The beginning of the year is always associated with legislative novelties that have been prepared during the previous years and regularly come into force on the first of January. This January was no exception and two amendments came into force, which regulates Act No. 300/2008 Coll., on electronic acts and authorised document conversion, which transposes the EU Directive. For our purposes, we will refer to it as the so-called Data Box Act, as the new statutory obligation to use a data box will be the content of the following lines.
Who is newly obliged to set up a data box?
It is a very hot topic when a letter with new data box login details is delivered to the mailbox. Why is this? This is due to the amendment of Section 4 of the Data Boxes Act, which in its previous wording did not impose the obligation to use a data box on natural persons engaged in business. After the amendment, this no longer applies and all entrepreneurs will now be required to have a data box directly by law.
However, the digital transition will take place gradually for all those affected, i.e. the natural persons in business mentioned in Section 4 of the Data Box Act. This transition to digital communication will therefore take place ex-lege for all business persons and the Ministry of the Interior will set up a data box for them by 31 March 2023 at the latest in accordance with the transitional provision of the relevant amendment.
The data box will thus be newly established for all those registered in the relevant databases (e.g. the Trade Register) under a personal identification number (IDN), which now also serves to orientate the data box holders in the database. It is now sufficient to enter the new ID number and it is very easy to find out whether a data box has been or is yet to be set up for a given entity.
The data box – previously established by law for all legal entities – will now also be obligatory for other entrepreneurs, i.e. self-employed persons such as architects, doctors, pharmacists and others. In addition, a data box will be legally established for all associations, societies, foundations and associations of owners of residential units.
How will it all work?
Establishing a data box will be completely automatic, so there will be no need to submit any application. The data box will be set up at the initiative of the Ministry and by 31 March this year at the latest, new users will receive login details for their data box. They will receive these data through the postal service operator, the last time in paper form, and from then on their communication with the authorities should only take place through the data box.
New users will then log in to their own data box and this will activate it. Users who do not do so should take care, however, as after the expiry of the 15-day login period from the date of receipt of the login data, the data box will be deemed active by legal fiction.
Is there anything I can do if I don’t want to use the data box?
It will not be possible to deactivate (i.e. make inaccessible) a newly legally established data box, as was the case with regular data boxes established on request. The only option for entrepreneurs who refuse to use data boxes is to cancel their trade or another business licence. Otherwise, every new user of a data box will have to get acquainted with its system and start using it actively in communication with the authorities.
Data boxes may seem like a curse of modern times to some, but we firmly believe that this new form of 21st-century communication will prove very effective in the long run. Indeed, the establishment of data boxes by law follows a long-term trend of increasing interest in the voluntary use of data boxes. For many people, this means saving time and money compared to the previously traditional method of delivering documents via the postal service operator. Data mailboxes will increase the speed and efficiency of communication with the authorities while saving money spent by the state on the delivery of documents. Of course, we must not overlook the positive ecological aspect of data boxes, as the need for paper is reduced with digital data transmission only.
In cooperation with Spring Walk advokatni kancelář s.r.o.