To make up an accounts file with Sofista or to file annual accounts via the Internet, you must have a valid digital certificate.
This digital certificate, in the form of a small file, should be used:
- as a key to access the Internet Applications which the Central Balance Sheet Office of the National Bank makes available, and which it wishes to protect against unauthorised use
- to ensure the identity of the user who makes up or uploads annual accounts with a digital signature, so that the National Bank can check that the files have not been altered during their time on the Internet
- to ensure that, once annual accounts have been uploaded, their processing status can be automatically monitored in subsequent sessions. One possible drawback that you should bear in mind is that, in order to be able to pay online for annual accounts with the status “Awaiting payment” in a subsequent session after the upload, you will have to use the same certificate as the one you used for the upload.
The following can be used as digital certificates:
- a qualified certificate from Certipost (although they are not for sale anymore, they still can be used until the date of expiration), a "PersonalSign 3 Pro Certificate" from Globalsign or a certificate from Isabel. These are the same certificates that are accepted in the e Government applications such as Intervat, Finprof, Dimona, DMFA and DRS. You can request one of these certificates via the website of the certification authorities in question.
- the authentication certificate found on the electronic identity card (eID) already in your possession or that you can ask for at your local community. Any valid eID can be used for the filing of annual accounts through the internet. More detailed information is available on the website of the federal government: http://eid.belgium.be/en.
How to use your eID-card in order to file annual accounts through the Internet:
- You must be in the possession of an eID-cardreader and the operating system for this cardreader.
- Your pc must have or be connected to an eID-cardreader, which will be the interface between the programmes on your pc and your eID. The eID-cardreader can be connected to your pc through a serial gate or an USB-gate, in order to obtain a maximum convenience to install the programme or the best performance. An eID-cardreader without its own keyboard or screen will be sufficient to file annual accounts through the internet.
The specific operating system ("driver") for your cardreader is included when you buy the machine or it can be downloaded from the supplier's or manufacturer's website. The operating system must be installed on the pc on which you intend to use the eID-cardreader.
- You must install the operating system for the eID.
- The operating system for the Belgian eID is called "Belgium Identity Card Run-Time" and can be downloaded free of charge from the following address: http://eid.belgium.be/en/.
- You must install this programme on your pc in order to read and use your eID in the language of your choice. After the installation, a new icon will appear on your desktop having the form of Belgium. On click, the programme will open and show the option "Certificates". Here you can register in your browser the authentificationnumber found on your eID allowing you to use the application "Filing of annual accounts through the internet".
- To ensure that the digital certificate functions correctly, we advise you to add the National Bank's website to the trusted websites list. You can do this via the security tab on your browser options by adding the url "*.nbb.be" to the list of websites.
- From a technical point of view you can now file annual accounts through the internet.
Extension or replacement of a digital certificate
- When a digital certificate is being extended or replaced, certain key figures of the certificate might undergo changes. Consequently, the information systems of the National Bank will not recognize the certificate as an extension of the existing certificate, but will consider this to be a fully new certificate.Therefore, when filing annual accounts, the access to the filing history connected to the previous certificate will be blocked, as well as the access to all deposits still in the status of "Wait for payment".
If this occurs, you will have to wait until the annual accounts filed with the previous certificate will be deleted automatically after 7 calendar days by the application "Filing annual accounts via the Internet". Only then the annual accounts can be filed with the new certificate, which could affect the charge that is applicable.
It is therefore recommended to pay all annual accounts who are in the status of "Wait for payment" in the application "Filing annual accounts via the Internet", before extending the duration of the digital certificate or before starting to use a new digital certificate.
- Finally, when replacing your eID, you should take into consideration that a new certificate can only be used after 3 days to file annual accounts through the Internet.
What should be done when problems arise with your digital certificate?
Should problems arise when using digital certificates, you can contact, according to the certificate used,
- Certipost, Isabel, Globalsign or the Service Population of your local community
- the Central Balance Sheet Office (e-mail: email@example.com, tel. 02 221 30 01, fax 02 221 32 66)