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Costa Rica: New law on electronic bills of exchange and promissory notes will facilitate procedures | Dentons

On December 9, the new Law on Electronic Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes (Law 10069) came into force. This legislation is aligned with the worldwide digitization for the management of these two types of documents and will allow to speed up procedures.

The law specifies the conditions for electronic bills of exchange and promissory notes to have the same value, evidentiary effect, and enforceability as their paper equivalents. This way, the principles of technological neutrality, functional equivalence, non-alteration of the pre-existing right or the equivalent value of the signature would be applied to both documents.

As of Law 10069, financial institutions authorized by the Office of the Superintendent of Securities (SUGEVAL, for its acronym in Spanish) may issue electronic bills of exchange and promissory notes. However, to do so, they must first establish certain specific guidelines, which could delay their final implementation.

The main advantage of this digitization is that, if a natural or legal person requires financing, they can manage it digitally, sign or consent to the credit agreement, and digitally sign the promissory note without having to go to a bank office. Thus, the financing will be given more expeditiously and in accordance with the digital environment that has accelerated in recent times.

In order to control the circulation of electronic documents, it has been established that each of them must be registered in a centralized register duly authorized by SUGEVAL. There will also be recorded the transfers that the dematerialized title may have, in order to control its circulation. This way, this entity will certify who is its owner, for collection purposes.

This new law is complementary to the Law on Certificates, Digital Signatures, and Electronic Documents and, together, they create a legal environment that provides greater security and traceability. Moreover, the new legislation must be interpreted in conjunction with the aforementioned principles and with the regulations on the subject set out in the Commercial Code. In case of contradiction, the provisions of this law shall prevail and the same shall apply with any other substantive or procedural regulations governing the subject matter of this law.