Estonian and Finnish commercial registers start exchanging data

Graphical visualization of the X-Road interoperability solution (image is illustrative).
Graphical visualization of the X-Road interoperability solution (image is illustrative). Source: Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions.

The commercial registers of Estonia and Finland on Friday started exchanging data over the X-Road, which enables the two registries to make inquiries to each other, reducing paperwork and fraud.

Deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Justice Viljar Peep said hopefully in the near future Estonian business operators will no longer have to file paper documents to the commercial register of Finland to prove their existence and right of representation.

"Estonia has taken the steps necessary for this on its part. The Estonian register will also check whether the data of the Finnish company is correct and the company exists. This reduces paperwork and improves security, as it is more difficult to commit fraud,"  Peep said. 

For the time being, only the persons engaging in the processing of commercial register data, who need the data for the performance of their work duties, have access to the data exchanged. Hence, the information will be used by the keepers of the register in the respective countries: the department of registers of the Tartu County Court in Estonia and the Patent and Registration Office in Finland. The data will not be forwarded or sold to third parties.

Siim Sikkut, deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Estonia's chief IT official, said that preparations for the exchange of data over X-Road between Estonia and Finland have been underway in both countries for several years already.

"The data exchange between commercial registers that has got underway is the first major result of this work, whose aim has been the integration of the digital services of Estonia and Finland," Sikkut said.

He said the two countries will move forward with exchanges and the joint use of information about activity licenses, population register data, health information, and similar. 

In May 2016, the prime ministers of Estonia and Finland signed a joint declaration on launching data exchanges and exchanges of e-services between the two countries.

The technical solution enabling exchanges of data between Estonia and Finland via their X-Roads, which allows for the implementation of cross-border e-services, was completed in February 2018.

Under the agreement on the exchange of commercial register data signed in February 2019, Estonia and Finland committed to mutually open their commercial register services to each other.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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