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Electronic Signatures Directive

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Directive 1999/93/EC
European Union directive
TitleDirective 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 on a Community framework for electronic signatures
Made byEuropean Parliament & Council
Journal reference[31999L0093 L13, pp. 12–20]
Other legislation
Replaced byRegulation 910/2014 (eIDAS) from 1 July 2016.

The Electronic Signatures Directive 1999/93/EC was a European Union directive on the use of electronic signatures (e-signatures) in electronic contracts within the European Union (EU).[1]

It was repealed by the eIDAS regulation on 1 July 2016.


The central provision of the directive is article 5, which requires that electronic signatures are regarded as equivalent to written signatures.

Legal effects of electronic signatures

  1. Member States shall ensure that advanced electronic signatures which are based on a qualified certificate and which are created by a secure-signature-creation device:
(a) satisfy the legal requirements of a signature in relation to data in electronic form in the same manner as a handwritten signature satisfies those requirements in relation to paper-based data; and
(b) are admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

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