//Apostille and legalization: use in Italy of documents and acts issued by foreign authorities

Apostille and legalization: use in Italy of documents and acts issued by foreign authorities

By Maurizio Tino, lawyer, Manca Graziadei Studio Legale – Rome

To use the documents and acts issued by foreign authorities, Notaries and public officers it is necessary to get the Apostille or the legalization by the competent office.
The Apostille is an official certification valid among the countries where the Hague Convention of 1961 abolishing the requirement for legalization of foreign public documents, is in force of the Apostille Convention. Types of documents which can be apostilled include corporate documents such as company bylaws and articles of incorporation, power of attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes, and others.

The Apostille is applied by the State from the documents are originated. Once a document has had an Apostille attached to it confirming the authenticity of signatures and seals it can be used in one of the 114 countries participant to the treaty:
– ALBANIA (not with Greece)
– ANDORRA
– ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
– ARGENTINA (not with Kosovo; it does not accept British extensions to British Antarctic, Falkland, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands southern)
– ARMENIA (not with Kosovo)
– AUSTRALIA (extends to all territories for which it is responsible for relations International)
– AUSTRIA (not with Burundi, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
– AZERBAIJAN (not Germany, Kosovo)
– BAHAMAS
– BAHRAIN
– BARBADOS
– BELARUS (so-called. BIELORUSSIA) (not with Kosovo)
– BELGIUM (not with Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mongolia, Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
– BELIZE
– BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA
– BOTSWANA
– BRAZIL (not with Kosovo)
– BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
– BULGARIA
– BURUNDI (not with Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic)
– GREEN LADY
– CHILE (not with Kosovo)
– CIPRO (not with Kosovo)
– COLOMBIA
– KOREA (SOUTH KOREA)
– COSTA RICA
– CROATIA
– DENMARK (except Greenland and Faroe Islands)
– DOMINICA
– ECUADOR (not with Kosovo)
– EL SALVADOR
– ESTONIA
– FIJI
– FINLAND (not with Mongolia)
– FRANCE (applies to the whole French territory)
– GEORGIA (except Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (not with Kosovo)
– GERMANY (not with Azerbaijan, Burundi, India, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Paraguay, Republic Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
– JAPAN
– GREAT BRITAIN (extends to ANGUILLA, BRITISH ANTARTIC, BERMUDA, CAYMAN, FALKLAND, SOUTH GEORGIA AND SANDWICH ISLANDS MERIDIONAL, GIBBY, GUERNSEY, ISLAND OF MAN, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, JERSEY, MONTSERRAT, SANT’ELENA, TURKS AND CAICOS) (not accepted by Argentina, not accepted by Spain)
– GREECE (not with Albania, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Perú, Uzbekistan)
– GUATEMALA
– GRENADA
– HONG KONG (not with Kosovo)
– HONDURAS
– INDIA (not with Germany, Kosovo)
– IRELAND
– ICELAND
– ISLANDS COOK
– MARSHALL ISLANDS
– ISRAEL (not with Kosovo)
– ITALY
– KAZAKHSTAN
– KOSOVO (not with Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Namibia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela)
– KYRGYZSTAN (not Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece)
– LESOTHO
– LATVIA
– LIBERIA (not with Belgium, Germany)
– LIECHTENSTEIN
– LITHUANIA
– LUXEMBOURG
– MACAO (not with Kosovo)
– MACEDONIA (EX REPUBLIC YUGOSLAVIA)
– MALAWI
– MALTA
– MOROCCO (not with Germany)
– MAURITIUS (not with Kosovo)
– MEXICO (not with Kosovo)
– MOLDOVA (not with Germany, Kosovo)
– MONACO (so-called MONTECARLO)
– MONGOLIA (not Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece)
– MONTENEGRO
– NAMIBIA (not with Kosovo)
– NICARAGUA (not with Kosovo)
– NIUE
– NORWAY
– NEW ZEALAND (except Tokelau)
– OMAN
– NETHERLANDS (applies also to ARUBA, BONAIRE, CURAÇAO, SABA, SINT EUSTATIUS, SINT MAARTEN) (no with the Dominican Republic)
– PANAMA
– PARAGUAY (not with Germany, Kosovo)
– PERU (not with Greece, Kosovo)
– POLAND (not with Burundi, Kosovo)
– PORTUGAL (extends to the entire Portuguese territory)
– CZECH REPUBLIC (not with Burundi)
– DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (not with Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands)
– ROMANIA (not with Kosovo)
– RUSSIA (not with Kosovo)
– SAINT KITTS and NEVIS
– SAINT VINCENT AND GRENADINE
– SAMOA
– SAN MARINO
– SAINT LUCIA
– SOME TOM AND PRINCIPLE
– SERBIA (not with Kosovo)
– SEYCHELLES
– SLOVAKIA (not with Kosovo)
– SLOVENIA
– SPAIN (not with Kosovo, it does not accept extending Great Britain to Gibraltar)
– UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
– SOUTH AFRICA
– SURINAME
– SWEDEN
– SWITZERLAND
– SWAZILAND
– TAJIKISTAN (not with Austria, Belgium, Germany)
– TONGA
– TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
– TURKEY
– UKRAINE (not with Kosovo)
– HUNGARY
– URUGUAY
– UZBEKISTAN (not with Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Kosovo) – VANUATU
– VENEZUELA (not with Kosovo).

In particular, the Apostille is affixed by the Competent Authorities designated by the State. Each State has a different Authority which issue the Apostille, for example in Italy each Procura della Repubblica is locally competent to issue the Apostille for the documents signed by the Notary, Clerks of the Court and the bailiff, for other documents is competent the local Prefettura. In the United Kingdom, only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes is competent to apply the Apostilles on the documents from all over the United Kingdom, including Northern Irland. In Hong Kong, the competent authority is the Apostille Service Office at High Court Registry for all document.

The information included in the Apostille certificate are the following: country of issue, the person and the capacity in which he signed the original document, details of the seal in the document, place, and date of issue, authority issued the document, number of the Apostille, stamp of the authority certification and signature of the certificatory.
The authority receiving the document should then accept the seals or signatures as true and valid without requesting further evidence or proof.

The countries that are not members of the Apostille Convention to use abroad their documents and acts have to get the legalisation, which requires different forms and certifications respect to the Apostille. Indeed the process is divided into two steps, The first step is very similar to obtaining an Apostille and it consists to verify the formal requirement and the signature of the document or act usually before the same authorities which apply the Aspostille. The second step of the legalisation, which stands for the process of making an authenticated document valid for use in another country, can only be done at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document will be used. Every Embassy or Consulate has its own specific requirements when it comes to legalising a document. In general, after accepting the document and verify its requirements, signature, stamp, and declaration the document will be valid for legal purposes in the country that legalised it. As these requirements change country by country, it is important to consult the Embassy or Consulate of interest.

By | 2017-11-02T14:58:45+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Legal Issues|0 Comments

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