Updated: May 3
The electronic documents used in Brazil have replaced the physical ones as companies advance in their digitalization process, giving preference to devices that facilitate not only the production, modification and sending of such documents, but also the storage and access to them. This process is fundamental for companies that wish to be in sync with the demands of the present times.
Although the discussion about the validity of electronic documents and signatures in Brazil has recently taken on greater proportions, the country already has a substantial legislative record in this regard.
In 1968, the Microfilming Law (5,433/68) was created, through which the microfilming of private and official documents on file was authorized throughout the national territory, provided that the original document's matters were preserved.
Provisional Measure 2200-2 of 2001 allowed the use of digital certification as a way to guarantee the authenticity, integrity and legal validity of electronic documents.
The Civil Code of 2002 brought, by article 225, the possibility of using electronic documents as a means of proof when establishing that mechanical or electronic reproductions of facts or things make full proof of these.
The 2015 Code of Civil Procedure also stipulates, in article 439, that the use of electronic documents in the process will be permitted. National jurisprudence also accepts electronic documents (signed electronically as well) as valid and effective evidence.
Last year, Decree 10.543/2020 was published, which provides for the use of electronic signatures in the federal public administration and regulates the minimum level required for signing in interactions with the government.
The use of physical documents and signatures has become rare due to the current scenario, which has no longer allowed two or more people to meet in the same (physical) environment to do business and conclude contracts. Everything is done electronically (from the making of the document, to the signature, filing and disposal).