Luxembourg is on its way to take a crucial step towards a “paperless office”.
The Chamber of Deputies has, after two years of discussions and adjustments, adopted on 2 July 2015 the law relating to electronic archiving and amending Article 1334 of the Civil Code, Article 16 of the Commercial Code and the amended Law of April 5, 1993 in relation to the financial sector (hereafter the “Law”). This week, the Council of State still has to decide whether it waives the second constitutional (parliamentary) vote. However, considering its last opinion on the draft bill, the Council of State should decide in favour of the exemption and Luxembourg will be the first European country to adopt an electronic archiving regime.
In the wake of electronic signatures implemented in Luxembourg law as from August 2000, the Law aims at boosting the dematerialised economy and electronic services while maintaining a high level of security, confidentiality and technical requirements.
Legal certainty in the area of electronic archiving was long-awaited by business actors in Luxembourg for the full implementation of new archiving policies while the country has already the necessary infrastructure facilities to host the dematerialised documents (cutting-edge datacentres, high-speed Internet connections).
The Law has three main objectives: (i) defining the conditions under which original documents may be dematerialised and electronic originals and electronic copies may be stored; (ii) defining the conditions under which electronic copies may benefit from a legal presumption of conformity to the original document; (iii) setting the applicable rules of the new activity of digitisation and storage service provider as well as creating a status for this new activity.
This new legal framework will render Luxembourg more attractive than the other European countries with regard to electronic archiving and attract multinational companies that seek to centralize their e-archiving management in a single European country.