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Hague Convention

Hague Convention

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Hague Convention Abolishing TheRequirement Of Legalisation ForForeign Public Documents
5 October 1961
PREAMBLE
The States signatory to the present Convention, desiring to abolish therequirement of diplomatic or consular legalisation for foreign public documents,have resolved to conclude a Convention to this effect and have agreed upon thefollowing provisions:
SUBSTANTIVE TEXT OF THE CONVENTIONArticle 1
The present Convention shall apply to public documents which have been executedin the territory of one Contracting State and which have to be produced in theterritory of another Contracting State.For the purposes of the present Convention, the following are deemed to be publicdocuments:(a) documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with thecourts or tribunals 1of the State, including those emanating from a publicprosecutor, a clerk of a court or a process server (“huissier de justice”);(b) administrative documents;(c) notarial acts;(d) official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in theirprivate capacity, such as official certificates recording the registration of adocument or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official andnotarial authentications of signatures.However, the present Convention shall not apply:(a) to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents;(b) to administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customsoperations.
Article 2
Each Contracting State shall exempt from legalisation documents to which thepresent Convention applies and which have to be produced in its territory. For thepurposes of the present Convention, legalisation means only the formality bywhich the diplomatic or consular agents of the country in which the document hasto be produced certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which theperson signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of theseal or stamp which it bears.
Article 3
The only formality that may be required in order to certify the authenticity of thesignature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and,where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears, is the additionof the certificate described in Article 4, issued by the competent authority of theState from which the document emanates.However, the formality mentioned in the preceding paragraph cannot be requiredwhen either the laws, regulations, or practice in force in the State where thedocument is produced or an agreement between two or more Contracting Stateshave abolished or simplified it, or exempt the document itself from legalisation.
 
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[link opens a new window]HAGUE CONVENTION ABOLISHING THE REQUIREMENT OF LEGALIZATION FOR FOREIGN PUBLIC DOCUMENTSDISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR RELATING TO THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFIC FOREIGNCOUNTRIES IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFICFOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FOREIGN COUNSEL.Frequently Asked QuestionsQ. What countries follow the Hague Legalization Convention?Q. Who is the foreign central authority for a particular country?Q. In the United States, who can put the Hague Legalization Convention "apostille" certificate on a document?Learn About the Hague Legalization ConventionQ. I have a document which has the seal of a notary, state or federal official in the United States. What do I need to do tobe able to use this document overseas?A. The document must be authenticated for use abroad. This is also called legalization of the document. Authenticationmeans that a seal is placed on the document which will be recognized in the foreign country where the document will beused.Q. How do I get the document authenticated or legalized?A. That depends on whether the country where the document will be used in a party to a treaty on this subject called the"Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents".Q. What procedures should be followed if the Hague Legalization Convention does not apply?A. If the country is not a party to the Hague Convention, see our general information on Authentication of Documents forUse Abroad available via our home page, or obtain a copy of that document via our autofax service (document #1046) orby mail.Q. What is a Public Document under the Hague Legalization Convention?A. For the purposes of the Convention, public documents include:a. documents issued by a state court;b. administrative documents;c. documents executed before a notary public;d. official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, such as officialcertificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official andnotarial authentications of signatures.Q. Where does the Hague Legalization Convention apply?A. The Hague Legalization Convention is in force in the following countries. But see the next question regarding how thechange of status of a country affects treaty obligations. Click on the name of the country for specific information aboutthe competent authority to issue apostille certificates and other details on how the Hague Legalization Convention worksin that country.ANDORRAANGOLAANGUILLAANTIGUA AND BARBUDAARGENTINAARMENIAARUBAAUSTRALIAAUSTRIABAHAMASBARBADOSBELARUSBELGIUMBELIZE

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