In addition to a number of currently available e-services to residents and businesses, the Centre of Registers in Lithuania is expanding their range. Residents have been able to obtain e-signature for some time, and from now on it offers a similar service for legal entities – a seal, which is often used in the activities of companies or institutions, can now have its electronic equivalent.
An electronic seal, which ensures the integrity and authenticity of electronic documents, can be useful for companies and organisations when exchanging e-documents, submitting certificates or reports, and for state and municipal institutions when issuing electronic certificates and other documents.
E-seal is a means used to ensure the reliability of electronic documents issued exclusively to legal persons. It certifies that a specific e-document and the data therein are not changed, namely, they are the same as were during the creation of e-seal. It also certifies that the document itself is created and issued by a company, organisation or institution, to which the e-seal was issued. E-seal is issued only to legal entities and, unlike e-signature, is not linked to a specific natural person; therefore can be used by any individual appointed by the head of legal entity. E-seals can be used in combination with electronic signatures but they are legally valid on their own too.
As in case of e-signature, a qualified e-seal requires qualified certificate, a pair of keys and qualified e-seal creation device (USB storage device).
The use of e-services is growing tremendously
The benefits of e-services that became evident over the last year are encouraging both the private and public sectors to develop innovative solutions to facilitate day-to-day processes. In 2020, the use of all e-services increased significantly. For example, the time stamping service provided by the Centre of Registers, which indicates exact time of e-document signing, was used 67.5 million times and this is three times more than in 2019.
At the same time, the signing of e-documents on the GoSign platform has grown almost 1.5 times in a year to 56 million units. This growth is undoubtedly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of quarantine as well, when many works and processes moved to the digital environment.