Digital Aviation Document QAs: Czech Republic

Contributor: Kocián Šolc Balaštík

Author: Jiří Horník

1. Is there specific legislation in Czech Republic 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?

The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, and the use of digital platforms and electronic signatures for the purpose of generating/using e-documents is regulated at the EU level through the eIDAS Regulation (Regulation No. 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market). At the local level, the EU rules are implemented through the Electronic Acts and Authorised Document Conversion Act (No. 300/2008 Coll.) and the Electronic Transaction Services Act (No. 297/2016 Coll.).

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?

First of all, a specific “electronic data box” has been assigned to each legal entity and individual entrepreneur registered in the Czech Republic (others may use it voluntarily), and such entities and public authorities exchange communications (documents/ information) with each other principally only through this data box (public authorities are required to do so, while standard users can do so as an option only). All legal entities may also exchange communications with each other through the data box on an opt-in basis. Foreign-based entities may also voluntarily apply to get access to their own data box.

The access to the databox is unique and sufficiently protected (standard cryptographic solutions are used).

When a data box user acts through the data box, such act (message) is considered as signed by the user without the need to meet any further requirements. When the data box user decides to communicate without using the data box and the applicable law requires that the identity of the signatory must be verified, then the signatory must use the relevant form of electronic signature, which is either an advanced electronic signature, advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures, or qualified electronic signature (QES), with the latter offering the highest standard of identification and protection. In practice, advanced electronic signatures based on a qualified certificate are widely used in the Czech Republic, while a QES is used rather exceptionally by private entities (unlike public authorities, which principally can only use a QES).

This is without prejudice to the fact that contractual and other documents are often also signed by “standard electronic signatures”, either by inserting the picture of the signature into a PDF version of the document or through more secure solutions offered by commercial providers, such as DocuSign.

3. Does the Aviation Authority in Czech Republic use an electronic register for Aircraft Documents or Aircraft Lease Documents (including Leases, Security Agreements, Mortgages, Lease Assignments, Novation and IDERAs)?

No, the Czech Aviation Authority does not currently maintain an official electronic register of the relevant documents. The Aviation Authority is, however, obliged to accept electronic documents, including those signed electronically. In practice, this is facilitated by using the electronic data box.

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 Czech Republic?


5. Do the courts of Czech Republic 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?

There is no difference between the types of documents. All rules described above apply to any type of document.

6. Is it possible to upload lawsuits, pleadings, and procedural documents electronically in Czech Republic?

Yes, in practice, most of the submissions are done through the electronic data box, i.e., it is a specific electronic message sent to the relevant authority. Currently, there is no “upload” option, although discussions on introducing e-files (which could facilitate uploading) are still ongoing.

7. Do the courts of Czech Republic accept procedural documents executed digitally? Is there any specific certification required? Does Czech Republic make any distinction between official digital signatures and private digital signatures?

Yes, the courts do accept procedural documents executed digitally, and this is facilitated by using the electronic data box. In general, there are no specific requirements as to the form and certification of such documents; it highly depends on the purposes for which the documents are submitted. As outlined above, any submission made through the electronic data box does not need to be specifically certified. If there are documents attached to the submission which are required to comply with the specific certification, such documents must be submitted together with such certification. In this respect, it is worth pointing out that any paper original can be converted into a certified electronic version of such document.

There is no distinction between official and private signatures as long as they comply with the statutory requirements, i.e., with the rules based on the eIDAS Regulation; the certification authorities issuing relevant certificates necessary for creating electronic signatures may also be private entities.

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?

There are no formal requirements to be met or to be stipulated in the documents concerned in order to make the documents governed by Czech law valid if executed by electronic signatures; the parties enjoy, in this respect, freedom to contract and sign how they wish and agree upon. No prior agreement to sign electronically is required, and the document may even be executed by different means by each party (unless it is explicitly excluded by the parties themselves).

9. Can foreign entities not located in Czech Republic execute Lease Agreements or any Finance Documents with digital signatures to be filed for registration with the Aviation Authority in Czech Republic? Are there any other formalities required?

It depends on what type of digital signature is used. If the digital signature complies with the QES standards under the eIDAS Regulation, then there is no doubt this can be used for the purpose of execution, as the QES must be recognised throughout the European Union. As concerns other types of signatures, including those from non-EU countries, it will highly depend on the requirements for the documents concerned (under the governing law).

10. Does the Aviation Industry in Czech Republic usually use digital tools such as blockchain technology for the purpose of control of Aircraft Documents in substitution of printed paper Aircraft Documents?

The Aviation Industry currently does not use blockchain technology for the purpose of control of Aircraft Documents. However, time stamps and electronic seals introduced by the eIDAS Regulation are available in the Czech Republic and may be used for this purpose.

11. Are there any Notary or Apostille requirements in Czech Republic? If so, do they apply to electronically executed documents, and how does this affect the possibility of electronic execution and delivery of aviation documents?

The requirements to notarise and apostille documents vary significantly depending on the type of document and the jurisdiction of the documents’ origin. In general, contracts and agreements do not require notarised signatures. When corporate documents are submitted (in order to prove the identity of the entities to be registered in the Aircraft Registry), notarisation or apostille may be required depending on the type of the documents and jurisdiction of origin.

a. Has the Czech Republic implemented the e-Apostille program?

No, at this time, the Czech Republic has not implemented the e-Apostille program.

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