In December 2018 the National Assembly of the Lao PDR passed the Law on Electronic Signatures (№ 59/NA, 12 December 2018) (“E-Signature Law”). The E-Signature Law was published in the Official Gazette on 2 May 2019, bringing the E-Signature Law into effect from 17 May 2019.
The enactment of the E-Signature Law furthers the Lao PDR’s commitment to promoting and regulating the provision of digital services. Over the last few years we have seen the enactment of the following laws: (i) the Law on Electronic Transactions (№ 02/NA, 7 December 2012); (ii) Law on Prevention and Combating of Cyber Crime (№ 61/NA, 15 July 2015); (iii) the Law on Information and Communication Technology (№ 02/NA, 7 November 2016); (iv) the Law on Electronic Data Protection (№. 25/NA, 12 May 2017); and (v) Law on Payment Systems (№ 32/NA, 7 November 2017). A multitude of subsidiary regulations have also been issued.
The E-Signature Law builds upon the digital signature requirements that were set out in the Electronic Transactions Law and provides for three types of electronic signatures, being: (i) Simple Electronic Signatures; (ii) Digital Electronic Signatures; and (iii) Digital Seals. Individuals and enterprises wishing to use electronic signatures in their business operation are required to obtain an e-signature certificate from the relevant department within the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Once issued with an e-signature certificate such electronic signatures will be considered legally effective in the same manner as signatures and seals placed on paper documents.
Want to know more? Thinking of obtaining an electronic signature certificate? Want further details on the regulatory changes in the digital services space? Please do not hesitate to contact Kristy Newby.
The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.
DFDL Lao PDR