This past October, El Salvador approved the Electronic Signature Law having submitted the first draft of the law seven years ago. This regulation gives the electronic signature the same legal validity as a signature on paper and has added security measures. With the passing of this new law, commerce and electronic governance is expected to experience a surge in growth in the country since the physical barriers of requiring an in person signature have been eliminated and since the electronic signature has increased the efficiency of procedures for citizens, businesses and the Public Sector.
Currently, the electronic signature is regulated in many countries. In fact, El Salvador was the only region in Central America that lacked a regulation of this type. The next step is for the president and the country’s economic administration to issue the regulations and technical standards for the law. This will probably take place at the end of April 2016.
Starting Point for Electronic Invoicing
Since the electronic signature has the same legal validity as a signature on paper, it will enhance e-government initiatives, which are still in an incipient stage. In 2014, El Salvador ranked 88 out of 144 countries in the United Nations’ e-government survey.
The passing of the electronic signature law is only the first step in implementing the electronic invoice. The implementation of the e-invoice is one of the most important projects related to e-commerce, which El Salvador’s administration will have to address next. As has been the case in other regions such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, the e-invoice will result in economic savings for both the public and private sectors. Furthermore, it will improve fiscal control and facilitate tax compliance since the process is automated electronically and doesn’t require paper or printing.