Contributor: Karanović & Partners

Author: Ana Lučić, Ana Pavlović

1. Is there specific legislation in Montenegro 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?

There is no specific legislation in Montenegro regulating specifically the use of aviation documents executed with the use of digital platforms or any electronic signatures. Electronic signing in Montenegro is principally governed by the Law on Electronic Identification and Electronic Signature (“E-Signature Law”), the Law on Electronic Documents (“E- Document Law”) that regulates the use of electronic documents in legal transactions, its use before competent authorities and courts. These Laws also apply to all public bodies, including the Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”).

On the other hand, there is no Law in Montenegro that specifically regulates the use of digital platforms.

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?

The E-signature Law defines three types of e-signatures: (i) simple, (ii) advanced, and (iii) qualified electronic signature; however, only a qualified electronic signature ensures full equivalence in terms of validity and enforceability with that of a handwritten/wet ink signature. Depending on the type of signature and purpose for which it is used, different requirements are needed. In terms of e-signatures, specific requirements prescribed by law are only needed for qualified ones, as it provides the highest level of reliability and certainty.

Qualified electronic signatures issued by the authorized bodies in the countries with which Montenegro has entered into the relevant bilateral agreements should have the same legal effect as the qualified electronic signatures issued by the Montenegrin Authorized Bodies. However, at the moment, the bilateral agreements are only concluded with Serbia and Northern Macedonia.

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

The registers that are available in electronic form on the website of the CAA are:

Register of civil aircraft; List of operators of unmanned aircraft systems.

The Register of civil aircraft contains data about the aircraft, aircraft operator, aircraft owner and encumbrances on the aircraft. However, the documentation and specifics about these data are not accessible via the website.

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 Montenegro?

At the moment, CAA does not allow the submission of a registration application and supporting documentation electronically, only through the standard procedure – via the Post office or directly to the CAA.

5. Do the courts of Montenegro 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?

As we previously pointed out, there are no special regulations regarding the use of electronic signatures, which are only applied before the CAA. However, when speaking about the general use of documents signed with an electronic signature, please note the following:

In the case when it is specifically required by the local laws that a certain document/agreement should be hand-signed, as an equivalent, it is mandatory to use only qualified e-signature (e.g., for license agreements, filings with state bodies or agencies). In all other situations, when the local laws do not prescribe any form or do not require a hand-signed signature, there are no formal obstacles to using the other two types of e-signatures.

The use of e-signature is not possible for contracts that must be concluded in front of the notary public.

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

Civil procedure law foresees the possibility of submission of lawsuits, submissions, and process documentation electronically.

However, this possibility is still not applicable in practice, and the public bodies (courts, administrative bodies etc.) mostly allow submission only via Post or by direct delivery as part of the familiar and practiced procedure.

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

Courts in Montenegro are legally obliged to accept procedural documents signed with an electronic signature. However, the application of documents signed with an electronic signature in Montenegro is not commonly used in practice.

The Montenegrin E-Signature Law does not distinguish between official digital signatures and private digital signatures.

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?

No, there is no legal obligation to expressly state in the contract that the contract will be signed with an electronic signature.

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

In general, there is no direct ban on foreign entities that are not located in Montenegro to conclude lease agreements or sign any financial documents with digital signatures. Of course, in each specific case, care must be taken as to whether it is a contract or a document that is required to be drawn up in a certain form, such as the form of a notary record, or whether it is a document that must be signed by hand.

However, please note that electronic registration with the CAA is still not possible. The CAA also does not accept electronically signed documents.

10. Does the Aviation Industry in Montenegro 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 (neither any other) in Montenegro does not use blockchain technology yet.

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

a. Has Montenegrin jurisdiction implemented the e-Apostille program?

In case of a document for which the law of Montenegro is applicable and for which the national legislation requires one of the special forms, the contract/document must be drawn up in the same form, which may exclude the use of an electronic signature.

The Law on Legalization of Public Documents in International Traffic foresees the obligation to legalize public documents issued in another country that are intended for use in front of Montenegrin authorities.

Also, Montenegro has been a signatory to the Hague Convention since 1961, which means that a document supplied with an apostille is exempt from any further certification and is eligible for use without the obligation of legalization when signing/authenticating foreign public documents.

Montenegro has not implemented the e-apostille program. Therefore, the documents intended for Montenegro must be provided with an apostille in paper form.

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