This article outlines the details of the PEPPOL PKI.
It shows how the PKI is structured and where it is used.
OpenPEPPOL PKI v3 - since 2018
During 2018 all PEPPOL certificates were replaced, because the underlying root certificate of PKI v2 is about to expire in January 2020.
The new PKI is called "OpenPEPPOL PKI v3" and the root certificates are valid from 2018 to 2028.
The structure is very similar to the old one, but the STS CA is not present any more. So this is how it looks like:
The migration process was as follows:
February 2018: the new root certificates are available for download in
16 April 2018: the certificate issuing process will begin and members are urged to request their PKI v3 certificate
31 August 2018: OpenPEPPOL will no longer issue the old certificate types
3 September 2018: the new certificates can be used in production
30 November 2018: the old (PKI v2) certificates will be revoked and cannot be used in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network anymore
For details and further information, please see the
DRAFT - Introduction to the revised PKI Certificate infrastructure and issuing process
PKI Certificate Migration 2018
The following list contains the migration status of the different software components I'm aware of.
Please send additional information to me, so I can add it here.
PEPPOL Directory done:
Supports both PKIs in parallel - both in test and production.
phoss SMP done:
version 5.0.4 and later do support both PKI v2 and PKI v3 in parallel.
Introduction to the PEPPOL PKI (v2, until 2018 - out of date)
All PEPPOL PKI v2 will be revoked soon, as new certificate were rolled out! Read details below.
The PEPPOL PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is an integral part of the
PEPPOL security model. It consists of two separate trees - one for pilot/test usage and one
for production usage.
See the following image for a fully fledged view of the complete PEPPOL PKI.
In the above image you see two root certificates - the pilot root and the production root.
These are the issuing certificates for the "AP Root" (AccessPoint),
the "SMP Root" (Service Metadata Publisher) and the "STS Root" (Secure Token Service - unused!).
Each AP and SMP certificate used in practice is based on the respective AP or SMP ROOT certificate
(see the red boxes ).
Certificate usage in PEPPOL
This section tries to give a rough overview where certificates are used for what purpose.
Uses the PEPPOL SMP certificate to sign responses to
Uses the PEPPOL SMP certificate as a client certificate when communicating with the SML
(for service group creation and deletion)
Requires the public part of the PEPPOL AP certificate for usage in the public
endpoints (the information that is queried from the outside).
Optionally uses the PEPPOL SMP certificate as a client certificate when communicating with the
PEPPOL Directory (for business card updates and deletions)
Verifies that the response from the SMP server was signed by a valid PEPPOL SMP certificate
AP Server (receiving documents)
Requires an SSL certificate for https usage.
This SSL certificate is NOT issued by PEPPOL but must be issued by a trusted
This SSL certificate should not be self-signed!
Verifies that the incoming document was signed with a PEPPOL AP certificate.
AP Client (sending documents)
Signs the AS2 message with the PEPPOL AP certificate.
Includes the public part of the certificate into the AS2 message.
- The SMK requires requests to contain an SMP Pilot Certificate to perform writing operations
- The SML requires requests to contain an SMP Production Certificate to perform writing operations
- The test PEPPOL Directory requires requests to contain an SMP Pilot Certificate to perform writing operations
- The production PEPPOL Directory requires requests to contain an SMP Production Certificate to perform writing operations
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