ETSI eSignature testing event helps industry to comply with EU regulation

Sophia Antipolis, 22 July 2022

With the eIDAS Regulation, European Union Member States have put in place the necessary technical means to process electronically signed documents that are required when using an online service offered by, or on behalf of, a public sector body. In order to ensure that the cross-border dimension works in practice, testing needs to be done to mutually check Member States’ signatures against their existing digital signature validation applications.

ETSI has already organized four eSignature validation Plugtests events to perform these tests, with a growing success every time, as they help industry comply with the ETSI standards that are required by the regulation. The latest eSignature Validation Plugtests event, initially scheduled from 16 May to 10 June 2022, was extended twice at the participants’ request, and ended on 15 July. 111 organizations from 37 countries, and 165 people were involved in the event.

The interoperability testing allowed participants to test their digital signature validation tools and to cross-validate the ETSI electronic signatures/seals relying on EU Member States' trusted lists (based on ETSI TS 119 612 and ETSI TS 119 615), and according to the following standards, developed by the ETSI Technical Committee on Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures:

  • EN 319 102-1: Procedures for Creation and Validation of AdES Digital Signatures; Part 1: Creation and Validation
  • ETSI TS 119 102-2:  Procedures for Creation and Validation of AdES Digital Signatures; Part 2: Signature Validation Report
  • ETSI TS 119 172-4: Signature Validation Policy for European Qualified Electronic Signatures/Seals Using Trusted Lists

The testing covered the validation of the five main digital signature formats (XAdES, CAdES, PAdES, ASiC and, for the first time, JAdES). Over 37,000 tests were run, validating more than 1,000 different signatures.

In addition to the testing, the Plugtests event was an excellent opportunity to share experiences and exchange technical views on the specifications. The participants held technical discussions and have provided feedback. The ETSI team will gather all this input and will submit a report to the ETSI TC ESI for further standardization work, if required.