Transfer means the transfer of archival material from a fonds creator to an archive repository. Public bodies must transfer archival material for which a preservation decision has been taken. The main rule is that the material must be transferred 25 years after it was created, because it is then considered to no longer be in normal administrative use. Transfer involves the right of disposal over the material being transferred from the fonds creator to the archive repository. The archive repository will be responsible for maintaining the material in future and for making it available to users.

The transfer of physical fonds involves moving them from one storage location to another. The transfer of electronic archive material means that a transfer export is produced which consists of metadata and documents and that a copy of this export is sent to the archive repository. In most cases, electronic archive material will first be transferred as a deposit.  Its status will later change automatically to transfer when it is 25 years old. Upon deposition, the right of disposal concerning the material will remain with the fonds creator. In the case of transfer, the archive repository will take over the right of disposal. The distinction between transfer and deposition is entirely based on this right of disposal, and therefore also on the responsibility for all use of the solution. The technical and documentation requirements that are imposed on transfer exports are however identical for both deposition and transfer.

The arrangement with deposition before transfer has been established to ensure that transfer exports are prepared while the solutions are still in operational use. The reason why such early transfers of material are not also formalised as transfers is that the fonds creator must remain responsible for serving both himself and his own users. The archive repository cannot normally take over responsibility for the management of active solutions. The fonds creator can therefore not delete deposited material until it has been given the status “transferred”.

The change in status from deposition to transfer will in normal cases take place when the youngest part of the material is 25 years old. If the transfer export consists of year-based files, this change can take place gradually as each individual year reaches 25 years of age, where practicable.

Upon transition from deposition to transfer, it may be necessary to produce and transfer a new transfer export. This will be relevant if the information in the export has been corrected in the production system concerned during the deposition period, e.g. through disposals being carried out or through changes being made in the screening of metadata or documents. It is however assumed that the preparation of a data export for archiving will be organised so that it only covers closed parts or periods from the solution concerned.

It is the responsibility of the fonds creator concerned to respond to enquiries concerning the material while it is being stored by the archive repository with the status “Deposited”.