Zetes chosen to personalise Belgian eID
08 October 2018 16:04 GMT

Zetes announces that it has won two contracts that were put out to tender by the Belgian Ministry of the Interior: one for the production and personalisation of the eID, KidsID, residence permits and similar documents and the other, to issue the authentication and signature certificates that these documents contain.

These certificates provide a means to verify that the bearer of a card is in fact the person he/she claims to be in the course of an electronic transaction. It confers a legal character onto documents signed using the eID. 

Zetes has been producing and personalising the Belgian eID ever since the Belgian authorities initiated the project in 2003 - a world first at the time. Since then, our national ID card has become a worldwide benchmark, thanks to both the scope of the project and the quality of the document. Over the last 15 years, Zetes has taken a leading position in the ID and travel documents market and was therefore able to submit a cutting-edge and comprehensive bid in response to this latest call for tenders. Now, in addition to its original remit, Zetes will also be issuing authentication and signature certificates linked to the card, as specified in a second invitation to tender. 

To satisfy the European requirements concerning electronic signatures - better known as the eIDAS Regulation - certificates must be issued by a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP). This certification is obtained following extremely in-depth audits, for which Zetes has the necessary experience, now gathered in its new ZetesConfidens division. This division most notably offers public key infrastructure (PKI) services to issue certificates. 

Note that eIDAS is one of the measures adopted by the European Union for the purpose of creating a digital single market. Since the Belgian eID complies with this regulation, Belgian citizens and by extension companies, can carry out certain transactions with authorities or companies in other EU countries on line, with the guarantee that their ID document will be recognised and their digital signature will carry legal value.

In addition to issuing these certificates, which are essential to the implementation and management of eGovernment projects such as TaxOnWeb, Zetes will deliver a PKI for the protection of personal data on the contactless chip. This is a new component incorporated in this version of the eID in connection with the use of the card as a travel document. Due of this specific feature, both the chip and the PKI must comply with ICAO standards. Finally, Zetes has also been given responsibility for issuing eHealth certificates. These certificates, used in the public health sector, allow care service providers to interact with the eHealth platform.

The PKI chosen by Zetes for all these transactions is EJBCA by PrimeKey, which has been used with success in projects such as the Turkish passport and the eID in the Philippines.

Alain Wirtz, CEO of Zetes, says: "The Belgian eID is an iconic project for Zetes. Since the beginning, our partnership with the Belgian authorities has been extremely productive. It has allowed us to provide Belgian citizens with high-quality and very secure state-of-the-art electronic documents. We are delighted to be able to renew this collaboration, whilst also extending its scope." 

This is a ten-year contract. Zetes will therefore continue to supply ID cards to all Belgian citizens until 2028.