Electronic notarisation in Moldova
On 26 May 2023 the Parliament of Moldova passed Law No.°126, which among other things implements certain novelties to the Moldovan Law on Notarial Procedure. Those relating to electronic notarisation will enter into force when the technical conditions referred to in the law are in place, but not later than 23 June 2026.
Once entered into force, a notarial deed (act) perfected by electronic means will also be of public authority (i.e. similar to paper-based deeds), will be presumed to be legal and true, will hold probative force and, where applicable in accordance with the law (e.g. mortgage with enforcement formula), will be immediately enforceable. The notary's qualified electronic signature affixed to an electronic notarial deed (act) will replace the notary's stamp and handwritten signature.
Issuance of notarial acts by remote communication will also be possible subject to the following conditions:
- all concerned participants agree;
- concomitant e-presence of all participants (i.e. parties to a legal document and the notary); and
- the presence of an uninterrupted visual and audio feed.
Under the new legislation, a notary may refuse to perfect electronic notarisation if they have doubts about the identity of the applicant or participants, if they believe that the parties' intention requires their physical presence, or if a risk as to the nature, purpose or value of the transaction is identified. The notary will identify participants through electronic means based on the currently existing legislation (Law No. 124/2022).
Certain types of acts will be excluded from the electronic notarisation procedure, such as certification that a person is alive, appointment (in cases set by law) of a custodian or administrator of the succession estate, securing evidence, authentication of wills, receiving handwritten wills and other paper documents for storage, acts of protest of bills of exchange and of cheques in case of non-payment.
There are still some things left to be implemented, such as technical matters and registers, that require investments from the authorities, notaries and even participants, not to mention changes to the legislation on simpler identification of foreigners, including companies. In addition, the centuries long perception of notaries that in writing is better needs to be overcome. But despite these hurdles, once implemented electronic notarisation will stimulate transactions and help position Moldova as an advanced jurisdiction in the field. Inevitably there will be many interpretations on how to implement the new procedure in practice, which will be of interest to stakeholders.