Here is the last of the 2021 legal news in which you´ll receive important information about how the system of data boxes is going to change under the Czech law as of 2022 and how that will affect all businesses, both corporations and self-employed persons.
These significant changes include:
- As of 1 January 2022, legal entities and self-employed persons will be obliged to receive Postal Data Messages (hereinafter also referred to as “PDMs”) via their mailboxes – i.e. messages sent between data box holders who are not public authorities;
- There will be no possibility for legal entities and self-employed persons to switch off the function of receiving PDMs;
- Consequently, PDM´s will be presumed delivered.
Mandatory Receipt of Postal Data Messages:
Until 31 December 2021, the opt-in mode was applied vis-a-vis PDMs, i.e. those data box holders who wanted to receive PDMs had to activate this function themselves. As of 1 January 2022, this function will be activated for all legal entities and self-employed persons automatically without the possibility to deactivate the receipt of PDMs. The opt-in model will be maintained only for natural persons who have a data box but are not registered as entrepreneurs.
As a result, the PDMs will now be presumed delivered, which means that after 10 days from the sending of the PDM to the recipient’s data box, the PDM is deemed delivered with all the legal effects (e.g. time limits will begin to run) without the authorized person on the part of the recipient having to log in the data box. This mode of presumed delivery has so far been applied only to official summons and other documents sent by authorities.
Most data box users took advantage of the possibility to test this function free of charge during the pandemic, when the fee for sending PDMs was waived. As of 1 January 2022, the fee for sending a PDM will be CZK 5.00 including VAT for each communication sent (as opposed to registered mail for which one pays up to CZK 90.00).
What to be mindful of?
In particular, one should be careful when setting the scope of authorizations for people who have access to your mailbox. In practice, we have repeatedly encountered situations when employees in charge of the data box were using the login data assigned to the statutory bodies of the company. This practice is wrong. Firstly, the login details are always issued to a specific person and their use by anyone else is in conflict with the law. Secondly, the use of the statutory body’s login details carries the risk of receiving data messages that should not have been collected yet – the statutory bodies have the broadest possible powers in relation to receiving and sending messages and can also manage the data box settings.
The undesirable effects can be easily avoided by setting up access rights for specific persons – authorized employees – such that the scope of their authorization corresponds to the operations they carry out using the data box. Individual permissions – receiving data messages and sending them – can be separated. Thus, it is possible to log in to the data box without receiving the data messages, but having the possibility of sending data messages (including PDMs).
Another pitfall is the “durability” of data messages in the mailbox. If you do not have a “Data Vault” feature set up, data messages are automatically deleted from the mailbox 90 days after they are delivered to the mailbox. With the anticipated increase in the volume of data messages delivered as PDMs, we recommend that messages be downloaded from the mailbox system and stored securely, ideally by setting up the paid Data Vault function.
In view of the above, the number of legal issues to be addressed about the genuine and binding nature of private legal documents delivered via the PDM function and their proper archiving and conversion (authorized and otherwise) will certainly increase, and the issue of the use of electronic signatures on documents sent will certainly become a topic for more discussions. Incidentally, changes in the use of electronic signatures are also to be implemented as of 1 January 2022, which we will inform you about in the near future.
We are prepared to assist you in dealing with all of the above issues, including in practical terms, for example, when setting up services or activating the functions of the data box system, setting up access for authorized employees and drawing up internal rules for handling data boxes and data messages. The contact person in these matters is our colleague JUDr. Adam Felix, LL.M., Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all the best for the New Year 2022 on behalf of the entire team of Felix a spol.,