Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: The Hague, The Netherlands
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 24/01/1965

Category

Dispute resolution

Sub category

Judicial cooperation

Groups

HCCHOPENESS TO MTRS

What is it about?

The present Convention, called “Apostille Convention”, applies to public documents that have been executed in the territory of one Member State and that have to be produced in the territory of another Member State. These documents are exempt from legislation, meaning the cumbersome and costly formalities by which the diplomatic or consular agents of the country where the document has to be produced certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and the identity of the seal or stamp that it bears. The only formality that may be required to certify the authenticity is the addition of an “apostille”, issued by the competent authority of the State from which the document emanates.

Why is it relevant?

The present Convention abolishes the requirement of diplomatic or consular legislation for foreign public documents and therefore facilitates the circulation of public documents. The Convention has demonstrated its great usefulness even for countries not requiring legislation in their domestic law: the citizens in these countries enjoy the benefits of the Convention whenever they intend to produce a domestic public document in another country which, for its part, requires authentication of the document concerned.

Additional Information

The model of an “apostille” is annexed to the present Convention. A Special Commission reviewed the Apostille Convention’s practical operation in 2003 and confirmed its enormous usefulness in practice, in particular in the light of the use of modern technologies, which is an additional factor in favor of the Convention's effectiveness. The drafting of a Practical Handbook by the Permanent Bureau will further facilitate the Apostille Convention’s implementation. A document providing a more detailed review of the Convention can already be consulted on the Hague Conference's website at www.hcch.net.

  • Supplementary Protocol to the Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters (The Hague, 01 February 1971)
  • Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters (The Hague, 01 February 1971)

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