THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,
After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),
Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (2),
Building trust in the online environment is key to economic and social development. Lack of trust, in particular because of a perceived lack of legal certainty, makes consumers, businesses and public authorities hesitate to carry out transactions electronically and to adopt new services.
This Regulation seeks to enhance trust in electronic transactions in the internal market by providing a common foundation for secure electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities, thereby increasing the effectiveness of public and private online services, electronic business and electronic commerce in the Union.
Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (3), dealt with electronic signatures without delivering a comprehensive cross-border and cross-sector framework for secure, trustworthy and easy-to-use electronic transactions. This Regulation enhances and expands the acquis of that Directive.
The Commission communication of 26 August 2010 entitled ‘A Digital Agenda for Europe’ identified the fragmentation of the digital market, the lack of interoperability and the rise in cybercrime as major obstacles to the virtuous cycle of the digital economy. In its EU Citizenship Report 2010, entitled ‘Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights’, the Commission further highlighted the need to solve the main problems that prevent Union citizens from enjoying the benefits of a digital single market and cross-border digital services.
In its conclusions of 4 February 2011 and of 23 October 2011, the European Council invited the Commission to create a digital single market by 2015, to make rapid progress in key areas of the digital economy and to promote a fully integrated digital single market by facilitating the cross-border use of online services, with particular attention to facilitating secure electronic identification and authentication.
In its conclusions of 27 May 2011, the Council invited the Commission to contribute to the digital single market by creating appropriate conditions for the mutual recognition of key enablers across borders, such as electronic identification, electronic documents, electronic signatures and electronic delivery services, and for interoperable e-government services across the European Union.
The European Parliament, in its resolution of 21 September 2010 on completing the internal market for e-commerce (4), stressed the importance of the security of electronic services, especially of electronic signatures, and of the need to create a public key infrastructure at pan-European level, and called on the Commission to set up a European validation authorities gateway to ensure the cross-border interoperability of electronic signatures and to increase the security of transactions carried out using the internet.
Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (5) requires Member States to establish ‘points of single contact’ (PSCs) to ensure that all procedures and formalities relating to access to a service activity and to the exercise thereof can be easily completed, at a distance and by electronic means, through the appropriate PSC with the appropriate authorities. Many online services accessible through PSCs require electronic identification, authentication and signature.
In most cases, citizens cannot use their electronic identification to authenticate themselves in another Member State because the national electronic identification schemes in their country are not recognised in other Member States. That electronic barrier excludes service providers from enjoying the full benefits of the internal market. Mutually recognised electronic identification means will facilitate cross-border provision of numerous services in the internal market and enable businesses to operate on a cross-border basis without facing many obstacles in interactions with public authorities.
Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (6) set up a network of national authorities responsible for e-health. To enhance the safety and the continuity of cross-border healthcare, the network is required to produce guidelines on cross-border access to electronic health data and services, including by supporting ‘common identification and authentication measures to facilitate transferability of data in cross-border healthcare’. Mutual recognition of electronic identification and authentication is key to making cross-border healthcare for European citizens a reality. When people travel for treatment, their medical data need to be accessible in the country of treatment. That requires a solid, safe and trusted electronic identification framework.
This Regulation should be applied in full compliance with the principles relating to the protection of personal data provided for in Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (7). In this respect, having regard to the principle of mutual recognition established by this Regulation, authentication for an online service should concern processing of only those identification data that are adequate, relevant and not excessive to grant access to that service online. Furthermore, requirements under Directive 95/46/EC concerning confidentiality and security of processing should be respected by trust service providers and supervisory bodies.
One of the objectives of this Regulation is to remove existing barriers to the cross-border use of electronic identification means used in the Member States to authenticate, for at least public services. This Regulation does not aim to intervene with regard to electronic identity management systems and related infrastructures established in Member States. The aim of this Regulation is to ensure that for access to cross-border online services offered by Member States, secure electronic identification and authentication is possible.
Member States should remain free to use or to introduce means for the purposes of electronic identification for accessing online services. They should also be able to decide whether to involve the private sector in the provision of those means. Member States should not be obliged to notify their electronic identification schemes to the Commission. The choice to notify the Commission of all, some or none of the electronic identification schemes used at national level to access at least public online services or specific services is up to Member States.
Some conditions need to be set out in this Regulation with regard to which electronic identification means have to be recognised and how the electronic identification schemes should be notified. Those conditions should help Member States to build the necessary trust in each other’s electronic identification schemes and to mutually recognise electronic identification means falling under their notified schemes. The principle of mutual recognition should apply if the notifying Member State’s electronic identification scheme meets the conditions of notification and the notification was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. However, the principle of mutual recognition should only relate to authentication for an online service. The access to those online services and their final delivery to the applicant should be closely linked to the right to receive such services under the conditions set out in national legislation.
The obligation to recognise electronic identification means should relate only to those means the identity assurance level of which corresponds to the level equal to or higher than the level required for the online service in question. In addition, that obligation should only apply when the public sector body in question uses the assurance level ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ in relation to accessing that service online. Member States should remain free, in accordance with Union law, to recognise electronic identification means having lower identity assurance levels.
Assurance levels should characterise the degree of confidence in electronic identification means in establishing the identity of a person, thus providing assurance that the person claiming a particular identity is in fact the person to which that identity was assigned. The assurance level depends on the degree of confidence that electronic identification means provides in claimed or asserted identity of a person taking into account processes (for example, identity proofing and verification, and authentication), management activities (for example, the entity issuing electronic identification means and the procedure to issue such means) and technical controls implemented. Various technical definitions and descriptions of assurance levels exist as the result of Union-funded Large-Scale Pilots, standardisation and international activities. In particular, the Large-Scale Pilot STORK and ISO 29115 refer, inter alia, to levels 2, 3 and 4, which should be taken into utmost account in establishing minimum technical requirements, standards and procedures for the assurances levels low, substantial and high within the meaning of this Regulation, while ensuring consistent application of this Regulation in particular with regard to assurance level high related to identity proofing for issuing qualified certificates. The requirements established should be technology-neutral. It should be possible to achieve the necessary security requirements through different technologies.
Member States should encourage the private sector to voluntarily use electronic identification means under a notified scheme for identification purposes when needed for online services or electronic transactions. The possibility to use such electronic identification means would enable the private sector to rely on electronic identification and authentication already largely used in many Member States at least for public services and to make it easier for businesses and citizens to access their online services across borders. In order to facilitate the use of such electronic identification means across borders by the private sector, the authentication possibility provided by any Member State should be available to private sector relying parties established outside of the territory of that Member State under the same conditions as applied to private sector relying parties established within that Member State. Consequently, with regard to private sector relying parties, the notifying Member State may define terms of access to the authentication means. Such terms of access may inform whether the authentication means related to the notified scheme is presently available to private sector relying parties.
This Regulation should provide for the liability of the notifying Member State, the party issuing the electronic identification means and the party operating the authentication procedure for failure to comply with the relevant obligations under this Regulation. However, this Regulation should be applied in accordance with national rules on liability. Therefore, it does not affect those national rules on, for example, definition of damages or relevant applicable procedural rules, including the burden of proof.
The security of electronic identification schemes is key to trustworthy cross-border mutual recognition of electronic identification means. In this context, Member States should cooperate with regard to the security and interoperability of the electronic identification schemes at Union level. Whenever electronic identification schemes require specific hardware or software to be used by relying parties at the national level, cross-border interoperability calls for those Member States not to impose such requirements and related costs on relying parties established outside of their territory. In that case appropriate solutions should be discussed and developed within the scope of the interoperability framework. Nevertheless technical requirements stemming from the inherent specifications of national electronic identification means and likely to affect the holders of such electronic means (e.g. smartcards), are unavoidable.
Cooperation by Member States should facilitate the technical interoperability of the notified electronic identification schemes with a view to fostering a high level of trust and security appropriate to the degree of risk. The exchange of information and the sharing of best practices between Member States with a view to their mutual recognition should help such cooperation.
This Regulation should also establish a general legal framework for the use of trust services. However, it should not create a general obligation to use them or to install an access point for all existing trust services. In particular, it should not cover the provision of services used exclusively within closed systems between a defined set of participants, which have no effect on third parties. For example, systems set up in businesses or public administrations to manage internal procedures making use of trust services should not be subject to the requirements of this Regulation. Only trust services provided to the public having effects on third parties should meet the requirements laid down in the Regulation. Neither should this Regulation cover aspects related to the conclusion and validity of contracts or other legal obligations where there are requirements as regards form laid down by national or Union law. In addition, it should not affect national form requirements pertaining to public registers, in particular commercial and land registers.
In order to contribute to their general cross-border use, it should be possible to use trust services as evidence in legal proceedings in all Member States. It is for the national law to define the legal effect of trust services, except if otherwise provided in this Regulation.
To the extent that this Regulation creates an obligation to recognise a trust service, such a trust service may only be rejected if the addressee of the obligation is unable to read or verify it due to technical reasons lying outside the immediate control of the addressee. However, that obligation should not in itself require a public body to obtain the hardware and software necessary for the technical readability of all existing trust services.
Member States may maintain or introduce national provisions, in conformity with Union law, relating to trust services as far as those services are not fully harmonised by this Regulation. However, trust services that comply with this Regulation should circulate freely in the internal market.
Member States should remain free to define other types of trust services in addition to those making part of the closed list of trust services provided for in this Regulation, for the purpose of recognition at national level as qualified trust services.
Because of the pace of technological change, this Regulation should adopt an approach which is open to innovation.
This Regulation should be technology-neutral. The legal effects it grants should be achievable by any technical means provided that the requirements of this Regulation are met.
To enhance in particular the trust of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers in the internal market and to promote the use of trust services and products, the notions of qualified trust services and qualified trust service provider should be introduced with a view to indicating requirements and obligations that ensure high-level security of whatever qualified trust services and products are used or provided.
In line with the obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approved by Council Decision 2010/48/EC (8), in particular Article 9 of the Convention, persons with disabilities should be able to use trust services and end-user products used in the provision of those services on an equal basis with other consumers. Therefore, where feasible, trust services provided and end-user products used in the provision of those services should be made accessible for persons with disabilities. The feasibility assessment should include, inter alia, technical and economic considerations.
Member States should designate a supervisory body or supervisory bodies to carry out the supervisory activities under this Regulation. Member States should also be able to decide, upon a mutual agreement with another Member State, to designate a supervisory body in the territory of that other Member State.
Supervisory bodies should cooperate with data protection authorities, for example, by informing them about the results of audits of qualified trust service providers, where personal data protection rules appear to have been breached. The provision of information should in particular cover security incidents and personal data breaches.
It should be incumbent on all trust service providers to apply good security practice appropriate to the risks related to their activities so as to boost users’ trust in the single market.
Provisions on the use of pseudonyms in certificates should not prevent Member States from requiring identification of persons pursuant to Union or national law.
All Member States should follow common essential supervision requirements to ensure a comparable security level of qualified trust services. To ease the consistent application of those requirements across the Union, Member States should adopt comparable procedures and should exchange information on their supervision activities and best practices in the field.
All trust service providers should be subject to the requirements of this Regulation, in particular those on security and liability to ensure due diligence, transparency and accountability of their operations and services. However, taking into account the type of services provided by trust service providers, it is appropriate to distinguish as far as those requirements are concerned between qualified and non-qualified trust service providers.
Establishing a supervisory regime for all trust service providers should ensure a level playing field for the security and accountability of their operations and services, thus contributing to the protection of users and to the functioning of the internal market. Non-qualified trust service providers should be subject to a light touch and reactive ex post supervisory activities justified by the nature of their services and operations. The supervisory body should therefore have no general obligation to supervise non-qualified service providers. The supervisory body should only take action when it is informed (for example, by the non-qualified trust service provider itself, by another supervisory body, by a notification from a user or a business partner or on the basis of its own investigation) that a non-qualified trust service provider does not comply with the requirements of this Regulation.
This Regulation should provide for the liability of all trust service providers. In particular, it establishes the liability regime under which all trust service providers should be liable for damage caused to any natural or legal person due to failure to comply with the obligations under this Regulation. In order to facilitate the assessment of financial risk that trust service providers might have to bear or that they should cover by insurance policies, this Regulation allows trust service providers to set limitations, under certain conditions, on the use of the services they provide and not to be liable for damages arising from the use of services exceeding such limitations. Customers should be duly informed about the limitations in advance. Those limitations should be recognisable by a third party, for example by including information about the limitations in the terms and conditions of the service provided or through other recognisable means. For the purposes of giving effect to those principles, this Regulation should be applied in accordance with national rules on liability. Therefore, this Regulation does not affect those national rules on, for example, definition of damages, intention, negligence, or relevant applicable procedural rules.
Notification of security breaches and security risk assessments is essential with a view to providing adequate information to concerned parties in the event of a breach of security or loss of integrity.
To enable the Commission and the Member States to assess the effectiveness of the breach notification mechanism introduced by this Regulation, supervisory bodies should be requested to provide summary information to the Commission and to European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).
To enable the Commission and the Member States to assess the effectiveness of the enhanced supervision mechanism introduced by this Regulation, supervisory bodies should be requested to report on their activities. This would be instrumental in facilitating the exchange of good practice between supervisory bodies and would ensure the verification of the consistent and efficient implementation of the essential supervision requirements in all Member States.
To ensure sustainability and durability of qualified trust services and to boost users’ confidence in the continuity of qualified trust services, supervisory bodies should verify the existence and the correct application of provisions on termination plans in cases where qualified trust service providers cease their activities.
To facilitate the supervision of qualified trust service providers, for example, when a provider is providing its services in the territory of another Member State and is not subject to supervision there, or when the computers of a provider are located in the territory of a Member State other than the one where it is established, a mutual assistance system between supervisory bodies in the Member States should be established.
In order to ensure the compliance of qualified trust service providers and the services they provide with the requirements set out in this Regulation, a conformity assessment should be carried out by a conformity assessment body and the resulting conformity assessment reports should be submitted by the qualified trust service providers to the supervisory body. Whenever the supervisory body requires a qualified trust service provider to submit an ad hoc conformity assessment report, the supervisory body should respect, in particular, the principles of good administration, including the obligation to give reasons for its decisions, as well as the principle of proportionality. Therefore, the supervisory body should duly justify its decision to require an ad hoc conformity assessment.
This Regulation aims to ensure a coherent framework with a view to providing a high level of security and legal certainty of trust services. In this regard, when addressing the conformity assessment of products and services, the Commission should, where appropriate, seek synergies with existing relevant European and international schemes such as the Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) which sets out the requirements for accreditation of conformity assessment bodies and market surveillance of products.
In order to allow an efficient initiation process, which should lead to the inclusion of qualified trust service providers and the qualified trust services they provide into trusted lists, preliminary interactions between prospective qualified trust service providers and the competent supervisory body should be encouraged with a view to facilitating the due diligence leading to the provisioning of qualified trust services.
Trusted lists are essential elements in the building of trust among market operators as they indicate the qualified status of the service provider at the time of supervision.
Confidence in and convenience of online services are essential for users to fully benefit and consciously rely on electronic services. To this end, an EU trust mark should be created to identify the qualified trust services provided by qualified trust service providers. Such an EU trust mark for qualified trust services would clearly differentiate qualified trust services from other trust services thus contributing to transparency in the market. The use of an EU trust mark by qualified trust service providers should be voluntary and should not lead to any requirement other than those provided for in this Regulation.
While a high level of security is needed to ensure mutual recognition of electronic signatures, in specific cases, such as in the context of Commission Decision 2009/767/EC (10), electronic signatures with a lower security assurance should also be accepted.
This Regulation should establish the principle that an electronic signature should not be denied legal effect on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements of the qualified electronic signature. However, it is for national law to define the legal effect of electronic signatures, except for the requirements provided for in this Regulation according to which a qualified electronic signature should have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.
As competent authorities in the Member States currently use different formats of advanced electronic signatures to sign their documents electronically, it is necessary to ensure that at least a number of advanced electronic signature formats can be technically supported by Member States when they receive documents signed electronically. Similarly, when competent authorities in the Member States use advanced electronic seals, it would be necessary to ensure that they support at least a number of advanced electronic seal formats.
It should be possible for the signatory to entrust qualified electronic signature creation devices to the care of a third party, provided that appropriate mechanisms and procedures are implemented to ensure that the signatory has sole control over the use of his electronic signature creation data, and the qualified electronic signature requirements are met by the use of the device.
The creation of remote electronic signatures, where the electronic signature creation environment is managed by a trust service provider on behalf of the signatory, is set to increase in the light of its multiple economic benefits. However, in order to ensure that such electronic signatures receive the same legal recognition as electronic signatures created in an entirely user-managed environment, remote electronic signature service providers should apply specific management and administrative security procedures and use trustworthy systems and products, including secure electronic communication channels, in order to guarantee that the electronic signature creation environment is reliable and is used under the sole control of the signatory. Where a qualified electronic signature has been created using a remote electronic signature creation device, the requirements applicable to qualified trust service providers set out in this Regulation should apply.
The suspension of qualified certificates is an established operational practice of trust service providers in a number of Member States, which is different from revocation and entails the temporary loss of validity of a certificate. Legal certainty calls for the suspension status of a certificate to always be clearly indicated. To that end, trust service providers should have the responsibility to clearly indicate the status of the certificate and, if suspended, the precise period of time during which the certificate has been suspended. This Regulation should not impose the use of suspension on trust service providers or Member States, but should provide for transparency rules when and where such a practice is available.
Cross-border interoperability and recognition of qualified certificates is a precondition for cross-border recognition of qualified electronic signatures. Therefore, qualified certificates should not be subject to any mandatory requirements exceeding the requirements laid down in this Regulation. However, at national level, the inclusion of specific attributes, such as unique identifiers, in qualified certificates should be allowed, provided that such specific attributes do not hamper cross-border interoperability and recognition of qualified certificates and electronic signatures.
IT security certification based on international standards such as ISO 15408 and related evaluation methods and mutual recognition arrangements is an important tool for verifying the security of qualified electronic signature creation devices and should be promoted. However, innovative solutions and services such as mobile signing and cloud signing rely on technical and organisational solutions for qualified electronic signature creation devices for which security standards may not yet be available or for which the first IT security certification is ongoing. The level of security of such qualified electronic signature creation devices could be evaluated by using alternative processes only where such security standards are not available or where the first IT security certification is ongoing. Those processes should be comparable to the standards for IT security certification insofar as their security levels are equivalent. Those processes could be facilitated by a peer review.
This Regulation should lay down requirements for qualified electronic signature creation devices to ensure the functionality of advanced electronic signatures. This Regulation should not cover the entire system environment in which such devices operate. Therefore, the scope of the certification of qualified signature creation devices should be limited to the hardware and system software used to manage and protect the signature creation data created, stored or processed in the signature creation device. As detailed in relevant standards, the scope of the certification obligation should exclude signature creation applications.
To ensure legal certainty as regards the validity of the signature, it is essential to specify the components of a qualified electronic signature, which should be assessed by the relying party carrying out the validation. Moreover, specifying the requirements for qualified trust service providers that can provide a qualified validation service to relying parties unwilling or unable to carry out the validation of qualified electronic signatures themselves, should stimulate the private and public sector to invest in such services. Both elements should make qualified electronic signature validation easy and convenient for all parties at Union level.
When a transaction requires a qualified electronic seal from a legal person, a qualified electronic signature from the authorised representative of the legal person should be equally acceptable.
Electronic seals should serve as evidence that an electronic document was issued by a legal person, ensuring certainty of the document’s origin and integrity.
Trust service providers issuing qualified certificates for electronic seals should implement the necessary measures in order to be able to establish the identity of the natural person representing the legal person to whom the qualified certificate for the electronic seal is provided, when such identification is necessary at national level in the context of judicial or administrative proceedings.
This Regulation should ensure the long-term preservation of information, in order to ensure the legal validity of electronic signatures and electronic seals over extended periods of time and guarantee that they can be validated irrespective of future technological changes.
In order to ensure the security of qualified electronic time stamps, this Regulation should require the use of an advanced electronic seal or an advanced electronic signature or of other equivalent methods. It is foreseeable that innovation may lead to new technologies that may ensure an equivalent level of security for time stamps. Whenever a method other than an advanced electronic seal or an advanced electronic signature is used, it should be up to the qualified trust service provider to demonstrate, in the conformity assessment report, that such a method ensures an equivalent level of security and complies with the obligations set out in this Regulation.
Electronic documents are important for further development of cross-border electronic transactions in the internal market. This Regulation should establish the principle that an electronic document should not be denied legal effect on the grounds that it is in an electronic form in order to ensure that an electronic transaction will not be rejected only on the grounds that a document is in electronic form.
When addressing formats of advanced electronic signatures and seals, the Commission should build on existing practices, standards and legislation, in particular Commission Decision 2011/130/EU (11).
In addition to authenticating the document issued by the legal person, electronic seals can be used to authenticate any digital asset of the legal person, such as software code or servers.
It is essential to provide for a legal framework to facilitate cross-border recognition between existing national legal systems related to electronic registered delivery services. That framework could also open new market opportunities for Union trust service providers to offer new pan-European electronic registered delivery services.
Website authentication services provide a means by which a visitor to a website can be assured that there is a genuine and legitimate entity standing behind the website. Those services contribute to the building of trust and confidence in conducting business online, as users will have confidence in a website that has been authenticated. The provision and the use of website authentication services are entirely voluntary. However, in order for website authentication to become a means to boosting trust, providing a better experience for the user and furthering growth in the internal market, this Regulation should lay down minimal security and liability obligations for the providers and their services. To that end, the results of existing industry-led initiatives, for example the Certification Authorities/Browsers Forum — CA/B Forum, have been taken into account. In addition, this Regulation should not impede the use of other means or methods to authenticate a website not falling under this Regulation nor should it prevent third country providers of website authentication services from providing their services to customers in the Union. However, a third country provider should only have its website authentication services recognised as qualified in accordance with this Regulation, if an international agreement between the Union and the country of establishment of the provider has been concluded.
The concept of ‘legal persons’, according to the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on establishment, leaves operators free to choose the legal form which they deem suitable for carrying out their activity. Accordingly, ‘legal persons’, within the meaning of the TFEU, means all entities constituted under, or governed by, the law of a Member State, irrespective of their legal form.
The Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies are encouraged to recognise electronic identification and trust services covered by this Regulation for the purpose of administrative cooperation capitalising, in particular, on existing good practices and the results of ongoing projects in the areas covered by this Regulation.
In order to complement certain detailed technical aspects of this Regulation in a flexible and rapid manner, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of criteria to be met by the bodies responsible for the certification of qualified electronic signature creation devices. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.
In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission, in particular for specifying reference numbers of standards the use of which would raise a presumption of compliance with certain requirements laid down in this Regulation. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (12).
When adopting delegated or implementing acts, the Commission should take due account of the standards and technical specifications drawn up by European and international standardisation organisations and bodies, in particular the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with a view to ensuring a high level of security and interoperability of electronic identification and trust services.
For reasons of legal certainty and clarity, Directive 1999/93/EC should be repealed.
To ensure legal certainty for market operators already using qualified certificates issued to natural persons in compliance with Directive 1999/93/EC, it is necessary to provide for a sufficient period of time for transitional purposes. Similarly, transitional measures should be established for secure signature creation devices, the conformity of which has been determined in accordance with Directive 1999/93/EC, as well as for certification service providers issuing qualified certificates before 1 July 2016. Finally, it is also necessary to provide the Commission with the means to adopt the implementing acts and delegated acts before that date.
The application dates set out in this Regulation do not affect existing obligations that Member States already have under Union law, in particular under Directive 2006/123/EC.
Since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of the scale of the action, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
The European Data Protection Supervisor was consulted in accordance with Article 28(2) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (13) and delivered an opinion on 27 September 2012 (14),