Electronic signature in Panamá

Electronic signature in Panama

Updated in October 2023

Types of electronic signature with Viafirma

The legal framework of electronic signature in Panama is defined by two laws and an Executive Decree: the Law 51 of 22 July 2008, the Law 82 of 9 November 2012  and the Executive Decree 684 of 18 October 2013. According to these regulations, electronic signatures and qualified electronic signatures are referred to as.

  • The electronic signature is defined as: ‘A set of sounds, symbols or data linked to an electronic document, which has been adopted or used by a person with the precise intention of identifying himself and accepting or adhering to the content of an electronic document’.
  • A qualified electronic signature is an electronic signature that also meets the requirements of an electronic signature and is additionally supported by a qualified digital certificate.

Panamanian legislation is a little different from the rest of Latin American legislation, since the validity of the electronic signature depends on the importance of the document. In this way, it is generally considered that an electronic signature would be sufficient, however, in cases where the signature is required to be made under oath, a qualified electronic signature would be required.

Electronic signature in Panamá

 

Updates on electronic signatures in Panamá

 

In 2023, Panama underwent significant changes to its e-signature regulatory framework, with a focus on the security and authenticity of digital transactions. These updates seek to massify the use of electronic signatures in Panama and promote trust in the use of electronic signatures, improving efficiency in business processes and strengthening Panama’s position as an active participant in the digital era.

The updates to the regulatory framework for electronic signatures in Panama are as follows:

  • Changes in the obligations of private electronic certificate providers.

Con el Decreto Ejecutivo 13-2023 y la Resolución DG-175-2023 (del 25 de julio de 2023) se han modernizado las obligaciones que deben cumplir los prestados de certificados electrónicos privados. Con estas incorporaciones normativas se busca garantizar la seguridad y protección de los usuarios finales, así como la confiabilidad y validez de la firma electrónica en Panamá, a través de la instauración de estándares más elevados .

  • Digital certificates in the cloud

Thanks to Resolution DG-033-2023 (26 January 2023), digital certificates can be stored in the cloud, making the process faster and easier for the user. Citizens will now be able to access their certificates and sign documents with qualified electronic signatures on a mobile device.

  • Establishment of the Independent Technical Commission

With the Resolution DG-176-2023 (of 26 July 2023) the creation of the Independent Technical Commission has been introduced, which assumes the task of evaluating the certifiers interested in registering in Panama. This entity is in charge of verifying the compliance of certifiers with the current legal requirements, thus ensuring the quality and safety of the services provided to Panamanian citizens.

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