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What changes with the REM (or European PEC) in 5 points

27 November 2023

Why PEC and REM are different and when REM will come into effect

PEC is destined to disappear to make way for REM, a Qualified Electronic Delivery Service (SERCQ) as required by the European eIDAS regulation. Here is what will happen.

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Since 2009, when it was made compulsory for companies, professionals and public administrations, PEC has contributed to the digitization of “official” communications and a huge streamlining of bureaucracy. However, the European Commission has long been working to “standardize” certified digital services within the EU in favor of greater interoperability: by the first four months of 2024, REM (Registered Electronic E-mail), also called “European PEC,” will become mandatory, replacing PEC completely. REM, in fact, is still a Qualified Electronic Delivery Service (SERCQ) as required by the European eIDAS regulation. What will change?

We summarized it in 5 points.

1) PEC will “go away”

Yes, it will be a real replaPECent and PECs will go out of use. However, this does not mean that it will be necessary to change or create new addresses. Many providers are organizing to make the transition as easy as possible, making sure that from the user experience point of view the change is only “formal” and involves a simple acknowledgement step.

2) Recognition will be mandatory

The biggest difference between PEC and REM, in fact, is precisely the step of recognition and identification of the registrants that will be required to have an REM, a step that is not currently provided for PEC, which simply requires master data. To obtain an REM therefore, it will be essential to complete a recognition with artificial intelligence or the SPID and CIE digital identities. In this way, the REM, in addition to guaranteeing receipt of the message, will also give certainty of the recipient’s identity.

3) PEC is a SERC, REM is a SERCQ

And it is precisely the presence or absence of recognition that makes PEC and REM two very different instruments, even from a regulatory point of view. For eIDAS, in fact, the PEC can be considered a SERC, a Certified Delivery Service, while the REM is a SERCQ, a Qualified Certified Electronic Delivery Service. Since its existence, however, PEC has been equated with a SERCQ in Italy by the Digital Administration Code, but this equating is not considered valid at the European level.


4) REM will apply throughout Europe

The switch from PEC to REM will thus have the enormous advantage of expanding its legal validity throughout Europe. PEC, in fact, has always been an exclusively Italian tool with no effectiveness outside national borders.

5) Dual factor authentication will be required

In order to access the REM, it will be necessary to enable a double authentication factor, as for accessing home banking: it means that when logging in on the portal provided by the PEC provider, an additional code, usually a One Time Password (OTP, i.e., a password to be used only once), will have to be entered, sent via SMS or automatically generated by the provider’s app.

One problem remains: how to send an REM to someone who does not have one?

Although REM will undoubtedly bring better service in the area of professional-to-professional communications, it will not solve the need for B2c companies to send large-scale communications via e-mail and SMS and still get a delivery receipt. This need can be met by Certified Delivery Services, which allow communications to be sent in “plain” form while still guaranteeing their actual delivery to the recipient and the legal value of the communication.

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