EU member authorities to accept digitally signed documents
Starting 1 July, all the authorities and public institutions of EU member states will have to accept digitally signed documents, a new EU Commission regulation states.
Postimees reported on Monday that with the eIDAS regulation coming into effect on 1 July this year, any resident of Estonia could insist that authorities of EU member states accept their digitally signed electronic documents.
The regulation lists the digital signature formats it consideres to be safe. The bdoc format widely used in Estonia is on the list, hence the various European agencies and authorities will have to accept digitally signed documents submitted to them by Estonian residents via email.
This also means that the Estonian authorities have to adapt to the other digital signature formats in use, as they will have to be ready to process documents sent in from abroad as well.
Postimees quoted several officials warning people not to expect things to change too quickly. The authorities involved would need to be able to work with the signed documents, and implementing the necessary technology and training personnel would take time.