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01.06.2022

Media review: Electronic signature in wartime

On May 24, 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (hereinafter – the CMU) adopted Resolution No. 617 "On Amendments to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 300 of March 17, 2022" (hereinafter – Resolution No. 617), which mandates the use of an electronic signature on to a protected carrier in Ukraine was postponed for the period of martial law and within 6 months from the date of its termination. This became known from the press release of the Ministry of Digital Transformation.

As noted in the press release, in 2020, the use of an electronic signature in certain cases where a qualified person is required was implemented as part of an experimental project. Mandatory use of electronic signatures on secure media was initially planned to start from March 5, 2022, and the CMU Resolution No. 229 of February 23, 2022 determined that the use of electronic signatures or seals without storing them on a secure media is allowed during the period of quarantine. Since at the time of the adoption of Resolution No. 617, the quarantine was not extended and it was supposed to end on May 31, 2022, from June 1, 2022, users of electronic trust services would lose the opportunity to use electronic signatures without storing them on secure media.

However, in order not to create a burden on providers of electronic trust services and long queues for receiving trust services during martial law, the decision was postponed. And this means that from June 1, 2022, users of electronic trust services will be able to continue to use improved signatures based on qualified certificates for electronic interaction of individuals and legal entities, as well as authentication in state systems.

According to Resolution No. 617, the possibility of using electronic signatures and seals based on public key certificates issued by qualified providers of electronic trust services without information that the private key is stored on the means of a qualified electronic signature or seal has been extended for the period of martial law in the territory of Ukraine and within 6 months from the date of its cancellation or termination.

Therefore, this decision of the CMU will enable both individuals and legal entities to use an electronic signature without storing it on secure media for a long period of time. And it will also ensure the smooth functioning of electronic document circulation and user verification in such a difficult time for our country.

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