In a circular dated the 15th of November 2022, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) confirmed that electronic signatures which are done with a ‘qualified electronic signature’ shall be accepted by the MFSA.
The MFSA made reference to Article 25(2) of Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23rd July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (“eIDAS”) which stipulates that digital signatures are only valid in the European Union if they are done with a provider which has been recognised by at least one EU Member State. The EU’s official list of the qualified electronic signature providers can be accessed with this link. The EU’s list can either be searched by jurisdiction or by typing the name of the provider to confirm whether the provider is approved.
A signatory making use of a qualified electronic signature will be responsible for ensuring that the signature has been done according to the eIDAS regulation. Moreover, the MFSA can inspect the validity of the electronic signature as well as request a resubmission in case the electronic signature is considered invalid by the MFSA.
Whilst a qualified electronic signature will be accepted instead of the physical signature, licence holders are still obliged to submit hard copies of documents which require physical submission to the MFSA.