und aufbewahrten Daten und signature based on a certificate originating fromInformationen. Betroffen sind davon namentlich a certification service provider approvedall jene Dokumente, die für den according to ZertES. Participants employingVorsteuerabzug, die Steuererhebung oder den digital signatures must follow a set ofSteuerbezug relevant sind, wie elektronische instructions during the invoicing process in orderRechnungen. Verlangt wird insbesondere eine to have the probative force of the electronicallyfortgeschrittene elektronische Signatur, welche submitted invoices acknowledged. For instance,auf einem Zertifikat beruht, das von einem it is necessary to check the datas integrity,gemäss ZertES anerkannten authenticity and signature qualification byZertifizierungsdiensteanbieter stammt. Im verifying the digital signature after theirRahmen der Verwendung der digitalen Signatur transmission, or at the latest prior to their use.müssen die Teilnehmer im The results of the verification process must beRechnungsbearbeitungsprozess verschiedene documented. The public key required forHandlungen vornehmen, damit die elektronisch checking must be stored together with theübermittelten Rechnungen als beweiskräftig secured data.anerkannt werden. So müssen unter anderem In this context, it is necessary to note that meredie Daten nach der abgeschlossenen transmission of a PDF file as an e-mailÜbermittlung, spätestens vor ihrer Verwendung attachment does not prove sufficient to fulfilmittels Verifikation der digitalen Signatur auf these conditions.Integrität, Authentizität undSignaturberechtigung überprüft werden. DasVerifikationsergebnis ist zu dokumentieren. Der
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 52 of 61zur Überprüfung erforderliche öffentlicheSchlüssel muss zusammen mit denabgesicherten Daten aufbewahrt werden.In diesem Zusammenhang ist zu beachten,dass die blosse Übermittlung einer PDF-Dateials Anhang eines E-Mails diesen Anforderungennicht zu genügen vermag.1.6. Anforderungen an die elektronische 1.6. Requirements for electronic archiving Archivierung Electronic archiving requirements are laid downDie Anforderungen zur elektronischen by the Federal Councils decree on maintainingArchivierung finden sich in der GeBüV. Bei and storing account books (GeBüV). In the caseelektronisch übermittelten Dokumenten sind im of electronically transmitted documents ofZusammenhang mit der Mehrwertsteuer relevance to value added tax, it is alsozusätzlich die MWSTGV sowie die ElDI-V zu necessary to observe the ordinances on valuebeachten. Nach Art. 3 GeBüV müssen die added tax (MWSTGV) as well as electronic dataGeschäftsbücher so geführt und aufbewahrt und and information (ElDI-V). According to Art. 3 ofdie Buchungsbelege und die GeBüV, maintenance and storage of accountGeschäftskorrespondenz so erfasst und books as well as registration and storage ofaufbewahrt werden, dass sie nicht geändert vouchers and business correspondence are towerden können, ohne dass sich dies feststellen be performed in a manner ensuring thatlässt. manipulations to them will not go unnoticed.Je nach Art und Umfang des Geschäfts sind Depending on the nature and scope of thelaut Art. 4 GeBüV die Organisation, die business, Art. 4 of GeBüV specifies that theZuständigkeiten, die Abläufe und Verfahren und organization, responsibilities, workflows,die Infrastruktur (Maschinen und Programme), procedures and infrastructure (machines anddie bei der Führung und Aufbewahrung der programs) involved in maintenance andGeschäftsbücher zur Anwendung gekommen safekeeping of account books are to besind, in Arbeitsanweisungen so zu documented in work instructions such that thedokumentieren, dass die Geschäftsbücher, die account books, vouchers and businessBuchungsbelege und die correspondence are comprehensible; the workGeschäftskorrespondenz verstanden werden instructions should be updated and stored forkönnen; Arbeitsanweisungen sind zu the same periods as the account books.aktualisieren und nach den gleichenGrundsätzen und gleich lang aufzubewahren Account books, vouchers and businesswie die Geschäftsbücher, die danach geführt correspondence must be stored such that theywurden. can be viewed and inspected by authorized persons at reasonably short notice until the endDie Geschäftsbücher, die Buchungsbelege und of the stipulated storage period; as per Art. 6 ofdie Geschäftskorrespondenz müssen so GeBüV, staff as well as equipment and aids areaufbewahrt werden, dass sie bis zum Ende der to be provided to the extent required for viewingAufbewahrungsfrist von einer berechtigten and examining the documents.Person innert angemessener Frist eingesehenund geprüft werden können; soweit es für die Information is to be inventoried systematicallyEinsicht und die Prüfung erforderlich ist, sind and protected against unauthorized access asdas entsprechende Personal sowie die Geräte per Art. 8 of GeBüV; access and viewingoder Hilfsmittel gemäss Art. 6 GeBüV verfügbar operations are to be logged, the logs beingzu halten. subject to the same safekeeping obligations as the data carriers. In this regard, it is necessaryDie Informationen sind nach Art. 8 GeBüV to note that all operations obtaining read accesssystematisch zu inventarisieren und vor to the archive must be logged as well.unbefugtem Zugriff zu schützen; Zugriffe und Moreover, as per Art. 10 Sec. 1 of GeBüV,Zutritte sind aufzuzeichnen, wobei diese regular spot checks of data readability are to beAufzeichnungen derselben performed; on the first sign of any impendingAufbewahrungspflicht wie die Datenträger impairment to readability, the data are to beunterliegen. In diesem Zusammenhang ist zu migrated to new media.beachten, dass auch sämtliche Lesezugriffe aufdas Archiv aufzuzeichnen sind. Es sind zudem Before an electronic archiving system isgemäss Art. 10 Abs. 1 GeBüV regelmässige, implemented, we recommend precisely determining which requirements (and
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 53 of 61stichprobenweise Kontrollen der safekeeping periods) apply and how adherenceDatenlesbarkeit durchzuführen und bei ersten to them can be ensured. To be ensured, inAnzeichen einer zukünftig eingeschränkten particular, is complete logging of all operationsLesbarkeit ist eine Datenmigration auf neue obtaining read access to archived documents.Medien vorzunehmen. Moreover, having the entire system inspected from the technical and legal standpoints by anWir empfehlen, bei der Einführung eineselektronischen Archivierungssystems vorgängig (external) expert prior to commissioning is agenau abzuklären, welche Anforderungen (und measure which has proven itself in practice.Aufbewahrungsfristen) zu beachten sind undwie deren Einhaltung sichergestellt werdenkann. Insbesondere die lückenloseAufzeichnung sämtlicher Lesezugriffe aufarchivierte Unterlagen ist sicherzustellen.Zudem hat es sich in der Praxis bewährt, dasSystem als Ganzes durch einen (externen)Experten vor der Inbetriebnahme in technischerund juristischer Hinsicht überprüfen zu lassen. 2. Probative force2. Beweiskraft 2.1. Permissible items of evidence2.1. Zulässige Beweismittel Art. 957 Sec. 4 of the Code of ObligationsArt. 957 Abs. 4 OR hält explizit fest, dass explicitly states that account books, voucherselektronisch oder in vergleichbarer Weise and business correspondence storedaufbewahrte Geschäftsbücher, Buchungsbelege electronically or in similar form have the sameund Geschäftskorrespondenz die gleiche probative force as original documents or thoseBeweiskraft haben wie Originale resp. solche, which can be read without any aids. Thisdie ohne Hilfsmittel lesbar sind. Hierbei handelt mandatory provision of federal law on evidencees sich um eine zwingende Beweisregel des is justified by the special regulations concerningBundesrechts, die durch die besonderen safekeeping of such documents. In principle,Vorschriften über die Aufbewahrung derartiger there is therefore no difference between storageDokumente gerechtfertigt wird. In Bezug auf in written or electronic form when it comes toBeweiskraft der genannten the probative force of the above-mentionedGeschäftsdokumente besteht somit business documents. Unsigned documentsgrundsätzlich kein Unterschied zwischen (including computer printouts of electronicschriftlich oder elektronisch aufbewahrten documents and scans) as well as copies ofDokumenten. Vor Gericht werden sowohl nicht signed documents are permissible as items ofunterzeichnete Urkunden (d. h. also z. B. auch documentary evidence before courts.Ausdrucke von elektronischen Dokumenten abComputern oder Scans) als auch Kopien von In the case of electronically stored invoicesunterzeichneten Dokumenten zum initially prepared and issued on paper, theUrkundenbeweis zugelassen. original documents therefore can and may be destroyed according to the mentionedBei der elektronischen Aufbewahrung von regulations, although this could well proveursprünglich in Papierform ausgestellten und disadvantageous for the taxpayer since theverschickten Rechnungen ist daher die generally applicable principle of independentVernichtung der Originalbelege gemäss den assessment of evidence at the judgeserläuterten Vorschriften möglich und zulässig, discretion by all means remains in effect. In thewas aber nicht heissen soll, dass dem event of litigation, the afore-mentioned provisionSteuerpflichtigen daraus keine Nachteile does not ensure absolute equivalence betweenentstehen können. Denn es bleibt a record and its original. If a submittedselbstverständlich das allgemein geltende documents authenticity needs to bePrinzip der freien Beweiswürdigung durch den demonstrated in the event of a legal dispute,Richter. Im Prozessfall kann nämlich mit der this might be achieved more easily, for example,vorerwähnten Bestimmung keine absolute by presenting an original, hand-written debtGleichstellung von Aufzeichnung und Original instrument or electronically signed e-mail, ratherherbeigeführt werden. Wenn jemand eine than presenting a record or printout. SpecialUrkunde vorlegt und im Streitfall deren Echtheit circumstances pertaining to each individualzu beweisen hat, dann wäre beispielsweise case nonetheless prove ultimately authoritative.möglich, dass ihm dies bei Vorweisung desOriginals einer handgeschriebenen
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 54 of 61Schuldurkunde respektive eines E-Mails miteiner elektronischen Signatur leichter gelingen 2.2. Special aspects related to criminal lawwird als bei Vorlage einer Aufzeichnung oder Besides prescribing the afore-mentioned,eines Ausdrucks. Dabei sind jedoch stets dieBesonderheiten des einzelnen Falles independent assessment of evidence, criminalmassgeblich. law gives the accused party the benefit of the doubt in case of uncertainty. In such cases, the judge must therefore go by the version more2.2. Besonderheiten im Strafrecht favorable for the accused party when takingZusätzlich zu der vorerwähnten freien circumstances into consideration.Beweiswürdigung tritt im Strafrecht derGrundsatz „Im Zweifel für den Angeklagten“. Im 2.3. Special aspects related to e-mails andZweifellsfall hat daher der Richter in electronic invoicesSachverhaltsfragen von der Versionauszugehen, die günstiger ist für den As mentioned under item 2.1, the principle ofAngeklagten. independent assessment of evidence by the judge does not rule out that a handwritten, original document or e-mail with an electronic2.3. Besonderheiten bei E-Mails und signature according to ZertES will carry more elektronischen Rechnungen weight than a simple printout in the event of aWie unter Ziffer 2.1 dargelegt, kann aufgrund dispute. An electronic signature definitivelydes Prinzips der freien Beweiswürdigung durch verifies a messages contents as well as theden Richter nicht ausgeschlossen werden, dass person who issued the message.im Streitfall ein handschriftliches Original oderein E-Mail mit einer elektronischen Signatur 2.4. Burden of proof regarding receipt of e-gemäss ZertES höher gewichtet wird als ein mailssimpler Ausdruck. Mit einer elektronischen Receipt is to be proven by the sender inSignatur können nämlich sowohl der Inhalt einerMitteilung als auch die Zuordnung zu einer accordance with general procedural principles.bestimmten Person eindeutig nachgewiesen In the case of documents, this is done by means of two items of partial evidence; firstly bywerden. proving delivery, e.g. through confirmation of receipt, and secondly by proving the2.4. Beweislast des Zuganges von E-Mails composition of the statement, e.g. involvingDer Zugang ist nach allgemeinen prozessualen presentation of a copy of the letter. Both itemsGrundsätzen vom Versender zu beweisen. Bei of partial evidence together serve to prove thatSchriftstücken erfolgt dies durch zwei the document was received. In the case of e-Teilbeweise, indem einerseits das Eintreffen mails, this function can often be performed by abewiesen wird, beispielsweise durch eine response mail issued by the recipient where theEmpfangsbestätigung, und andererseits die message received is quoted.Verfassung der Erklärung, beispielsweise durch According to the prevalent school of thought, andie Vorlage einer Briefkopie. Beide Teilbeweise e-mail is generally considered delivered once itzusammen erbringen den Zugangsbeweis. Bei has been saved on the recipients server.E-Mails kann häufig eine Antwort-E-Mail des However, this only applies provided that anEmpfängers, welche die empfangene Nachricht acknowledgement can be expected. This is notzitiert, diese Funktion übernehmen. always the case, especially if the e-mail isEs gibt die Lehrmeinung, dass bei E-Mails die delivered to a private address which was notZustellung allgemein als erfolgt gilt, wenn die indicated explicitly to the sender. This issue isMitteilung auf dem Server des Empfängers only clearly settled by the recently enactedgespeichert wird. Dies jedoch nur unter der ordinance on electronic communications as partVoraussetzung, dass mit Kenntnisnahme zu of administrative proceedings applicable torechnen ist. Letzteres ist insbesondere dann hearings before federal authorities. If annicht der Fall, wenn die Zustellung an eine authority sends an e-mail to an addressee, theprivate E-Mailadresse erfolgt, welche dem moment of downloading from the electronicVersender nicht ausdrücklich mitgeteilt wurde. mailbox counts as the time of delivery as perEinzig in der kürzlich erlassenen „Verordnung Art. 10 Sec. 1 of this ordinance.über die elektronische Übermittlung im Rahmen Furthermore, someone might forge an e-maileines Verwaltungsverfahrens“, welche auf and fictitiously claim that it was sent to them byVerfahren vor Bundesbehörden Anwendung a certain party. If the said party uses electronicfindet, ist diese Frage klar geregelt. Stellt die signatures in compliance with ZertES, however,Behörde der Adressatin oder dem Adressaten
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 55 of 61den Versand in einem elektronischen Postfach they can successfully defend themselveszur Verfügung, so gilt der Zeitpunkt des against this accusation because the forged e-Herunterladens als Zeitpunkt der Zustellung mail lacks such a signature.gemäss Art. 10 Abs. 1 dieser Verordnung. In practice, e-mails are usually answeredDaneben besteht die Konstellation, dass promptly, the e-mail software citing the originaljemand eine E-Mail fälscht und behauptet, diese message by default. Consequently, receipt of ansei ihm vom fiktiven Versender zugestellt e-mail can be easily proven by presenting theworden. Sofern Letzterer aber eine entire thread of communications.elektronische Signatur gemäss ZertESverwendet, kann er sich erfolgreich gegen den 2.5. Safekeeping of e-mailsVorwurf wehren, da die Signatur bei derFälschung fehlen wird. Because safekeeping of e-mails is not governed by any special regulations, the above-In der Praxis werden E-Mails meist umgehend mentioned provisions of Art. 957 of the Code ofbeantwortet, wobei das E-Mail-Programm Obligations and the decree on storing andstandardmässig die ursprüngliche Nachricht maintaining account books apply to e-mailszitiert. Dadurch kann der Zugang des E-Mails forming part of correspondence and vouchers.durch Vorlage des gesamten Mailverkehrs Accordingly, reference can be made to theeinfach bewiesen werden. related statements under items 1.5 and 1.6.2.5. Aufbewahrung von E-MailsFür die Aufbewahrung von E-Mails existierenkeine Sondervorschriften, so dass die obendargelegten Bestimmungen nach Art. 957 ORsowie der GeBüV zur Anwendung kommen,insofern die E-Mails zur Korrespondenz oderden Belegen gehören. Dementsprechend kannauf die in diesem Zusammenhang in Ziffer 1.5und 1.6 gemachten Ausführungen verwiesenwerden.
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 56 of 61United KingdomAuthor:Alan ShipmanManaging DirectorGroup 5 Training Limitede-mail: a.shipman@group5.co.ukwww.group5.co.uk3. Fiscal aspects3.6. Storage formatThe issues related to the requirements for the storage of documents on paper or in an electronic formon appropriate storage media (or on microfilm) have been debated for many years. The debatecontinues!In general terms, UK legislation does not state the format or media used for the storage of information.Research on this topic has not identified any specific legislation that requires (in particular) paperbased document. However, there are many requirements related to the various industry regulatorsthat require, mainly for historic reasons, paper based original documents to be retained, mostfrequently with an original handwritten signature or a seal. This situation is changing, with manyregulators now accepting well managed electronic creation and storage of corporate records asnormal practice.In United Kingdom government terms, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), whose role is to “makesure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services [and] helps families and individualswith targeted financial support” is strongly promoting electronic interaction and submission ofinformation. Full details of their services are available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm. Inpractice, they offer little specific guidance on storage format. In October 1998, they did offer someadvice in an article related to the keeping of records under Self Assessment corporation tax rules1.This article included the following statement:“We accept of course that companies which store information in accordance with the Code of Practiceon the Legal Admissibility of Information stored in Electronic Document Management Systems (BSI1996 DISC PD 00082) will thereby automatically satisfy the tax requirements.”3.7. Retention periodsWithin the UK, there are many pieces of legislation and regulation that give document retention periodrequirements. One such piece of legislation that is widely referenced is the Limitations Act 19803which applies to England and Wales. There are similar rules in Northern Ireland, and other (different)rules in Scotland. The E&W Limitations Act lists many types of documents and puts 1, 2, 3, 6, 12 orunlimited retention period requirements on them. Perhaps the most important of these is the 6 yearsretention related to claims for breaches of contract (12 years where the contract was executed as adeed).For financial records, various legislations such as the Companies Act 1985 and the VAT Act 1994state minimum legal retention periods – typically they are 6 years from the end of the current financialyear.The whole issue of legal retention periods within the UK is complex and sometimes contradictory.There are a number of publications which identify some retention requirements; a useful and up to1 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ctsa/ctsaguide.pdf2 DISC PD 0008 was a predecessor to and is superseded by BS 10008:20083 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1980/cukpga_19800058_en_1
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 57 of 61date list of a significant range of these can be found in “The ICSA Guide to Document Retention”4.This regularly updated publication details the retention requirements for most general types ofdocument, including those related to Companies law, meetings and minutes, accounting and taxrecords, employment and pension records, health and safety, contracts and property records andfinancial services records.There is also legislation related to the retention of personal information. The 5th Principle of the DataProtection Act 1998 requires that personal information is retained ‘for no longer than is necessary’.Such a requirement is another reason why formal retention policies and schedules are essential for allorganisations.Some of the required retention periods are very long, often decades, which raises other issues thatshould be considered as part of a properly defined retention policy. Will the electronic media still bereadable and will the electronic format be accessible when the electronic document is needed? It isimportant that authenticity and integrity of the information is not compromised by media migrations orformat conversions.3.8. E-mailsWithin UK legislation, an e-mail is a document, and can (depending upon its content) be anorganisational record. The fact that the document is an e-mail (or an attachment to an e-mail) is of noparticular relevance.E-mail is normally considered as legally admissible within UK courts. In order to ensure that sufficientevidential weight is afforded to e-mails, the electronic systems which manage them must be reliableand must have sufficiently robust audit trails in order to provide evidence of this reliability. A section ofBIP 0008-2:20085 deals specifically with the management of e-mail systems. Where proof ofelectronic identity is important, then BIP 0008-3:20086 gives good practice advice.3.9. Electronic invoicesHMRC issued guidance on electronic invoicing in June 20077. This guidance is aimed at the issuing,receiving and storing of VAT invoices in an electronic format.The guidance comments that “the law does not compel you to use electronic invoicing. It’s up to youwhether you issue paper or electronic VAT invoices”. There is also no requirement (since January2006) to notify the HMRC that electronic VAT invoicing will be used.There is additional advice about “dual systems” (e.g. both paper and electronic); these are onlyallowed during controlled trials of the electronic system. Once the trials are complete, the electronicVAT invoice is the “legal document”.Importantly, the guidance stresses authenticity and integrity of the electronic invoice by commentingthat “you may invoice electronically where the authenticity of the origin and integrity of the invoice dataare guaranteed”. The guidance then identifies “advanced electronic signatures”, “EDI” or “othermeans” as a way of achieving the required guarantee.3.10. Destruction of original documentsAnother discussion on storage formats that has taken place in the UK has been the legal position withthe destruction of original documents once they have been scanned. Again, no formalised conclusion4 Andrew C. Hamer, 2nd edition published in 2008 by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries andAdministrators, see http://www.icsabookshop.co.uk/disp.php?ID=6335 BIP 0008-2:2008 Evidential weight and legal admissibility of information transferred electronically,published by the British Standards Institution6 BIP 0008-3:2008 Evidential weight and legal admissibility of linking electronic identity to documents,published by the British Standards Institution7http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageVAT_ShowContent&id=HMCE_PROD_010205&propertyType=document
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 58 of 61has been reached on this issue, but many organisations have taken the decision following a riskassessment and are destroying paper originals based on the low risks involved and the (often)significant enhancements to business processes achievable. An important factor that will feature inthe risk assessment and resulting policies and procedures, where the decision to destroy paperoriginals is taken, is the timing of the destruction relative to the scanning processes.For many years, UK organisations have been scanning original documents and storing the resultantimages on microfilm of various formats. Such a process has rarely been challenged in court. Whereevidential weight is important, microfilming processes compliant with BS 6498:2002 Guide to thepreparation of microfilm and other microforms that may be required as evidence have been used toresist legal challenges. The equivalent for electronic scanning and storage processes is BS10008:2008 Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information - Specification. BIP0008-1:20048 has been submitted to ISO and is now published as ISO 15801:2009 Information storedelectronically, recommendations for trustworthiness and reliability.In all cases where original document have (or have not) been destroyed after microfilming / scanning,the ‘best evidence’ rule may be used. This rule talks about the fact that evidence may not be admittedin court if it is not “the best that the nature of the case will allow”. This translates, in documentmanagement terms, to the fact that the best evidence is always the original document. However, if itcan be shown that the original document does not exist, then an authentic copy of the original will bethe best evidence. In practice, all relevant evidence is admitted, whether it is an original or a copy.The goodness or badness of the evidence goes only to weight, and not to admissibility4. Civil law aspects4.1. Force of evidence of electronic documents in comparisonIn a UK court, legal admissibility is the ability for documents to be accepted as evidence in a particularcase. Evidential weight relates to the ability to demonstrate the authenticity and integrity of thesedocuments. Neither should be confused with evidential value of the particular documents.In the vast majority of cases, possibly in all cases because there are no recognised precedents on thisissue, legal admissibility is not an issue. There are specific exclusions from admissibility in criminallaw cases related to specific types of information, but these exclusions do not relate to the format (e.g.paper or electronic) of the documents. Evidential weight can be an issue, particularly where theopposing party in litigation challenges the authenticity or integrity of a submitted document.The UK Civil Evidence Act 1995 contains the following statements related to copies of originals andevidence (see Sections 8 and 9):Proof of statements contained in documents(1) Where a statement contained in a document is admissible as evidence in civil proceedings, it may be proved: (a) by the production of that document, or (b) whether or not that document is still in existence, by the production of a copy of that document or of the material part of it, authenticated in such a manner as the court may approve.(2) It is immaterial for this purpose how many removes there are between a copy and the original.Proof of records of business or public authority(1) A document which is shown to form part of the records of a business or public authority may be received in evidence in civil proceedings without further proof.8 BIP 0008-1:2008 Evidential weight and legal admissibility of information stored electronically,published by the British Standards Institution
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 59 of 61(2) A document shall be taken to form part of the records of a business or public authority if there is produced to the court a certificate to that effect signed by an officer of the business or authority to which the records belong.Based on these rules and guidelines, many organisations within the UK have taken the decision todestroy some of their original documents, or not create paper based documents in the first place. Onthe other hand, there are many organisations who consider the risks related to the destruction oforiginal document too high to take this decision.All members of the legal profession are now required to consider digital evidence but few regard it astheir core competency. They often refer to the specialists or specialist treatises in this area, some ofwhich are referenced at the link below.94.2. Special characteristics of e-mailAs noted above, there are no special legal issues related to e-mail within UK legislation. An e-mail istreated as a document / record in the same way as a document in any other format. Similarly, telextransmissions, faxes and SMS / IM messages are treated as documents by the courts.The issue of the legal admissibility of electronic signatures has been addressed by UK legislation.The Electronic Communications Act 200010 defines an ‘electronic signature’ and states that anelectronic signature is admissible as evidence in court.In addition, UK law incorporates the Electronic Signatures Regulations 200211, which defines an‘advanced electronic signature’ and a ‘certificate’. These regulations were in response to the ECDirective 1999/93/EC on a Community framework for electronic signatures, and relate to thesupervision of electronic signature certification service providers.4.3. Burden of proof of accessWhen documentary evidence in any form is challenged in court, then there is a burden of proof onboth parties. The challenger will need to disprove, or at least cast significant doubt on the evidenceand the submitter will need to demonstrate that it is authentic and that its integrity has not beencompromised.Thus, when managing electronic documents in a document management system, proof (typically bythe demonstration of good, documented process and technology and by the provision of authenticatedaudit trail information) of creation, capture and storage may be crucial in resisting a legal challenge.Within the UK, such proof is best achieved by following what is considered as best practice. This bestpractice is documented in BS 10008:2008 Evidential weight and legal admissibility of informationstored electronically (see above).This British Standard has been published in the format of a ‘Management System Standard’, as usedin ISO publications such as ISO 9000 (Quality Management) and ISO 27001 (Information SecurityManagement). These International Standards use the “Plan – Do – Check – Act” cycle, resulting inthe application of the establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, exercising, maintaining andimproving the effectiveness of the system under consideration. By using this cycle, the managementof documents by an organisation in a way that enables the burden of proof to be confidently managedcan be incorporated within the overall information management strategy.4.4. Avoiding liabilityThere a few legal penalties for breaching corporate retention schedules. One of the relevant pieces oflegislation here is the Data Protection Act 1998, under which an individual can require to have their9 http://www.stephenmason.eu/books/10 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000007_en_111 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2002/20020318.htm
  • Legal Requirements for Document Management in Europe Page 60 of 61personal information deleted if it is retained for longer than is necessary (see above).There are penalties for the destruction of documents where they are involved (or potentially involved)in legal proceedings12. Such destruction can be deemed as contempt of court (e.g. the improperinterference with the administration of justice). Such contempt can lead to fines and/or imprisonmentunder UK legislation.There are, however, many business reasons why the non-implementation of retention schedules canlead to the need for additional administrative resource. For example, under the Freedom ofInformation Act 200013 (or the similar FOI (Scotland) Act 2002), if information is held, even if is past itsretention period, then it may need to be located and disclosed when it is the subject of a legal requestfor information under the Act. The same is true in relation to a subject access request made under theData Protection Act 1998.There are many other ‘non-legal’ benefits in compliance with retention schedules. These include thereduction in storage and management costs. Where electronic documents are involved, compliancewith retention schedules can lead to the avoidance of the need to convert electronic documents to newsoftware formats (to ensure continued access to the information contained in the document by thereplacement of old – no longer supported – software formats), or a reduction in the resourcesnecessary when migrating electronic documents to new electronic storage media.DisclaimerThe information provided above is without engagement and is intended solely to provide you with ageneral overview of the problems without any pretension to completeness or accuracy of detail. ThisStatement is not designed to clarify the details of individual legal regulations or all aspects of thesubjects addressed and does not replace legal and tax advice in individual cases. Before making anybusiness decisions you should consult your tax adviser, auditor or attorney. The legal regulations mayhave changed since this text was published.12 ‘Proceedings’ here includes the responding to a subject access request under the DPA13 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000036_en_1
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