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News & Media

Mandatory Activation of Electronic Mailboxes

Date: 26/06/2017

It seems that in the past days – weeks we have been flooded with reports, articles and notices regarding electronic mailboxes. There is no doubt whatsoever, after two unsuccessful “mandatory activations” it is obviously a matter of prestige that the government should not move the date of mandatory activation again.

What is it about? From 1 July, all public authorities should send their decisions or notifications not in paper form, but electronically into electronic mailboxes. For the time being, it applies only to legal persons and organizational units entered in the Commercial Register.

It should be noted that electronic communication is only mandatory from the public authority to the parties, but not vice-versa that means that the party can reply to a document delivered by a public authority to the electronic mailbox also in “paper” form.

In connection with delivery to the electronic mailboxes it is important to note that the effects of delivery of such documents will be the same as if delivered by classical post, that means that from the time of delivery, the time limits for the execution of acts or for filing appeals begin to run, the decisions delivered to the mailbox shall become valid and enforceable. Therefore, it is really desirable for everyone to have their electronic mailbox “under control”, otherwise there is a risk of not being aware on time about the commencement of enforcement or legal proceedings, or for example, about arrears towards the Social Insurance Agency. Often there is a question   whether there are any penalties for “not accessing” the mailbox. There are not direct penalties, but the financial consequences may be significant for the owner of the mailbox. For example, he/she does not learn that a fine has been imposed him/her and the amount will increase with default interests, or he/she will not file a complaint against the payment order received and it will become valid, although he/she might otherwise file objections. The consequences may be compared to the case when someone does not open his/her mailbox and does not receive mail. 

On behalf of a legal entity (organizational unit) logs into the electronic mailbox the statutory representative. The statutory representative can do so only if he/she holds an ID card with an electronic chip, activated security personal code (BOK), a computer, Internet access, a reader and associated software. You do not need to be an IT expert to open and manage your electronic mailbox, however  be aware that you will need some skills from the electronic world. Even the fact that you will dispose of everything we have mentioned above still does not guarantee that you will get to your mailbox. Why not? You may belong to the statutory representatives who do not have their birth registration number in the Commercial Register, or maybe that you changed your family name and you have not made the change to be registered in the Commercial Registry.  You are taking a risk that the system will not identify you after login on “slovensko.sk” portal and will not get access to your electronic mailbox.

Due to the nature of the matter, foreign citizens do not have and cannot have an ID card with a chip. Many such foreigners, however, are statutory representatives of a Slovak legal entity. What happens in this case? Who and how can get access the electronic mailbox of the company? If the statutory representative has a residence card in Slovakia with an electronic chip, he can log-in the mailbox. If the foreign statutory representative does not have such a document, he/she has  two options: either he/she applies for an alternative authenticator, which is actually a card replacing the ID card and which serves to log in the mailbox or empowers a Slovak citizen to access. Since it is necessary to apply for the alternative authenticator in person in Slovakia, and also it is sent only to an address in the Slovak Republic, it will probably not be a real alternative for the statutory representatives from more distant places. Not to mention that the chairman of a board of a large corporation living in New York probably will not be interested in reading letters from authorities in the Slovak language.

However, not even the Slovak statutory representatives – especially of the larger companies – will have the capacity to manage electronic mailboxes. It is not necessary for the statutory representative to leave his ID card to the secretary or an accountant – for security reasons we do not recommend this solution at all. The Slovak statutory representatives may also authorize a third party, either in writing on a prescribed form (the signature needs to be certified) or by logging into the electronic mailbox and setting the authorization in the mailbox itself. In order to be able to do so, it is necessary for this person to have an ID card with electronic chip, and of course also BOK. In addition, such person must enjoy your great confidence, since by authorizing for access to the mailbox that person will have access to all official decisions, notices delivered to your mailbox, and which may contain sensitive and confidential information and data. It should be also noted that granting access to the mailbox does not mean that responsibility is transferred to these persons – it remains on the company or its statutory representatives. Therefore it is necessary to carefully consider, whom and for which acts you authorize (also with partial authorization has the accessing person many opportunities to cause problems), and it is also advisable to contractually govern who, when, for what operations, and under what conditions is authorized, and who is responsible for what. In larger corporations, where more than one person will have access to the mailbox, it is even advisable to adopt organizational rules.

As can be seen from above, at present electronic mailboxes (both their creators and their owners) have to cope with initial difficulties. But let us hope that after coping with “childhood diseases” it will be a useful tool for fast and efficient communication with the public administration.

Do you want to avoid problems and nervousness? Is your statutory representative a person from abroad and does not have a trip to Slovakia right now? Our office offers you the possibility to get rid of the worries and leave your electronic mailbox management to us. We will prepare all necessary documents for you. At the same time, if an official decision is delivered to your mailbox, we can immediately evaluate it and offer a solution.

Mgr. Noémi Polák
Senior Associate