In Serbia, the Law on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification, and Trust Services in Electronic Business (Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia no. 94/2017 and 52/2021) (hereinafter referred as “the Law”) regulates electronic signatures in the Republic of Serbia.

The Law distinguishes between three types of electronic signatures (the “simple” electronic signature, the advanced electronic signature, and the qualified electronic signature), and it further states under Article 49 that an electronic signature cannot be denied legal effect or admissibility as evidence in court of law simply because it is in electronic form or does not adhere to the qualifications for a qualified electronic signature which expressly has the same legal effect as a handwritten signature.

In terms of evidential validity, the burden of proof for establishing the authenticity of an electronic signature lies with the party claiming it, whether it be a “simple” electronic signature (SES) or an advanced electronic signature (AES). However, the authenticity of a qualified electronic signature (QES) is presumed.

The Law expressly states under Article 6 that, as long as the data in an electronic form is accessible and suitable for subsequent reference, it shall be considered equivalent to that data in its written form.

Types of electronic signatures in Republic of Serbia

Documents that can be signed electronically

Use cases that typically allows the use of electronic signatures include:

For transactions with a public sector body

For signing documents related to the Serbian Business Registers Agency, such as the registration form for the incorporation of the company, the registration of an ultimate beneficial owner, or the submission of annual financial statements, a qualified electronic signature is specifically required.

Documents that require traditional signature

The Law explicitly excludes comparing of an electronic form of a document to a written form in specific circumstances. Regarding contracts and other legal activities where a particular rule requires that the signature of a person/document be certified or notarized before a notary public, the use of an electronic signature is not permitted.
 
Therefore, the following situations are not suited for electronic signatures.

Conclusion:

In general, both “simple” and advanced electronic signatures are valid electronic signatures provided that they satisfy the requisites as prescribed under the Law. The local courts handle contracts on case to case basis which are executed in writing in accordance with the law and are signed using a “simple” or an advanced electronic signature (not qualified electronic signatures).

DISCLAIMER

Certinal is making available the information and materials in this article for informational purposes only and is meant to help companies understand eSignature’s application in a legal framework. Laws change rapidly and Certinal makes every reasonable effort to keep the content of this article current, hence Certinal makes no claims or representations that the information contained in this article is true, accurate, correct, or current. The law is different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even similar laws may be interpreted differently in different courts or in different places. Since these factors differ according to individuals and businesses, Certinal is not liable for any consequence of any action taken by any third party relying on material/ information provided under this article. The contents hereof should not be construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. In cases you require any assistance; you must seek independent legal advice.

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