The electronic signature in the EU

Viafirma fully complies with the eIDAS regulation, the world’s strictest regulation in terms of digital identity and trust services

The main standard at a European level is Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 (eIDAS)  on electronic identification and trust services in electronic transactions in the domestic market and repealing Council Directive 1999/93/EC.

It lays down the conditions under which Member States must recognize the mechanisms used by natural and legal individuals for electronic identification, along with regulations for both trust services and the legal framework for e-signatures, as well as services like e-seals, timestamps,      e-documents, certified electronic communication service for web service authentication, which may all differ from the electronic authentication system used by each Member state. This standard has been in force since July 1 2016.

The Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 defines three types of electronic signatures:

  • Electronic Signature: An electronic signature, or e-signature, refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory.
  • Advanced electronic signature: the e-signature that must meet several requirements:
    • Uniquely identified to the signatory
    • Allow identification of the signatory.
    • Created using the electronic signature creation data, so the signatory can use under his sole control.
    • Linked to the data signed by the signatory so that any subsequent change in data is detectable
  • Qualified electronic signature: An advanced electronic signature that is created by a qualified signature creation device and which is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.

Viafirma solutions cater to these three legal modalities. The decision whether to use a simple, advanced or qualified signature strictly depends on the specific needs of our customers.

Article 25 of eIDAS reflects the legal effects of electronic signatures:

  1. 1.   An electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.

    2.   A qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.

    3.   A qualified electronic signature based on a qualified certificate issued in one Member State shall be recognised as a qualified electronic signature in all other Member States.

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