Antwerp Port Authority Partners with GlobalSign to meet eVAT Legislation

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GlobalSign solution combines Digital ID and high volume timestamping solution to meet Belgium's eVAT compliancy regulations.

DocumentSign is not only a cost effective and easy solution for businesses to use, but is also compliant with European e-VAT legislation.

GlobalSign, one of the longest established Certification Authorities (CA) and specialists in SSL Certificates and Digital Identities for securing PDF documents, has today announced the success of the Antwerp Port Authority project, designed to meet the requirements of Circulaire nr AOIF 16/2008 (E.T.112.081) for the creation and retention of e-invoices. In January 2004 the European Directive on invoicing (EC/115/2001) came into effect with 25 European member states, including Belgium, implementing the directive into their local VAT legislation; the resultant Circulaire was released in Belgium on the 13th May 2008.

Across Europe eVAT rules apply to both the supplier and to the recipient of goods and services. The supplier is obliged to select a technology that guarantees the authenticity and integrity of the e-invoice created - authenticity assures the message content was actually created by the person or legal entity that signed it, and integrity shows that no changes could have been made to the content of the e-invoice during transit without detection. Conversely it is up to the recipient to ensure the e-invoice is stored in such a way as to be assured of the authenticity and integrity during the storage period (7 years in Belgium).

Recognising the advantages of VAT corporate governance through e-invoicing, including reduced paperwork, reduced costs, as well as improved customer relations and greater operational efficiencies, the Port Authority sought a solution that would comply with current legislation. Stakeholders in the project also recognised the need to reduce their carbon footprint across the supply chain and therefore welcomed the initiative.

As an authorised participant in Adobe's Certified Document Services (CDS) programme, GlobalSign's DocumentSign solution enables the Port Authority to digitally sign their PDF documents and to embed the trust status of the e-invoice and the creation time for recipients to easily view and store. The solution leveraged the expertise of GlobalSign, Adobe and SafeNet to offer a compelling proposition to the Antwerp Port Authority to meet their e-invoicing requirements.

"We needed a reliable partner to generate added value for our business and for our customers", said Jan Goossens, Software Development Manager, Antwerp Port Authority. "GlobalSign, with its extensive security expertise and leading technology is the best choice to prove the authenticity of our invoices and bring peace of mind to us and all our customers."

"We've seen a marked increase in the number of projects across the whole of Europe in recent months as the worldwide economic climate causes enterprises both large and small to re-evaluate their invoicing processes to drive down costs and remain competitive," said Steve Roylance, Business Development Director, GlobalSign. "DocumentSign is not only a cost effective and easy solution for businesses to use, but is also compliant with European e-VAT legislation."

Background on the Antwerp Port Authority
The Antwerp Port Authority offers an ideal gateway to Europe with future expansion plans in place to meet the 8% increase on freight year on year through its central European location on the Belgium coast. Antwerp is currently the second largest port in Europe and the fourth largest in the world with 170 million tonnes of freight volume. More than 200 forwarding companies based in Antwerp help to secure shipping contracts across multiple market sectors including steel, fruit, coffee and tobacco. Numerous stevedoring companies handle more than 16,000 seagoing ships and 65,000 barges annually that call at the port.

Background on the three way partnership for success - GlobalSign, Adobe and SafeNet
In 2003 Adobe Systems Inc took the visionary steps and created a compliant solution known as Certified Document Services (CDS) to address the growing need for document Authenticity and Integrity across multiple markets. The key components of the service leverage core skills from Certification Authorities such as GlobalSign to deliver digital identities to organizations under a defined certificate practice statement including certificate status information and secure time information. SafeNet Luna SA hardware security module (HSM) is used to store digital signatures and protect cryptographic keys. SafeNet HSMs provide reliable protection against compromise for applications and information assets to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce the risk of legal liability, and improve profitability. Both elements are essential to the overall framework of the CDS solution aiding the Port authority to meet the requirements of the directive.

About GlobalSign
Established in 1996 and as a WebTrust accredited public certificate authority, GlobalSign offers publicly trusted SSL, including EV SSL Certificates, S/MIME and Code Signing Certificates for use on all platforms including mobile devices. Its Trusted Root solution uses the widely distributed GlobalSign Root CA certificates to provide immediate PKI trust for Microsoft CA and enterprise CAs, eliminating the costs associated with using untrusted Root Certificates. Its partnership with Adobe to provide Certified Document Services (CDS) enables secure digitally signed PDF e-documents, transcripts and e-invoices. These core Digital Certificate solutions allow its thousands of customers to conduct secure online transactions and data transfer, distribute tamper-proof code, and bind identities to client certificates for email security and remote two factor authentication. The company has a history of innovation within the online security market and has offices in the US, UK, Belgium, Japan, and China.

About GMO Internet Group
GMO Internet Group, headquartered in Japan, is a leading force in the Internet industry offering one of the most comprehensive ranges of Internet services worldwide. The group holds top domestic market share in domain registration, web hosting, and payment processing and provides a host of other Internet services including global online security services, e-commerce solutions, and Internet advertising to both businesses and individuals. At the centre of the group is GMO Internet, Inc. a company listed on the prestigious first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE: 9449). Please visit for further details.

For further details please contact:
Steve Waite                
GlobalSign Ltd                
+44 1622 766766            


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