New procedure for signing electronic documents: everything about the Machine-Readable Power of Attorney and Electronic Digital Signature

Legal Digest News
Starting from September 1, 2023, amendments to the Law "On Electronic Signature" came into force, which changed the procedure for signing electronic documents. Now it will be necessary to issue a machine-readable power of attorney and an electronic digital signature of an individual.

Acsour specialists tell us what these tools are, how to organize work with them, and from what period they need to be used.


As you know, an electronic digital signature (EDS) is an analogue of an individual’s handwritten signature, consisting of a special combination of characters. Special programs are used to generate an electronic digital signature and confirm the authenticity of the certificate.

EDS can be obtained from the Federal Tax Service or from its authorized representatives - accredited certification centers, a list of which is available on the information resource of the Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation.

Until September 1, 2023, it was necessary to use digital signatures issued to the employee indicating the company details to sign electronic documents (personnel, tax, accounting, etc.). If an employee represented the interests of an organization, he was required to issue a notarized power of attorney, according to which the head of the company entrusted him with the function of signatory of a particular document.

However, after this period, a new version of the Law “On Digital Signature” dated April 6, 2011 N 63-FZ comes into force, according to which accredited certification centers are prohibited from issuing an electronic signature for an employee. Instead, it is necessary to issue an electronic digital signature of an individual and a machine-readable power of attorney.


The electronic signature of an individual does not indicate the details of the company on behalf of which the employee is acting, while the electronic signature for the employee contains such information.

Currently, a company's signature can only be issued to its head (director or general manager), who has the right to represent the interests of the legal entity without a power of attorney.


A machine-readable power of attorney is an electronic analogue of a paper power of attorney for signing electronic documents. The difference between the machine-readable power of attorney and the paper version of the power of attorney is the difference in the requirements for the content and execution of the document.

Machine-readable power of attorney is compiled in xml format. Recently, a unified power of attorney format was approved, which must be followed when drawing up a document, regardless of which government agency it will be sent to. It is assumed that the document should contain information:

  • about the number, validity period and date of preparation of the document;
  • about the principal (manager);
  • about the representative (authorized employee);
  • about the powers that the representative receives;
  • about the possibility of re-certifying the document.

The main purpose of the machine-readable power of attorney is to confirm that the employee has the right to sign electronic documents on behalf of the company.


Both the head of the organization and an authorized employee can fill out a power of attorney. However, only the head must sign the document using his digital signature (not an individual, but for a company).

The signed machine-readable power of attorney is sent for storage to the information system. The choice of storage depends on the system in which the manager compiled and signed the machine-readable power of attorney. These could be systems:

  • accredited certification centers;
  • certification centers of the Federal Tax Service, Treasury or Central Bank of the Russian Federation;
  • federal executive authorities (Federal Tax Service, Pension Fund, Social Insurance Fund);
  • organizations developed by it independently;
  • certification centers of ESIA.

You can send a power of attorney:

  • as a separate file with a package of signed documents (by searching for the file in the system archive, attaching it to the documents) or
  • indicating only its number, since the document itself will be stored in a third-party system. Moreover, such a system will transfer data from the file to the general database of powers of attorney developed by the Federal Tax Service.

Please note that the Federal Tax Service has launched a new portal for working with a machine-readable power of attorney which will allow:

  • create a document in a unified format for exchange with government agencies and between users;
  • check the power of attorney from third-party services and upload it to the FNM Register for storage;
  • clarify whether changes were made to the machine-readable power of attorney after its signing before uploading to the Federal Tax Service Storage Register.

The manager can issue a machine-readable power of attorney to an employee with the right of subrogation, which allows him to delegate powers and issue the machine-readable power of attorney to other persons (which allows the manager not to sign all of the company’s machine-readable powers of attorney). However, company managers, heads of branches or representative offices can independently issue such a machine-readable power of attorney. If the machine-readable power of attorney with the right of substitution is transferred by another employee, then such a power of attorney must be certified by a notary.

If an employee no longer has the authority to sign the organization's documents or his authority has changed, the director can revoke the machine-readable power of attorney. To do this, he sends an application for revocation to the information system that stores the machine-readable power of attorney. Each system determines independently which form to fill out the application.


It was assumed that the new procedure for signing electronic documents will need to be applied from September 1, 2023, however, government agencies established a transition period, according to which:

  • until August 31, 2024, employees can sign documents according to the old rules - using the employee’s digital signature and issuing a paper notarized power of attorney or
  • switch to a new procedure for signing documents.

Please note that:

  1. It is possible to sign documents according to the old rules only if the employee managed to obtain an employee’s digital signature (or update a previously valid employee’s digital signature) before August 31, 2023. After the specified period, it became impossible to issue such digital signatures, and the employee will be forced to apply a new procedure for signing documents - with the issuance of an electronic signature for an individual and an machine-readable power of attorney.
  2. From September 1, 2024, applying the new procedure for signing documents will become an obligation, not a right of the company (including if the employee’s digital signature expires later than the specified period).

If you have any questions regarding the application of legislation in the field of digital signatures and organizing the process of signing electronic documents, please, contact Acsour specialists.