Maria Jose Martinez – Associate
The complex scenario of COVID19 at a national and global level has represented a great challenge for companies in many aspects. One of them is the prohibition of attending their place of work, limiting the performance of daily activities and therefore the legal acts necessary for the development and operation of companies in their usual way. In this sense, the ideal means to carry out these acts is through the use of the digital signature and the implementation of digital tools that allow the progressive reactivation of commercial acts, legal acts and necessary procedures in a virtual way.
In general terms, the digital signature is the equivalent of the handwritten signature in the digital world, giving the recipient the certainty that the document received was signed by the sender and has no defects or alterations. In this sense, individuals and companies can carry out any legal act by digital means with full legal validity as regulated in Article 78 of the Telecommunications General Law and its corresponding Regulatory Decree.
In order to obtain this tool, it is necessary to register with one of the Certifying Entities Authorized by the Telecommunications and Transport Regulation and Control Authority (ATT) and in the case of private companies, through the company Digicert S.R.L., same one that offers that the procedure is 100% virtual and without the need of physical presence of the user.
It is important to clarify that, in the event of a possible legal dispute, digital documents without a digital signature will be admissible only as possible indications of consent. Instead, documents that have a digital signature will be admitted with the same legal and probative value as a document recognized by a Notary Public. However, there are exceptions to documents that must inexcusably be signed before a Public Notary (wills, transfer of properties, etc.). This tool will undoubtedly allow to resume contractual and commercial operations that were suspended and lacked of legal certainty.
For all of the above and the atypical circumstances we are experiencing, within the “Electronic Government Implementation Plan” the Government is implementing measures that allow the digital signature to be integrated into different institutions (Commercial Registry, Banks, etc.).
Likewise, in order to collect resources and protect intellectual property rights, SENAPI has implemented the option of receiving electronic payments and admitting procedures by virtually digitizing the physical documentation that was usually required in PDF format (without digital signature) during the emergency period. national. However, once the quarantine is suspended, the documents sent digitally must be physically presented as established by Administrative Resolution 013/2020 of January 20, 2020.
We are of the opinion that the Digital Signature is here to stay and its necessary implication will be increasingly used in our lives and not only in labor aspects. There is a before and after of COVID19, the introduction of this type of digital tools will be necessary not only to reduce the bureaucracy that we currently live in but also to legally modernize ourselves.