Contributor: Del Hierro Abogados
Author: Jose Elias Del Hierro Hoyos
1. Is there specific legislation in Colombia ruling the using of documents (such as Leases, Security Agreements, Mortgages, Lease Assignments, Novation and IDERAs) executed with the use of digital platforms or any electronic signatures by the local Aviation Authority?
Yes, the Document Management Program (PGD) was adopted by the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority. Code: GDOC-1.0-07- 002 Version: 1 Date of approval: 07/29/2021. Information can also be found in Information Circular No. 022 Data Messages, Electronic Signatures and Digital Signatures in Technical and Administrative Documents of the Flight Standards Directorate.
Provenance principle: 5100.082.022 Key: GIVC-1.0-22-003 Version: 02 Approval date: 10/23/2020.
2. If your answer to (1) is yes, is there any specific requirement for the validity of such signatures, such as completion with a specific cryptographic platform developed by any local institute of technology?
All Aviation Service Providers and Operators, TAR or OMA that wish to incorporate in their procedures the electronic signature for the management of their technical documents must include in their MGM /(MCM), MPI/ (MOM), MDI (MIP), MGO (MO), as applicable, electronic signature procedures and controls that guarantee that such signature is equivalent to that of the handwritten signature or any other form of signature currently accepted or approved in the corresponding legislation by the Colombian State. Therefore, digital and/or electronic signatures must meet the legal requirements so that the data message in which they are incorporated complies with the attributes of originality, integrity and evidentiary validity.
3. Does the Aviation Authority in Colombia use an electronic register for Aircraft Documents or Aircraft Lease Documents (including Leases, Security Agreements, Mortgages, Lease Assignments, Novation and IDERAs)?
Yes, the Aviation Authority in Colombia uses an electronic register for aircraft documents, including aircraft lease documents such as leases, security agreements, mortgages, lease assignments, novation agreements, and IDERAs (Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorizations). The authority maintains an electronic database that contains all the necessary information related to aircraft registration and ownership, as well as any related documents and agreements. This electronic register enables efficient and secure management of aircraft-related documents and transactions.
4. If your reply to question 3 is yes, is it possible to upload electronic files for registration, such as Leases, Security Agreements, Mortgages, Lease Assignments, Novation and IDERAs with the Aviation Authority in Colombia?
Yes, it is possible to upload electronic files for registration, such as Leases, Security Agreements, Mortgages, Lease Assignments,
Novation and IDERAs with the Aviation Authority in Colombia, but it can also be physically.
5. Do the courts of Colombia consider valid and enforceable documents executed by the use of some type of digital signature or certification even if not registered (or registrable) with the local Aviation Authority?
Yes, there may be aviation-related documents that are not required for registration with the Aviation Authority in Colombia but can be valid and enforceable by the use of some type of digital certification. For example, contracts related to aircraft leasing or sales, insurance policies, and other legal documents can be signed electronically and validated through digital certification. Similarly, documents related to aircraft maintenance and safety, such as maintenance records and safety inspections, can also be signed electronically and validated through digital certification. However, it is important to note that the acceptance of electronically signed documents by the Aviation Authority may depend on their specific policies and regulations
6. Is it possible to upload lawsuits, pleadings, and procedural documents electronically in Colombia?
It is possible to upload lawsuits, pleadings and electronic procedural documents in Colombia. Law 2213 of 2022 allows the use of information and communication technologies in the management and processing of judicial proceedings in order to facilitate and expedite access to justice.
Technological means may be used for all actions, hearings and proceedings. The procedural subjects are allowed to act in the processes or proceedings through the available digital resources, avoiding face-to-face formalities or similar, which are not strictly necessary. Therefore, the proceedings will not require handwritten or digital signatures, personal presentations or additional authentications, nor will they be incorporated or presented in physical media.
7. Do the courts of Colombia accept procedural documents executed digitally? Is there any specific certification required? Does Colombia make any distinction between official digital signatures and private digital signatures?
In Colombia, as a result of Law 2213 of 2022, the use of digital technology is encouraged to expedite the processing of legal proceedings. Courts accept procedural documents that are executed digitally as part of efforts to make the justice system more accessible and user-friendly. While face-to-face attention is prioritized, digital tools are utilized to provide greater flexibility and convenience for users, with exceptions made for cases of force majeure. These efforts aim to improve access to justice and enhance the efficiency of legal proceedings through the use of information and communication technologies.
8. Are there any formal requirements for the validity of documents executed by digital signatures? Ex.: Does the consent of the parties to digital signatures have to be expressly referred to in the agreement?
According to Law 527 of 1999, when there is a digital signature in a data message, it is presumed that the subscriber of the signature had the intention to credit that message and be linked to its content. The uses of digital signatures have the same force and effects as the use of a handwritten signature if certain attributes are incorporated, such as: it is the only person who uses it, it is susceptible of being verified, it is under the exclusive control of the person who uses it, it is linked to the information or message, in such a way that, if these are combined, the digital signature is invalid and it is in accordance with the regulations adopted by the government.
9. Can foreign entities not located in Colombia execute Lease Agreements or any Finance Documents with digital signatures to be filed for registration with the Aviation Authority in Colombia? Are there any other formalities required?
Digital signatures are recognized as valid for the execution of aircraft lease agreements or finance documents as long as they comply with the requirements set out in the regulations. This means that foreign entities not located in Colombia can execute these documents using digital signatures, which can be filed for registration with the Aviation Authority in Colombia.
However, it’s important to note that the digital signature must be provided by a certification authority that is recognized in Colombia, and the signature must be created using a secure device or mechanism that ensures the integrity of the document.
Additionally, the lease agreement or finance documents must be accompanied by other required documents, such as the registration certificate of the aircraft, and must comply with other regulations regarding aircraft registration and operation in Colombia. In summary, foreign entities not located in Colombia can execute lease agreements or finance documents with digital signatures to be filed for registration with the Aviation Authority in Colombia as long as they comply with the requirements set out in the regulations, including the use of a recognized certification authority and compliance with other formalities.
10. Does the Aviation Industry in Colombia usually use digital tools such as blockchain technology for the purpose of control of Aircraft Documents in substitution of printed paper Aircraft Documents?
The use of digital tools such as blockchain technology for the control of aircraft documents in Colombia is not yet widespread in the aviation industry. While the use of electronic documents and signatures is becoming more common, most aircraft documents are still stored and managed in traditional paper format. However, the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority has expressed interest in exploring the use of blockchain technology for the management and sharing of aircraft and pilot records, as this technology offers advantages such as increased security, transparency, and efficiency.
11. Are there any Notary or Apostille requirements in Colombia? If so, do they apply to electronically executed documents, and how does this affect the possibility of electronic execution and delivery of aviation documents?
In Colombia, notary and apostille requirements apply to certain documents used in legal proceedings or transactions. To have legal effect in Colombia, a document may need to be notarized by a Colombian notary public and, if issued by a foreign country, apostilled in the country of origin who has signed the Apostille Convention. The applicability of these requirements to electronically executed aviation documents depends on the specific circumstances and type of document.
Electronic execution and delivery of aviation documents is possible but may require compliance with certain formalities, such as digital signatures or electronic authentication methods for notarization and obtaining electronic apostilles that comply with the requirements established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Legal professionals with experience in Colombian aviation law can provide guidance on compliance with these requirements.
a. Colombia has implemented the e-Apostille program, which allows for the electronic issuance and authentication of apostilles. This program is managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and eliminates the need to physically submit documents for authentication. The e-Apostille is issued in the form of a QR code that can be scanned to verify the authenticity of the document.