FAQ - Filing

1. For filing the annual account, any valid eID may be used

In addition to the qualified certificates from Certipost, Globalsign and Isabel, annual accounts can be filed through the Internet using the authentication certificate appearing on the Belgian electronic identity card (eID) which is already in your possession or which you can request from your municipal authorities. Any valid eID may be used for filing the annual account.

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.

2. When paying by transfer, it is essential that the correct structured communication be mentioned

... so that the NBB can accept both the payment and the annual account(s). If you carry out the transfer using a homebanking or pc banking application, the screen on which the electronic transfer form is displayed, generally contains a zone for a free communication, as well as another zone for entering a structured communication.

If you use Isabel, however, only one 'Communication' zone is provided. In order to enter the structured communication in that zone, you must first type three plus signs '+++', followed by the figures of the structured communication (without any slashes nor plus signs at the end). The Isabel application will then accept and check the entered figures as a structured communication.

3. Payment of annual accounts within 7 days of the attribution of the "Awaiting payment" status

Since the NBB must make the relevant annual accounts available to third parties within the legal terms, these can only be accepted if the NBB has received the appropriate amount on its account, with the appropriate structured message, within seven calendar days of the date on which the status 'Wait for payment' has been assigned to the relevant annual accounts. The date on which such an annual account has been uploaded, will then be used by the Central Balance Sheet Office as the official date of deposit, even though the payment has not yet been received by the NBB on this date.

4. You wish to delete (an) annual account(s) you have uploaded, whatever the reason?

This can be done as long as the annual accounts are still in the 'Awaiting payment' or even in the 'Awaiting transfer' status. To do so, go to 'Follow-up', and then click on the link underneath the 'Awaiting payment' or 'Awaiting transfer' status. On the next screen, click on button 'Delete' in the bottom left-hand corner.

As soon as the annual account(s) is (are) in the 'Filing recorded' status, they can no longer be deleted. Only a corrected filing can then be carried out.

5. The annual accounts file is too big

As from 1 April 2015 new rules regulate the maximum size of XBRL an PDF files when filing annual accounts.

  1. For XBRL files the maximum admitted size has been raised from 2 MB to 3 MB.
  2. For PDF files the maximum size depends on the number of pages in the annual account:
  • less than 100 pages: maximum size is 3 MB (unchanged)

  • between 100 and 499 pages: maximum size is 10 MB

  • 500 pages or more: maximum size is 18 MB

When the maximum size exceeds 3 MB, this is most likely due to the size of the encapsulated reports in the form of a PDF file.

  1. Optimising the size of the PDF files with PDF writer (software)
    The annual report, the auditor's report and the shareholders structure can be transformed in PDF files using a (free) software. Any application providing a 'print to pdf' function will do. By searching for 'free pdf creator' on the internet, you will find the right software. Aftwerwards, these PDF files can be added to the XBRL file.
  2. Rules for scanning annual accounts in the form of paper

Annual accounts which are only available on paper must be scanned:

  • with a resolution of 300 dpi (lower resolutions will reduce the quality)

  • as text ('scan as text') and not as image ('scan as image')

6. Creating PDF files

In some cases, a filing includes not only an annual account, but other documents as well; the most common examples are the annual report and the auditors' report. When filing an annual account in the form of a pdf file, all these documents must be merged into one pdf file, so as to form a single filing entry. The following actions may be required for this purpose:

  • MERGING PDF FILES: in order to merge several pdf files into one new pdf file, a specific software application must be used. For free applications such as mergepdf.net or Quick PDF Tools, we recommend you to search for 'pdf merge freeware' on the internet. It is generally sufficient to select two or more files in the correct sequence: the application will then merge them, and you will be able to save the new pdf file on your computer.
  • EDITING PDF FILES: should you wish not only to merge several pdf files into one new pdf file, but also to edit the new file by
    • rearranging and/or removing pages
    • adding metadata such as the author's name, a title, a subject or keywords
    • adding bookmarks (e.g. at the beginning of the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the notes),

    then the afore-mentioned editing programs must offer additional features. For free applications such as PDFHammer or Adolix Split & Merge PDF, we recommend you to search for 'pdf merge rearrange freeware' on the internet.

7. Javascripts

For security reasons, it is not allowed for PDF-files containing the complete annual account or which are added to an annual account in the form of a structured data file, to contain javascripts. Some javascripts can indeed harm the computersystem of the National Bank. What should you do?

    • annual accounts made up according to a standard model may not contain any javascripts when you file them in the form of a structured datafile (XBRL-file) instead of a pdf-file; for this purpose, the Central Balance Sheet Office puts a free online application at your disposal
    • documents in the form of a pdf-file which can be added to a structured datafile (XBRL-file), such as the declaration concerning the structure of shareholders, the report of the commissioner and the annual report, may not contain any javascripts when you add them as text (thus without any graphic elements such as logos, signatures), instead of as a pdf-file; you only have to 'copy' the text of the report and 'paste' it in the appropriate part of the software with which you draw up you annual accounts
  • REMOVAL: you can remove javascripts with the optimize function in a pdf-editor; in most cases you must activate the function 'Discard All JavaScript Actions' in the pdf-editor; for free applications, we advise you to look for 'free pdf optimizer' on the internet.