eIDAS, new European regulation simplifies signature-based electronic transactions


eIDAS, new European regulation simplifies signature-based electronic transactions

The Civil Code permits the conclusion of contracts and the signing of other documents electronically even today.

The new regulation concerning electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation), which in the Member States harmonizes the requirements for the mutual acknowledgement of electronic identification, enters into validity throughout Europe in July of this year.  

The eIDAS regulation is the first actual step of the European Commission in the Digital Single Market strategy which should become a reality in the EU by 2020. It aims at simplifying electronic business as well as all cross-border transactions.

For example, thanks to eIDAS, companies should be able to participate in public tenders in other Member States much easier without the need to deal with paper documents. Students from any EU country should be able to apply for studies in a university for instance in Germany without travelling there “to take care of papers.” And taxpayers can complete and submit tax returns from a location in a different EU country.

This new legislation repeals the existing European directive concerning electronic signatures as well as national laws which were adopted by individual EU countries on its basis. Thus, the Act on Electronic Signatures will be repealed in many EU member states.

The applicable national laws concerning electronic signatures were not mutually compatible, which according to the European Commission complicated cross-border transactions. Unsuitable laws in some countries even hindered electronic transactions. Therefore the Commission strives for the harmonization of the interpretation of the definition of the term, electronic signature.  

“The eIDAS regulation establishes the principle that electronic signatures should not be considered as invalid  and cannot be rejected in legal proceedings because they are in electronic form or because they fail to comply with the conditions for guaranteed electronic signatures,” explained Zuzana Hečko from the Allen & Overy law office at the event called “eSignature in 2016 – Challenges and Opportunities” organized by Anasoft.

The conditions for valid written acts are established in the Civil Code and this legislation shall not be amended by the entry of eIDAS.

The first condition which must be complied with in order for a signature to be valid is that it must be carried out by the acting person. The medium does not matter, i.e., if the person in question signs on paper or on tablet, for example.  

The second condition is the capturing of the content of this legal act. It means that it is necessary to ensure that the content of the signed document and the digital signature were captured and locked in a file without the possibility of subsequent modifications.   

The third condition is the identification of the person who carried out the legal act; this can be done by affixing the signer’s first name and surname next to the signature. 

SIGNATUS - paperless office software

Today, all three conditions can be met by using a specialized software tool such as SIGNATUS. This is the solution for handwritten digital signing which is extremely safe as well as fully compliant with the requirements of legislation.   

SIGNATUS, in combination with tablets which can record signatures with a stylus pen on the screen, will join the signature with biometric elements with the signed document, a contract for example. It reminds customers of the manner of signing with which they are familiar. Everything is in front of them to allow them to check the data. The only difference is that they are not signing on paper but on the electronic document directly in the tablet.

Today we commonly encounter such electronic signing at banks, when going to see telecommunication operators and in contact with insurance companies. However even smaller companies are discovering the benefits of electronic signing.

“Not because the costs for the technology have dropped to the level when indeed anybody can afford it. The reason is especially in the obvious benefits which electronic signing brings in comparison with paper, “ says Tomáš Klimeš, product  sales manager from Anasoft. This includes the complete elimination of paper, making corporate processes more effective and accelerating the business cycle. 


LEARN MORE about eidas:

Sign of the Times: EU Regulation, eIDAS Provides More Signing Options

E-Signature Need-to-Knows for Global Business