Electronic Signature in Monaco: the Government as Certifying Body

Stephan Pastor, Daniel Goldenbaum and Alessandra Finotto from CMS Monaco law firm explain how electronic signature works in the Principality.

What is an electronic signature or an electronic seal?

The electronic signature is the term attached to the signature, in an electronic format, by a natural person (representing a legal person) [1].

The electronic seal represents the stamp or the “seal”, in an electronic format, of a legal person.[2].

The document on which it is applied is digital, regardless of its format (Word, PDF, JPG, XML, etc.) and its nature (quote, agreement, contract, order, invoice, purchase order or delivery note, pay slip, testimony, etc.).

What is the purpose of the electronic signature or the electronic seal?

Law N. 1.183 of August 2, 2021 has devoted the admission of writing in an electronic form as evidence in the same way and with the same probative force as writing on paper, provided that the person from whom it emanates can be duly identified and that it is established and kept in conditions that guarantee its integrity[3].

It is to the so-called “qualified trust” service providers, certified by the Monegasque Digital Security Agency, that the task of offering an electronic signature and an electronic seal service capable of guaranteeing identification and integrity has been entrusted.

The Monegasque Direction de l’Expansion Economique, a service provider for the certification of electronic signatures and electronic seals

The Monegasque Business Development Agency (Direction de l’Expansion Economique) has recently become a service provider for the certification of electronic signatures and electronic seals only for the benefit of Monegasque companies duly registered in the Trade and Industry Register (Répertoire du Commerce et de l’Industrie).[4].

In practice, electronic signature and electronic seal certificates are issued to companies that request them on a smart card, to be used with the SafeNet software.

The next steps?

In practice, at the date of this article, some Monegasque administrations do not yet accept electronic documents whose signature or seal is certified by the system set up by the Business Development Agency (Direction de l’Expansion Economique). This is notably the case of the Department of Tax Services (Département des Services Fiscaux) which does not register electronically signed documents.

In addition, other electronic signature and electronic sealing systems, widespread in Europe, such as DocuSign, have not yet received the certification required by the Monegasque law.

Moreover, there is still no agreement with third countries, in particular the member states of the European Union, ensuring the recognition in the Principality of certificates issued by qualified trustworthy service providers established in these countries.

Source: Stephan Pastor – Partner, Daniel Goldenbaum – Advanced Associate and Alessandra Finotto – Associate / CMS MonacoElectronic signature

[1] Article 1163-3 of the Monegasque Civil Code

[2] Article 1163-4 of the Monegasque Civil Code

[3] Article 1163-1 of the Monegasque Civil Code

[4] See especially ordinnance N. 8.450 of December 24, 2020

Post Author: Wealth Monaco