EU regulation on electronic signatures comes into effect

From 1 July 2016, new EU rules on electronic signatures, seals, timestamps, electronic delivery service and website authentications, as well as electronic documents (see eIDAS Regulation) have started to apply across member states. The regulation, which aims to ensure uniformity across the EU, will allow users, businesses, and public administrations to carry out legally-valid electronic transactions across borders. Among others, an electronic signature will be recognised in the same way as a handwritten one, across the EU. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the Commission for the Digital Single Market, said that ‘life will become easier in a wide range of areas, from filing tax returns, enrolling in a foreign university or remotely opening a bank account to authenticating internal payments for online shopping or bidding in online tenders.’