The electronic mailbox is intended for electronic communication of citizens and companies of the Slovak Republic. What do we mean by electronic communication? It is the delivery of electronic documents to the e-box and the sending of electronic submissions. You no longer have to constantly check whether the delivery notification with the opening hours of your local post office was deliver to your mailbox. This electronic mailbox fully replaces the delivery of paper documents, but you still can deliver them in a traditional way or as a registered letter.
Electronic mailbox – why use it?
An electronic mailbox is not as mailbox which overflows with letters and envelopes. The growth of the electronic mailbox in modern society brings greater efficiency and speed of communication, or simplification of work with data, messages and documents . The slow but sure demise of the paper form of communication can be difficult, especially for the older generations, and it is hard to get used to, but the constant evolution is bringing simplification and greater efficiency and speed of tasks to the world. Time and efficiency therefore play in favour of electronic mailboxes. We are moving from plain, white, ink-written paper in the electronic age to the world of electronic mail and mailboxes with unlimited access, one hundred percent privacy and security. In addition, it offers simplification and convenience – you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to write anything down, you can access your electronic mailbox from anywhere. Of course, only where you have a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and an internet connection. Another integral aspect is your ID card with chip (eID) , or an alternative authenticator.
In addition to being essentially a full replacement for a physical mailbox, the electronic mailbox has additional uses. One of them is to speed up the process of communication between state institutions and individuals, legal entities and, of course, tradesmen. The state is obliged to communicate with you electronically since the 1st of July 2017, and all state bodies currently send documents to the electronic mailbox. Exceptions are authorities that use their own portals for communication and delivery to the electronic mailbox. Access to electronic mailboxes, their functions and possibilities of use may vary slightly. For companies and legal entities, setting up an electronic mailbox is mandatory, as is regularly checking and handling it. It is possible to use the electronic mailbox directly on the public administration portal – e.g. www.slovensko.sk. If you are a legal entity, the state has automatically set up an electronic mailbox for you for the delivery of messages and documents since the 1st of July 2017.
In brief: electronic mailbox is a simple way for businesses, organisations and citizens to communicate effectively with public authorities. The mailboxes are owned by the state and are intended to make communication between the citizen and the state more efficient and easier. Nobody has to rush to the post office, everything can be done with the help of a chip ID card, which is issued automatically nowadays. However, the citizen must individually arrange his or her electronic signature when receiving the new ID card. Electronic decisions are delivered to the activated electronic mailbox with the same legal effect as if you had received a postal summons into your own hands.
How do I set up and access my e-wallet?
Setting up your own electronic mailbox is simple and intuitive. After the age of 18, a citizen must apply for the establishment of an electronic mailbox, companies and legal entities have their mailboxes established on an ongoing basis according to the relevant registers (e.g. the Business Register). A citizen of the Slovak Republic does not have his/her own mailbox established for delivery automatically, if he/she is a natural person. The citizen must individually request the activation of the electronic mailbox. In short – in his/her mailbox he/she has a top button Activate mailbox. After this activation, the mailbox is functional immediately. After activation, the public authority can already deliver electronic official decisions to you, but if you do not have an activated mailbox, the authority is obliged to deliver documents to you by paper. Self-employed – natural persons are obliged to communicate with the financial administration via the electronic mailbox.
In the territory of the Slovak Republic, access to the electronic mailbox is mediated by the slovensko.sk portal. Access to the personal electronic mailbox using the portal is via an electronic ID card with a chip. This must then be inserted into a card reader, which provides a connection to a computer or connects to the mobile application Slovensko (generates private tokens). The procedure is very simple and the portal and the design of the electronic mailbox is intuitive, retaining its uncomplicated appearance of a common email inbox that we all use (e.g. Gmail.com, azet.sk, seznam.sk….). The slovensko.sk website also has a mobile application, which makes access to the electronic mailbox easier and more compact.
When a message is received in your mailbox, allows you to receive a notification to your email address or directly to your phone number. However, this notification cannot contain directly the data of the received message. You will only receive a short notification that something has arrived. Just like it used to be standard at the post office with a delivery notification in paper form.
Since the 1st of June 2020 it is obligatory to activate electronic mailboxes used for delivery automatically by the law on e-government of legal entities that are not registered in the Business Register of the Slovak Republic (foundations, civil associations, non-investment funds, employers’ organizations, etc..).
Safety features – basic information
There are many security features that need to be met for access, which is why more and more companies are outsourcing the management of their electronic mailbox through other companies that offer such solutions. The use of external services offers significant time savings and simplified access to the contents of the electronic mailbox. It can be accessed on any device and from anywhere. However, it is important to note that without an ID card it is only possible to work with the content of the electronic mailbox. If you want to use another electronic service, for example to apply or to change data, a chip card and a reader for authentication are required.
I want someone else to manage my mailbox, is that even possible?
If you voluntarily choose not to manage your electronic mailbox, the solution is to authorise a trusted person to handle your documents. Here, we will only point out that the choice of the responsible person or company should be considered as it handles your personal, sensitive documentation between you and the state or legal authorities. The person authorised by you must have an ID card with a chip together with a security code. In this case, there is one more option – and that is a proof of residence with a code and a chip and a personal security code, or another kind of authenticator with an electronic chip and a code.
What if I’m comfortable with the physical method and yellow slips in the post?
If you are a natural person, this is possible. An entrepreneur registered in the Commercial Register of the Slovak Republic is obliged to have an e-wallet. The only disadvantages may include that you must have an eID, a chip and you have to pay an activation fee. If your mailbox is managed by a company or other body, you have to pay additionally to whoever manages your mailbox. For information on fees and price lists please visit the external company websites.
The price of an electronic mailbox – what does it depend on?
On this issue, the price of the electronic mailbox is the same for individuals and legal entities. The price has recently undergone a reform, so the new rule is that the size is automatically free of choice. In the recent past, it was still the case that storage up to 1GB was provided by the portal completely free of charge. However, the capacity may not have been sufficient for the volume of messages received, so an increase was possible. The increase in capacity for the user was by default from 10 €/1GB one-time . The 2023 reform defined, that from the 1st of August 2023 there is no need to pay a fee to increase the storage capacity of the electronic mailbox. The size of the electronic mailbox will be automatically given to all by the available capacity of the Central Portal of Public Administration (slovensko.sk) without any request and without payment of a fee.
What problems can occur?
Mistakes can happen everywhere, and e-services are no exception. Problems can arise within the electronic mailbox, even though every effort is made to eliminate them. However, they cannot be eliminated completely.
Badly entered data
A very common problem that occurs with all users is data. If the data in the commercial register is not correctly entered or the user’s birth number is not correctly entered in the database, access to the mailbox is denied. There arises the problem of access itself. Even though you are entering your birth number correctly, if there is a typo in the database, you have no choice but to address the situation with a competent employee. However, this is the fault of the competent authority and not yours. The security is so reliable that it cannot be bypassed as with a conventional e-mail box by resetting the password on your phone. This is where the e-wallet is exceptional.
The legal entity has the electronic mailbox set up automatically and is obliged to dispose of it. If it does not respond to an e-communication from the State and government, it directly exposes itself to the risk that a State electronic document may be delivered to the mailbox. This may be a court decision, a decision of another State authority, a notice of arrears, etc. If the entity does not operate with the mailbox, it has no way of learning about the message and taking the necessary steps, or it fails to comply with its obligations under the legal-binding decision. There are no obligations or penalties for individuals and small businesses with respect to the e-Deposit Box.
Mailbox access – who can get them and how?
The electronic mailbox allows access to other people, which is particularly useful for businesses where the statutory representatives can authorise access to certain employees, such as secretaries. There are two types of access that can be granted: full and partial. Full access means that the authorised person has full rights to dispose of all aspects of the electronic mailbox, including reading, writing, deleting and managing folders. With partial access, permissions are limited and depend on what they are allowed to do. It is possible to only allow them access to certain folders and define what actions they can perform in those folders.
In order to grant access, the person must go to the Settings section of their mailbox and select the Person Permissions section. You then choose whether to add permissions to an individual or a legal entity. Then, they will fill out a simple form requesting to submit and confirm with a security code. After granting access to the electronic mailbox, the user can manage all granted permissions in the Settings section, specifically in the Person Permissions section. Here it is possible to revoke access to authorised persons or change the scope of their permissions if they have partial access. This functionality provides large organisations with better control over access to important documents and communications in the electronic mailbox. It allows them to grant rights to individuals based on their needs and ensure that only authorised individuals have access to sensitive information. In this way, the flow of information can be organised efficiently and the security of communications within the organisation can be ensured.
Deleting the mailbox
The electronic mailbox may only be terminated in the event of the dissolution of the legal entity or the death of the user, after 3 years from the date of notification to the relevant founder from the reference register. Deactivation is the only way to suspend its function.
It is also possible to deactivate the mailbox by letter, online in the “Forms” section. Deactivation is also possible via an electronic request, which is available directly in the electronic mailbox in the “Settings” section under “Mailbox Information”. Under ‘Mailbox status’ there is an option to ‘Deactivate mailbox’. Once the mailbox is deactivated, you no longer have access to it and you will have to re-create it if you wish.