I received a mail from our legal department. I’m sure similar ones are winging their way around German companies.

With the implementation of the Electronic Commercial Register, Cooperative Society Register and Company Register Act (Gesetz über elektronische Handelsregister und Genossenschaftsregister sowie das Unternehmensregister), or EHUG, which took effect January 1, 2007, in Germany, new regulations apply to the contents of business-related e-mails.

Effective immediately, all e-mails with business content must include a supplementary text that contains the following details: legal form of the company, location of the company, applicable register court, commercial register number, and for joint-stock companies the names of all members of the  Executive Board and the chairperson of the Supervisory Board.

Any infringement to this new disclosure requirement will result in fines and may also lead to additional costs incurred from written warnings. The new regulation concerns the words and meaning of all external e-mail communications with business content. It not only applies to e-mails with obvious legal content, such as offers, orders, or notices of termination, but also to any business e-mail sent outside the company. This also applies to Blackberry mails.

This means that the footer on my email is 1099 characters long.

I wonder if there will be a new government jobtitle? Elektronischeunterzeichnungkontrollebeaftrager

Changing your signature on Outlook is a mission. (tools, customise, mailformat, signature, edit….)  also it isn’t server based, so I think you need to do it on every PC you use.

I understand that this isn’t just an odd German rule, it is also an EU Directive.

UPDATE; Dear German government please accept my apologies for singling you out, the UK has also implemented a similar law. See Naked law for details

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