Legislative Compliancy

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In order to curb inappropriate and unethical usage of the electronic document management and distribution process, a broad range of international legislation has emerged in this field. Although there are common threads in terms of legislations and best practice from country to country, there are specific requirements applicable to each country.

The common world wide requirements and trends that EMC fully adheres to are the following:

  • The respect and preservation of client information privacy through secure data and document communication;
  • Reliable, secure and practical data and document storage and retrieval;
  • The encryption of confidential, sensitive data or documentation during communication;
  • Accurate, comprehensive and real time reporting, audit trails, backups and transaction roll backs.

All of the above ensure full compliance of the relevant country's Acts and Regulations.

In South Africa these include:

  • South African Revenue Service Requirements;
  • Electronic Communication and Transactions Act 25 2002;
  • Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001.
  • Protection of Personal Information Bill
  • National Credit Act
  • Consumer Protection Act

SARS Compliance Requirements

In sending electronic tax invoices, credit and debit notes via e-mail, EMC complies with the requirements of the South African Revenue Services (SARS), whereby the recipient is able to claim their input tax back from the electronic document. This is because the e-document is sent as an original document and treated in the same manner as the paper-based equivalent; i.e. it is a valid invoice that reflects an expense (company or private) to the designated party on the invoice to whom it is electronically delivered.

Compliance with the following requirements ensures that Email Connection is a SARS certified vendor:

  • All documents must comply with sections 20 and 21 of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991. EMC complies fully with these sections.
  • All Value Added Tax (VAT) documents must be transmitted in encrypted form, using at least 128-bit encryption.
    EMC encrypts all Documents in 128-bit Encryption and in addition includes an exclusive and unique digital document identification system.
  • All parties in the document flow process (suppliers, recipients and EMC) must retain documents in a readable and encrypted form for five years from the date of generation, receipt or supply.
    EMC's implementation and training process ensures compliance by all the necessary parties.
  • Encrypted documents must be comparable with the paper based documents.
    EMC goes further by generating documents that have the same "look and feel" as the paper-based document.
  • Original tax documents generated and sent in electronic format must clearly display "Tax Invoice". Any copy extracted from the system, must automatically include "Copy Tax Invoice".
    EMC's systems automatically identify the same documents and change the document heading from "Original Tax Invoice" to "Copy Tax Invoice"

Email Connection was the first vendor in South Africa to introduce electronic document conversion, delivery and E-billing (the sending of original tax documents by e-mail). Since the company's inception, there have been no discrepancies that have rendered any parties' (suppliers, vendors or recipients) tax documents invalid.

Electronic Communication and Transaction Act 25 of 2002

This act was established to:

  • Facilitate and regulate electronic communications and transactions to protect the public;
  • Provide a standardised platform for national e-strategy;
  • Align South Africa with international electronic communications, transaction strategies and benchmarks;
  • To empower SMMEs to compete in the electronic communications arena;
  • To provide for human resource development in electronic transactions: to prevent abuse of information systems;
  • To promote the use of e-government services;
  • To legally equate paper based commerce and electronic commerce.

As a service provider, EMC fulfils the applicable requirements of the above act in dealing with document retention and security.

Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (FICA)

The rules and regulations of this act deal with proper record keeping, client verification and identification, and disclosure of suspicious and unusual transactions.

Digital signature legislation has not yet been implemented in South Africa. Common law currently regulates data protection and electronic communication to address the legality of the use of digital signatures in South Africa. Many corporates have implemented digital signatures as an additional security and authentication procedure in anticipation of the incorporation of the inclusion within either of the acts.

As a service provider, EMC fulfils the applicable requirements of the above act in dealing with document retention and security.

Protection of personal information bill
(Bill published in Government Gazette No. 32495 of 14 August 2009)

Bill proposes to: promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce information protection principles so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Protection Regulator; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

National Credit Act, 2005 (Act No. 34 of 2005) Chapter 5 : Consumer Credit Agreements Part D : Statements of account 108. - download specific sections of this act to ascertsain if it is applicable to your industry.

Consumer Protection Act No. 68 of 2008 (as amended) download specific sections of this act to ascertsain if it is applicable to your industry.