China has become the latest country to adopt the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, which is also commonly referred to as the Apostille Convention or the Hague Convention. China has been a member of the Hague Conference since 1987, but has long failed to ratify the Apostille Convention and is the largest country in the world without a simplified document legalization procedure. China’s accession to the convention is an important step towards greater institutional opening-up in the use of public documents abroad for the country.
The Apostille Convention provides a set process by which countries that are member to the Convention can authenticate a public document by issuing a single apostille certificate through a competent authority in the country where the document originates. This one-step process reduces time and costs for cross-border use of public documents by avoiding additional certification or legalization at an embassy or consulate of the foreign/destination country. According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mao Ning, who spoke on China’s accession in a press briefing on March 10, China’s accession to the Convention will “simplify the procedures for the transnational circulation of official documents and facilitate international economic, trade and personnel exchanges”.
Impact of China’s accession to Hague’s Apostille Convention
The Apostille Convention will officially enter into force in China on November 7, 2023. For both foreign and Chinese citizens, this means easier and faster applications for various documents, such as criminal records, healthcare certificates, driver’s licenses, degree certificates, and birth certificates, that may be required for various administrative tasks. Without a doubt, the ratification of the convention by China allows documents originating in China and those legalized according to the requirements of the treaty, to be accepted in the 125 member countries. Likewise, Chinese authorities must accept apostilles in place of legalization for incoming foreign public documents from contracting parties, as prescribed by the terms of the Apostille Convention.
The addition of China is a huge relief for a lot of South Africans who had to previously follow a tedious legalisation process. Instead of following a multi-tiered process of legalisations, South African nationals can now simply have their South African documents apostilled for legal use in China. This new accession will save time and costs for South African companies and individuals, as foreign documents for use in China will no longer need to undergo multiple rounds of authentication by different authorities
Apostille and Document legalization by Global Apostille
Global Apostille is a Pretoria-based legalisation agency that assists corporations and individuals in getting apostilles and embassy legalization services in South Africa for documents to be used abroad. We make the legalization and apostille of South African documents simple for our clients.
Understanding that document authentication can be challenging and time-consuming, our main aim is to ensure our clients feel at ease. Our goal is to lessen this load by offering top-notch apostilling services at reasonable rates, without any hidden charges.
Global Apostille can handle various types of documents on your behalf from Birth Certificate to Power of Attorney. Our service offers a comprehensive solution, ensuring both official translation and legalization processes are straightforward. If you want to know more about our services, feel free to get in touch with us.
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