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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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Albania03/09/2003
Andorra15/04/1996
Antigua and Barbuda01/05/1985
Argentina08/05/1987
Armenia19/11/1993
Australia11/07/1994
Austria14/11/1967
Azerbaijan13/05/2004
Bahamas30/04/1976
Bahrain10/04/2013
Barbados30/08/1995
Belarus16/06/1992
Belgium11/12/1975
Belize17/07/1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina23/08/1993
Botswana16/09/1968
Brazil02/12/2015
Brunei Darussalam23/02/1987
Bulgaria01/08/2000
Burundi10/06/2014
Cape Verde07/05/2009
Chile16/12/2015
China-
Colombia27/04/2000
Costa Rica06/04/2011
Croatia05/04/1993
Cyprus26/07/1972
Czech Republic23/06/1998
Denmark30/10/2006
Dominica22/10/2002
Dominican Republic12/12/2008
Ecuador02/07/2004
El Salvador14/09/1975
Estonia11/12/2000
Fiji29/03/1971
Finland27/06/1985
France25/11/1964
Georgia21/08/2006
Germany15/12/1965
Greece19/03/1985
Grenada17/07/2001
Honduras20/01/2004
Hungary18/04/1972
Iceland28/09/2004
India26/10/2004
Ireland08/01/1999
Israel11/11/1977
Italy13/12/1977
Japan28/05/1970
Kazakhstan05/04/2000
Latvia11/05/1995
Lesotho24/04/1972
Liberia24/05/1995
Liechtenstein19/07/1972
Lithuania05/11/1996
Luxembourg04/09/1979
Macedonia (The former Yugoslav Republic of)20/09/1993
Malawi24/02/1967
Malta12/06/1967
Marshall Islands18/11/1991
Mauritius20/12/1968
Mexico11/12/1994
Moldova19/06/2006
Monaco24/04/2002
Mongolia02/04/2009
Montenegro30/06/2006
Morocco27/11/2015
Namibia25/04/2000
Netherlands09/08/1965
New Zealand07/02/2001
Nicaragua07/09/2012
Norway30/05/1983
Oman12/05/2011
Panama30/10/1990
Paraguay10/12/2013
Peru13/01/2010
Poland19/11/2004
Portugal06/12/1968
Republic of Korea25/10/2006
Romania07/06/2000
Russian Federation04/09/1991
Saint Kitts and Nevis26/02/1994
Saint Lucia05/12/2001
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines02/05/2002
Samoa18/01/1999
San Marino26/05/1994
Sao Tome and Principe19/12/2007
Serbia26/04/2001
Seychelles09/06/1978
Slovakia06/06/2001
Slovenia08/06/1992
South Africa03/08/1994
Spain27/07/1978
Suriname29/10/1976
Swaziland03/07/1978
Sweden02/03/1999
Switzerland10/01/1973
Tajikistan20/02/2015
Tonga28/10/1971
Trinidad and Tobago28/10/1999
Turkey31/07/1985
Ukraine02/04/2003
United Kingdom21/08/1964
United States of America24/12/1980
Uruguay09/02/2012
Uzbekistan25/07/2011
Vanuatu01/08/2008
Venezuela01/07/1998
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19613
19642
19652
19673
19683
19701
19712
19724
19731
19752
19762
19772
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19791
19801
19831
19854
19872
19901
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19923
19934
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19953
19962
19982
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20006
20015
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20032
20046
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20082
20092
20101
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20154
Total111
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