The Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic
Transactions Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/696), which implement the
Electronic Identification Regulation (eIDAS, which has applied
since 1 July 2016), came into force on 22 July 2016. The
regulations repeal the E-Signature Regulations 2002. The ICO is
appointed as the UK's supervisory body for the purposes of the
regulations and will be required to oversee trust service
providers' compliance and impose sanctions including fines of
Ł1000 for non-compliance.
The eIDAS Regulation:
lays down conditions for mutual recognition of electronic
sets out rules for trust services, in particular for electronic
creates a legal framework for electronic signatures, seals and
time stamps, electronic documents, electronic registered delivery
services and certificate services for website authentication.
Member States may choose to join the mutual recognition schemes
of e-identification as soon as the necessary implementing acts are
in place. The mandatory mutual recognition is expected to apply in
the latter half of 2018. Read more.
Law Society guidance
The introduction of eIDAS prompted a working party led by the
Law Society of England and Wales, to provide guidance on
e-Signatures, as we
reported in September. It has published a non-binding note
based on a full legal opinion by Mark Hapgood QC, setting out good
practice for the use of electronic signatures in business contracts
under UK law. The note sets out principles for determining whether
different types of contracts can be or have been validly signed
electronically as well as the evidential weight of electronic
signatures, conflict of law issues and other considerations.
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