top of page

Things to keep in mind regarding electronic signatures and registered mail

You may have already been confronted with the use of electronic means for the conclusion of a contract or its termination.

Belgian and European law strictly regulate the use of these tools. If your co-contractor (a company or other) uses such means, make sure to check the following elements:

  • The use of electronic means (to perform acts with legal effects) cannot be imposed on you. You therefore always have the choice to sign a contract electronically or on paper, or to receive or send an electronic registered letter. If the general terms and conditions provide for this, then it is considered that you have given your consent;

  • A distinction is made between "simple" and "qualified" electronic services. Simple services benefit from the so-called non-discrimination principle: their legal force cannot be challenged solely on the basis of their electronic nature. Qualified services are not contestable, if they meet the following strict conditions (as regards electronic registered mail)

1) they are provided by a "qualified trust service provider" whose list can be found here: 

2) they guarantee the identity of the sender and the recipient with a high level of security (e.g. via eID card identification)

3) they are accompanied by a qualified electronic signature or a qualified electronic seal (often taking the form of a QR code)

4) the recipient must be notified of any changes to the data

5) the sending and receiving of the data must be time-stamped.

  • In any case, an electronic registered letter, even a simple one, must ensure proof of its sending, of its reception by the recipient and of the integrity of the data. These elements are irrefragably presumed in the case of qualified electronic registered mail, and must be proven by the user company in the case of simple electronic registered mail.

Marie Ferret

Lawyer, specialized in IT law

bottom of page