New EU electronic signature laws must be implemented by July 2016 – is your organisation ready?


It’s finally here. The European Union’s regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions (eIDAS) is poised to provide the security standard and liberating convenience for a wide variety of activities such as submitting tax declarations, opening remote bank accounts, setting up businesses in other EU member-states, authenticating for Internet payments, and so much more.

Enacted in September 2014, eIDAS ensures that organisations and businesses, as well as citizens, will be able to conduct trusted secure transactions digitally while using the latest technologies, such as cloud and mobile, to enhance corporate efficiency, personal productivity and government services.

With the adoption of eIDAS, the EU is creating a pan-European market for eTS – electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamps, electronic delivery service, and website authentication – ensuring that they will work across borders and have the same legal status as traditional paper-based processes.

These changes will help increase the effectiveness of public and private online services and electronic commerce.

These changes will help increase the effectiveness of public and private online services and electronic commerce.  Mutual recognition and legal acceptance of electronic identification and authentication are essential for opening up cross-border commerce and services for all EU citizens. Millions of transactions between people, businesses and governments will now be conducted digitally minus all that paper! Processes that normally take days or weeks, often requiring personal appearances for signatures, will be able to go all-digital at Internet speed.

The eIDAS regulation will supersede the electronic signature laws in all European countries and must be implemented across the EU by July 2016. As organisations must put measures in place to comply, they’ll do well to ensure that the solution they choose has been awarded the FIPS 140-2 level 3 and Common Criteria EAL4+ certifications, proving successful completion of all testing of hardware and software security. It must also comply with industry and governmental regulations such as ESIGN, FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and many more. Another worthy consideration is ensuring that the solution comes with pre-built connectors for leading ID management, document management and document authoring applications. This allows organisations to add electronic signing while preserving their existing business processes – as well as ensure continuity. This of course also means that the solution can be easily and quickly deployed.

Aside from the regulatory compulsion to comply with the electronic signature laws, there is business value in doing so – efficiency as well as cost and risk reduction.

Aside from the regulatory compulsion to comply with the electronic signature laws, there is business value in doing so – efficiency as well as cost and risk reduction. Electronic signature solutions today offer powerful signer management controls while supporting faster document turnaround times and reduced costs.

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