26.02.2019 The Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice Tõnis Saar and the Director General of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office Antti Riivari signed an agreement today in Helsinki, under which data shall hereinafter be exchanged between the business registers of the two countries.
“The agreement made today marks an important milestone that simplifies cross-border data exchange between the business register of the two neighbouring countries, and it also builds a solid foundation for our cooperation. Cross-border data exchange enables to offer more efficient public services to residents in a more convenient, faster and cheaper manner. Digital administration is so common in Estonia that we wish to also simplify these procedures in matters with our neighbouring country,” said Viljar Peep, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice.
By the agreement concluded, Estonia and Finland shall make information in business registers mutually available. The Finnish registrar of the business register shall forward to Estonian authorities and persons the same public data that is transferred to them and vice versa.
Data exchange between two countries shall take place via the X-road application. “It is the unique X-road application that makes the secure and simple data exchange between Estonian and Finnish authorities possible. X-road leaves record of any and all operations, making targeted data use easy to control,” emphasised Peep.
The information received shall be used by registrars of the business registers of both countries: Land Registry and Registration Department of Tartu County Court in Estonia and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office in Finland. The data exchanged can only be accessed by persons who are engaged in processing data in the business register and need this data to fulfil their duties. Data exchanged shall not be transferred to third persons. “This means that it is not a commercial service, but rather that data exchange provides state authorities better opportunities to organise their work,” explained Antti Riivari, Director General of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.
Currently, all necessary preparations have been completed for the launch of automatic data exchange, the x-road systems of Finland and Estonia have been linked and mutual function of services has been tested. Finnish and Estonian tax authorities have also opened their services to one another in a similar manner.
The Estonian and the Finnish Prime Minister signed a joint declaration in May 2016 in regard to the launch of data exchange and e-services between Estonia and Finland. On 7 May 2018, Estonian and Finnish governments held a joint session, during which it was decided that ongoing data exchange projects in the digital field shall be finished during 2019 at the latest. Data exchange between Estonian and Finnish business register is one such project.