What Companies Manufacturing in Mexico Need to Know About Electronic Signatures
By Diana Rascón | Real Estate Legal Department at American Industries Group®
Our world today is so digitalized that we can no longer imagine completing many of our everyday tasks without the help of technology. An endless number of programs and applications make our daily lives easier for just about everything, from ordering food and having it delivered to your home in minutes to more complex systems designed to facilitate a company’s internal process, like the electronic signature.
Mexico implemented electronic signatures in 2003 when the Commercial Code was reformed, and various clauses were added to provide for this new legal figure in Mexican law. It outlines two types of electronic signatures: simple and advanced. The latter is a signature certified by a certification services provider or a government authority authorized to issue said certification, such as the Tax Administration Service (SAT) with an e-signature.
Advanced signatures are regulated by a law issued in 2012, the Advanced Electronic Signature Act. It establishes the requirements for a signature to be considered “advanced,” including functional equivalency. This means that an advanced electronic signature acquires the same value and weight as an ink signature. The next is authenticity, meaning that it is possible to confirm the signor’s identity; followed by integrity, meaning that it allows any alteration to the document after its signing to be detected; repudiation, or that the signer cannot deny the content of the document; and confidentiality, meaning that once the signature is placed on the document, its content can only be deciphered by the parties to this.
Although advanced electronic signatures were in use before the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico for various types of applications and paperwork with the government, for example, the SAT, or for signing in-house corporate and business documents, their use undoubtedly increased during the pandemic due to its numerous advantages. One of the main benefits is saving time when signing documents, as it is only necessary to send the file via email, and the signor can access it from anywhere at any time to sign it.
In addition, electronic signatures provide certainty that the document is signed on the date and at the time indicated. A stamp containing the actual time and exact date the document was signed is placed at the time of signing. As mentioned above, altering this information is impossible, reducing the risk of a pre-dated signature. Concerning the content of the document, it is possible to detect if it has been altered in any way, providing additional security regarding the authenticity of its information. Other benefits include cost savings and environmental benefits. By using electronic signatures, it is not necessary to print the document, meaning less paper is used, and once it is signed, all parties can access it immediately, without having to send a hard copy.
Without a doubt, the use of the electronic signature provides many benefits to companies that wish to implement it, as it is just as, or more dependable than an ink signature, in addition to being fully regulated by law. As such, we recommend implementing internal technological processes like electronic signatures that allow companies to increase productivity, efficiency, and reduce bureaucratic processes that only slow down workflows.
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