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Facsimile or Handwritten Signature

Currently, along with a handwritten signature, facsimile or, as commonly called, "facsimile signature" is widely used. That is because the facsimile has several advantages over the handwritten signature and in today"s business environment provides great opportunities by saving time.

27.08.2014Юридическая фирма "Diplomat Law", www.diplomatlaw.com


But may all documents be signed by facsimile signature? And in general, is it allowed by the legislation the use of a facsimile instead of a handwritten signature?

Facsimile (from Latin fac simile - «make alike») - an exact reproduction of the manuscript, document, signature by photography and printing. It is a print, cliché with which a handwritten signature of the person is reproduced. Facsimile is equivalent to a handwritten signature; documents with facsimile tend to have legal force.
The notion of a facsimile is not legally defined, but the Civil Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter - CC RU) (Article 107) establishes the following:
"Usage of facsimile copy of the signature is allowed for the transaction if it is not contrary to the law or the request of one of the participants."
According to the Article 101 of the CC RU, "transactions are actions of citizens and legal entities, aimed to establish, modify or terminate the civil rights and obligations".
Transactions may be unilateral, bilateral or multilateral. (Article 102 of the CC RU)
The exchange of letters, telegrams, telephone messages, teletype, faxes or other documents defining the subjects and content of their expression  are defined as equivalent to the commitment the transaction in writing form, unless otherwise is provided by legislation or agreement of the parties. (Part four of Article 107 of the CC RU)

According to the mentioned above norms, the use of a facsimile on contracts and similar documents is allowed, if none of the parties object to accept a facsimile signature or if otherwise is not provided by the contract.
In accordance with the third paragraph of Article 776 of the CC RU,
"By the Bank Account Agreement it may be provided the identification of rights of disposal the sums of money in the account by electronic payment methods and other documents by using the analogues of handwritten signature, codes, passwords and other means to confirm that the order given by an authorized person."
In some legal acts, the cases in which allowance of signing only by hands of authorized people are expressed.
For example, in accordance with paragraph 22 of the Resolution Number 162 of the Plenum of the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan from 15.06.2007 "On the application of the Economic Procedural Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cases before the Court of First Instance",
“By the meaning of Section 112 of the Economic Procedural Code (EPC), the petition shall be signed by the head of the claimant or his representative personally. While possibility of reproduction of the signature by mechanical or other copying mechanisms is not permitted, except as provided by law. "
In addition, a handwritten signature must be placed in those cases that require witnessing signatures on documents .
For example, in accordance with the requirements of the third paragraph of Article 1124 and fifth paragraph of the Article 1125 of the CC RU, points 173 and 176 of Instructions of notarial acts of notaries (registration number 2090 from 30.03.10), Paragraph 63 of the Instructions on notarial acts of consuls of the consular offices of the Republic of Uzbekistan (registration number 2191 from 31.01.11):
"Will in writing form must be personally signed by the testator.
Secret will, under pain of invalidity thereof, shall be personally written and signed by the testator."
According to the Instructions of the notarial acts of notaries (registration number 2090 from 30.03.10) (paragraph 17), Instructions of notarial acts of consuls of the consular offices of the Republic of Uzbekistan (registration number 2191 of 31.01.11) (paragraph 17) notaries and consuls do not accept documents for notarial acts, if the documents are signed by the facsimile signature.
Regulation on cash payments in the Republic of Uzbekistan, approved by the Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan (registration number 2465 from 03.06.13) ( Second sentence of paragraph 4 , point 20 ) states that "signing on the payment documents using copying equipment – facsimile is prohibited . "
In paragraph 3 of the same Regulation the payment documents used in non-cash payments were listed. These include:
1) memorial warrant;
2) payment order;
3) payment request;
4) collection order ;
5) application for credit;
6) payment check of a commercial bank .
On all of the above documents, signatures must be made personally.
Furthermore, stamping of facsimile signature on the primary accounting documents, recording the fact of the transactions and orders for their conduct is prohibited, as personal signatures of responsible people are one of the essential elements of such documents (part four of Article 9 of the Act of Republic of Uzbekistan "On Accounting").
According to paragraph 14 of the Regulations of cash transactions by legal entities (registration number 565 from 17.12.98), "receipt of money can only be done by authorized person by ink or paste of ballpoint pens personally..."
Affixing of facsimile is also not allowed on the cards with specimen signatures and seal submitted by recipients of budget funds to the relevant treasury division at the opening of the facial treasury bills (Treasury Regulations on the order of execution of budget expenditures and institutions of military industry and law enforcement agencies and other budgetary expenditure with a secret character (registration number 1941 dated 16.04.2009) and the Treasury Regulations of the State budget (registration number 2007 dated 16.09.2009)).
Other prohibitions on the use of facsimile is not set by current legislation.
However, in order to prevent possible abuse, the most reasonable way is to use facsimile in documents not implying financial or other kind of responsibility.
In order to insure against possible illegal use of facsimile, it is desirable to develop a local act, for example instructions on its use. It is desirable to prescribe:

  • clear list of documents that can be delivered by facsimile ;
  • person responsible for the storage of facsimile ;
  • list of people who have the right to use the facsimile ;
  • control sample print  of facsimile.

Yoqubjon Iskhakov
Diplomat Law Firm

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