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Legal framework for electronic signatures

eIDAS regulation: new European regulation replaces national signature laws

In 2016, a new era in Europe begins for electronic signatures and trust services. Since 1 July 2016, the "regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market" (eIDAS) applies in all EU Member States, which means that national signature laws are now obsolete.

The aim of the regulation is to create a European framework for using electronic signatures, seals and time stamps and to enable uniform access to trust services in the newly created digital single market. Digital signatures, electronic seals and time stamps from e.g. German trust services will then be accepted in all EU Member States.

The differentiation between simple, advanced and qualified signatures will be largely retained. A new addition are electronic seals, which enable companies, public authorities and other organisations to furnish their outgoing digital correspondence with a uniform organisation signature. In addition, innovative remote signatures allow qualified signatures to be generated with the help of mobile phones. These two signature procedures will considerably facilitate the signing process. 

More about: remote signature / signing wiht mobile phones

More about: electronic seal / organization certificate