The People’s Republic of China has entered the Hague Convention starting from November 7th, 2023, making the Apostille finally available in China.
The Hague Convention
The Hague Convention of October 5th, 1961 is an international treaty that simplifies the process of legalizing public documents for use in foreign countries. In fact, it abolishes the requirement for consular legalization.
The following are some of the documents included in the scope of the convention:
- Personal documents like, for example, birth and marriage certificates, notarized power of attorneys, criminal records and pending charges certificates;
- Corporate documents like, for example, chamber of commerce certificates, company statements and balance sheets.
Apostille in China now into force
Starting from November 7th, 2023, the legalization of acts and documents issued by Chinese and Italian authorities that fall within the scope of the Convention is replaced by the affixing of an apostille. This is intended to simplify procedures for the international circulation of official documents, thus facilitating transfers and international trade.
Starting from that date, therefore, the diplomatic missions involved have suspended consular legalizations. Applicants may apply directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their own country – the authority responsible for issuing apostilles on documents issued in their own country.
It is advisable to inquire in advance about any requirements by the receiving body concerning the format, content, validity and translation of the document, before applying for apostilles.