There are many formalities and legal requirements to be observed in electronic business transactions, just like in traditional processes. An electronic timestamp must be added to documents and data for which specific deadlines must be observed or for which an expiration date is definitive. It confirms that a document was submitted in the stipulated form at a specific point in time.
The basis of legally binding electronic communication was created with the German Signature Act (SigG) and the corresponding ordinance. In addition to electronic signatures, the German Signature Act defines the so-called qualified timestamp and specifies the technical and organisational regulations for its generation. This way, electronic documents with qualified timestamps are just as conclusive and legally binding as paper records. As a result of the stringent legal requirements, qualified timestamps can only be issued by providers of certification services. These are usually trust centres which are compliant with the German Signature Act.