Panama: The Superintendency of Securities Market Adopts the Use of Electronic Signature

Published on Jan 29, 2024

Through Agreement No. 9-2023, the Superintendency of the Securities Market (“SMV”) adopted the use of electronic signature, whether simple or qualified, in documents related to the securities market activities.

This agreement is applicable to contractual documents signed by clients of entities licensed by (i) Brokerage Houses, (ii) Investment Advisors, (iii) Investment Managers, (iv) Investment Managers of Retirement and Pension Funds, (v) Self-Regulated Organizations, (vi) Price Provider Entities and (vii) Risk Rating Entities.

Now, it is important to mention that in Panama the electronic signature was regulated 16 years ago by means of Law No. 51 of 2008, which was modified by Law No. 82 of 2012, and later regulated by Executive Decree No. 684 of 2013. These regulatory bodies define the simple electronic and qualified signatures as follows:

  • Simple electronic signature: Technical method to identify a person and to indicate that that person approves the information contained in the electronic document.
  • Qualified electronic signature: Electronic signature whose validity is supported by a qualified electronic certificate, which has been created by the National Directorate of Electronic Signatures or by a certification service provider registered with said directorate.

The difference between a simple electronic signature and a qualified electronic signature is that the qualified has automatic legal value, which is presumed by law, while the simple one does not enjoy this legal presumption.

Consequently, the objective of Agreement No. 9-2023 is to enable regulated entities to use the electronic signature, simple or qualified, in the relationship with their clients with the same legal consequences and probatory burden as having done so through handwritten signature. Hence, as of December 2023, any document related to stock market activity that is signed using an electronic signature will have the same validity, legal effects, and binding force as those signed by hand. This will only be possible, if the identity of the signatories can be verified, through the means established in the provisions relating to this matter.

Likewise, the client who signs a document using an electronic signature will have the same rights and obligations as the client who has signed it handwritten, and regulated entities will have the obligation to provide an electronic copy of the signed documents to all signatories.

At Arias we seek to ensure that our clients are up to date with the new regulations. For more information or questions do not hesitate to contact us at

The information provided by ARIAS® is presented for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.

Paula Vives
Associate, Arias Panama.