Mauritius FSC new guidelines for digital signatures
On the 23rd of October 2023, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius unveiled its “Guideline for Digital Signature” (“the Guideline”).
The issuance of this Guideline is in terms of the powers granted to the FSC under Section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Services Act, which empowers the FSC to issue relevant guidelines as deemed fit.
The main objective of this Guideline is to, among other things, outline the minimal standards expected by the FSC for its applicants and licensees concerning the adoption of Digital Signatures as a method for electronically signing documents in the course of their financial business operations.
This development is aligned with prior amendments to the Electronic Transactions Act in Mauritius, which now permits public sector entities, including the FSC, to recognise and accept electronic signatures for official records.
The FSC has explicitly emphasised that the Guideline governs the use of digital signatures for the signing of documents, particularly those intended to be submitted via the FSC One Platform, as well as for inspections conducted by the FSC.
The FSC has articulated a set of specific criteria for the validation and approval of the use of digital signatures:
- The signatory shall be a natural person,
- The digitally signed document shall be in PDF format and the digital certificate used to sign the document shall have been issued by a Certificate Authority listed on the Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL),
- The digital signature shall meet the PAdES LTV standard,
- The validity of the digital signature shall be automatically verifiable within Adobe Reader/ Adobe Acrobat, through the “Signature Panel”, “Certificate Details” and “Signature Validation” capabilities,
- The Security level of the digital signature must meet or exceed the security level required by the eIDAS regulation for Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES),
- For record-keeping and auditing purposes, a Certificate of Completion (CoC) shall be generated and retained by the digital signature software for every digitally signed document,
- The signed document shall include an embedded timestamp.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions about how this change impacts your business operations under the FSC in Mauritius; we look forward to being of value.