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Explore the BoldSign features that make eSigning easier.

With the swift advancement of technology, there is a growing need for modern methods to verify signatures on documents, leading to a surge in interest in the use of electronic signatures. These digital techniques offer quick and eco-friendly ways to sign documents, reducing paper usage and speeding up transactions.

When adopting eSignatures, whether in Malta or globally, it is vital to select a service that adheres to Maltese legal standards, specifically the E-Commerce Act – updated in 2021 – and the E.U. Regulation 910/2014. These laws give electronic signatures the same legal validity as their handwritten counterparts. Still, it’s worth noting that certain documents might necessitate a wet ink signature, and these legal requirements can differ from place to place. The prevailing laws detail the criteria needed to establish the legitimacy of an electronic signature. BoldSign offers security measures that comply with these legal and security norms.

Electronic signatures are widely acknowledged for their considerable advantages. However, adhering to the legal framework, ensuring security, and opt for a user-friendly service to incorporate them seamlessly within the Maltese framework is essential.

In Malta, electronic signatures are governed by specific regulations, which define an eSignature as a digital mark consisting of characters, letters, numbers, or symbols linked to an electronic document, and they are considered legally effective. For an electronic signature to validate most documents, it must be demonstrably associated with the signer and safeguarded against alterations or fraudulent activities. Additionally, the signer must explicitly indicate their willingness to be bound by the document’s content. Fulfilling these conditions grants electronic signatures the same legal significance as traditional handwritten signatures.

An electronic signature encompasses a variety of digital forms attached to an electronic document or procedure. These forms can be:

Operations entailing the use of electronic signatures within Malta are regulated by the following:

As a rule, the regulation deems electronic signatures legal in the completion of transactions. Electronic signatures under the regulation are categorised into three categories:

Standard Electronic Signature is explained to be electronic data attached to or logically associated with an electronic document and ensures the authenticity of the electronic document and confirms the identity of the signatory.

Advances: Electronic Signature is explained as an electronic signature meeting a set of requirements set out in Article 262 of the eIDAS such as:

To be uniquely linked to a person, you must show

A secure electronic signature must be uniquely connected to the person using it. The signature must be uniquely made with methods only the signer can access, like a private key and confidential info, to verify their identity.

The use and incorporation remain in their sole control

The person using the secure electronic signature must have sole control over the means of creating the signature. Typically, this requires managing a key pair or two-factor authentication, with the signer exclusively holding the private key to prevent signature forgery.

Able to identify the person using the technological process

The process used to create the signature must be capable of identifying the person signing. This may include using a biometric signature, a Personal Identification Number (PIN), an email address or even a company registration number.

It is easy to track down any alterations made after signing

It is essential to preserve the authenticity of the signed document. Modifications made to the document post-signature should be identifiable. This is commonly accomplished through an audit trail. Audit trails record the signer’s I.P. address, timestamps of key signing events, and location, providing proof of identity, timing, and signature place.

This is an advanced electronic signature that is generated using a certified device for creating electronic signatures and relies on an accredited certificate specific to electronic signatures.

Article 323 sets out a validation set of standards to be met by the one for a qualified Electronic Signature. These are:

Under the Maltese E-Commerce Act [as amended in 2021] and E.U. Regulation 910/2014

Type of Signature Unique Features Legal Validity
Simple Electronic Signature
  • No unique feature other than being data in electronic form
  • Validity is dependent on the evidentiary weight.
Advances Electronic Signature
  • Uniquely linked to the signers,
  • Capable of identifying the signatories,
  • Developed using means that the signatory can maintain his control and
  • linked to the data it relates to so that any subsequent change to the data is detectable
  • Validity is dependent on evidentiary weight across jurisdictions.
Qualified Electronic Signature
  • Certificate compliant with laws provided at signing.
  • Trust service provider issued a valid certificate at signing.
  • Signature validation matches the data given to the recipient.
  • The signatory's unique data is accurately given to the recipient.
  • Any pseudonym used is disclosed to the recipient.
  • Signature made with a qualified electronic signature device.
  • Signed data integrity maintained.
  • Meets all features of Advanced eSignature.
  • It was deemed valid unless the contrary is proven.
  • In Malta and across all jurisdictions in the E.U.
  • Deemed valid in all others

The use of electronic signatures for concluding transactions is not uniformly recognised as legally valid. As a result, certain types of transactions and applications are appropriate for electronic signatures, while others are not. An examination of this issue is presented below, along with a concise table outlining the relevant transactions.

Documents that can be signed

Electronic signatures can be employed to affix signatures and provide countersignatures on array of documents, such as:

Exempted transactions Section 4 schedule 5

The legal validity of electronic signatures isn’t valid, and as such, certain documents are exempted from the use of electronic signatures. Such transactions are:

Permissible transactions Exempted transactions
  • Human Resources
  • Procument
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (assuming they are contracts, not formal deeds)
  • Software License Agreements
  • Public petitions
  • Insurance Industry
  • Educational Field. Etc
  • A will or any other testamentary instrument.
  • A trust
  • A power of attorney and notaries public
  • Deeds
  • Transactions with courts/tribunals
  • Transactions in the execution of representative roles by attorneys.
  • Contracts of suretyship
  • Conveyancing
  • Transactions on criminal proceedings relating to giving of evidence.
  • Transactions under the competition law

To ensure the authenticity of an eSignature, it’s advisable to follow these best practices in addition to complying with all applicable legal requirements:

The following elements of compliance available within BoldSign can be used to comply with Maltese eSignature laws:

Disclaimer: Information on this page is intended to help businesses understand the legal framework of electronic signatures for this particular country.

However, Syncfusion, its officers, directors, stockholders, affiliates, attorneys, accountants, employees or agents cannot provide legal advice. You should consult your own personal attorney regarding your specific legal questions. Laws and regulations change frequently, and this information may not be current or accurate. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Syncfusion provides this material on an “as-is” basis. Syncfusion disclaims and makes no representation or warranty of any kind with respect to this material, express, implied or statutory, including representations, guarantees or warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or accuracy.

Syncfusion makes no warranties of any kind, including but not limited to the information or the product, whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Sync Fusion disclaims all conditions, representations and warranties, whether express, implied or statutory, with respect to this information without limitation any implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, accuracy or currentness of this information.

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1 http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2014/910/oj
2 Ibid
3 Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation