Obligation for electronic archiving from 1 January 2024.

Electronic archiving for reliable storage

The Regulation pertaining to electronic archiving in Serbia applies specifically to creators and owners of archival and documentary material in electronic form, encompassing both legal and natural persons engaged in economic and non-economic activities. While legal entities may face penalties for non-compliance, no sanctions are anticipated for natural persons or entrepreneurs under current provisions.

Electronic archiving obligations primarily concern documentary material produced in electronic format after January 1, 2024. Printed documents are not mandated for scanning unless they are digitized to possess the same evidentiary force as the original. However, the method of digitization must adhere to specific procedures outlined by the Law on electronic document, electronic identification, and trusted services in electronic business.

Digitization, as defined by this law, involves converting non-electronic documents into electronic form, ensuring they hold equal evidentiary weight as the original. This process requires supervision by authorized individuals or entities and confirmation of identity through qualified electronic seals or signatures.

The frequency of electronic archiving, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or annually, lacks explicit regulation presently. However, it is expected to align with timelines established by the Act on Archival Material and Archival Activities, most likely being conducted at the year’s commencement for the preceding calendar year.

Regarding software for electronic archiving, public sector entities will utilize the state eArchive platform, yet details about its development and operation remain undisclosed. In contrast, private sector entities have the option to use paid solutions by engaging qualified electronic document storage service providers or opt for unpaid solutions using auxiliary software, fulfilling the obligation of reliable electronic storage.

Differentiating between reliable storage and qualified electronic storage, the former can be implemented by the material’s owner or creator, complying with specific procedures ensuring validation through qualified electronic signatures or seals. On the other hand, only registered qualified electronic document storage service providers can perform qualified electronic storage, although entities possessing adequate resources or suitable software solutions can fulfill their obligations without engaging such services.

For long-term storage eligibility, electronic documents must comply with prescribed formats suitable for extended retention, ensuring compliance with archival standards.

Understanding and adhering to these guidelines is crucial for entities navigating the landscape of electronic archiving in Serbia, ensuring compliance with regulations while effectively managing their documentary material in electronic form.

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