When do you need a time stamp?

When do you need a time stamp?

What is a time stamp and what is it for?

The use of the time stamp is part of the extensive process of dematerialisation and digitization of documents that favors the replacement of paper archives with computerized ones, ensuring greater efficiency, security and transparency.

A good definition of time stamp comes from the Italian In Italy CAD (Digital Administration Code), established on 7 March 2005 with Legislative Decree no. 82, that defines time validation as the “result of the IT procedure which attributes, to one or more IT documents, a date and time that can be opposed to third parties

What is the time stamp? Electronic time stamping is an IT procedure, by an accredited Time Stamping Authority (TSA) certifier, which combines a verifiable date and time with an IT document. This date and time certifies the certain existence of the document at a precise moment. Consequently, the affixing of the time stamp gives a digital document a time reference that can be opposed to third parties.

The time stamp can be used both on files without digital signature, thus conferring legal validity and a certain temporal location, and on those digitally signed, to demonstrate that the document had a specific form at that precise moment. In addition, the timestamp extends the time validity of the document beyond the duration of the digital signature (20 years).

Moreover, time stamps are valid throughout the European Union as they comply with the elDAS Regulation (electronic IDentification Authentication and Signature) – EU Regulation No. 910/2014 on digital identity.

How to create a timestamp and what information does it contain?

The operation of the time stamp is based on the cryptographic hash function that generates a particular type of computer imprint, called hash imprint. This is a sequence of letters and numbers that uniquely identify a computer document.

The time stamp can have different formats. The most popular is certainly the PDF extension that allows you to incorporate both the digital signature and the time stamp.

A timestamp contains the following information:

  • Identification of the issuer;
  • Serial number;
  • Subscription algorithm;
  • Identification of the certificate relating to the time stamp verification key;
  • Time reference of the time stamp generation;
  • Identification of the hash function used to generate the imprint of the time validated document;
  • Footprint value of the document.

Purchase of time stamps: when are they needed?

As we have already said, the affixing of a time stamp allows you to associate a legally certain date and time to an electronic document. These date and time are legally enforceable against third parties. Therefore, time stamping is necessary in cases such as:

  • Credit issuance requests;
  • Medium-long term loans for businesses;
  • Requests for advance payments relating to supplies / exports;
  • Risk assessment document;
  • Web invoices;
  • Purchase orders;

Namirial solutions for time stamps

With Namirial you can buy time stamp packages, valid throughout the European Union, even without a signature. You can choose the most suitable:

  • Batch of 100 time stamps: € 00 + VAT;
  • Batch of 500 time stamps: € 00 + VAT;
  • Batch 1000 time stamps: € 00 + VAT;
  • Batch of 5000 time stamps: € 00 + VAT.

If these packages do not meet your needs, you can request a commercial contact to get a personalized offer.

The main advantages of the Namirial timestamp:

  • Easy to use: install the Firmacerta software, select the document on which to place the time stamp and choose the format. You can also use the Signature and Brand feature;
  • Certain date and time: Namirial receives the document (or its imprint) and adds the date and time, obtaining a dated imprint based on Coordinated Universal Time;
  • Validity throughout Europe: Namirial time stamps are legally recognized throughout Europe as per eIDAS regulation.

The time to which the Namirial time stamps refer is Coordinated Universal Time, and is constantly updated with IRMIN (National Institute of Meteorological Research) and with the GPS system. A digitally signed and time-stamped document has a higher legal value than the paper correspondent with handwritten signature.

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