Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing
the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents
The States signatory to the present Convention,
Desiring to abolish the requirement of diplomatic or consular
legalisation for foreign public documents,
Have resolved to conclude a Convention to this effect and
have agreed upon the following provisions:
The present Convention shall apply to public documents which
have been executed in the territory of one Contracting State
and which have to be produced in the territory of another
For the purposes of the present Convention, the following
are deemed to be public documents:
a) documents emanating from an authority or an official connected
with the courts or tribunals of the State, including those
emanating from a public prosecutor, 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 their private capacity, such as official certificates
recording the registration of a document or the fact that
it was in existence on a certain date and official and notarial
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 customs operations.
Each Contracting State shall exempt from legalisation documents
to which the present Convention applies and which have to
be produced in its territory. For the purposes of the present
Convention, legalisation means only the formality by which
the diplomatic or consular agents of the country in which
the document has to be produced certify the authenticity of
the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the
document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of
the seal or stamp which it bears.
The only formality that may be required in order to certify
the authenticity of the signature, 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 addition
of the certificate described in Article 4, issued by the competent
authority of the State from which the document emanates.
However, the formality mentioned in the preceding paragraph
cannot be required when either the laws, regulations, or practice
in force in the State where the document is produced or an
agreement between two or more Contracting States have abolished
or simplified it, or exempt the document itself from legalisation.
The certificate referred to in the first paragraph of Article
3 shall be placed on the document itself or on an "allonge",
it shall be in the form of the model annexed to the present
It may, however, be drawn up in the official language of
the authority which issues it. The standard terms appearing
therein may be in a second language also. The title "Apostille
(Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961)" shall be in
the French language.
The certificate shall be issued at the request of the person
who has signed the document or of any bearer.
When properly filled in, it will certify the authenticity
of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing
the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity
of the seal or stamp which the document bears.
The signature, seal and stamp on the certificate are exempt
from all certification.
Each Contracting State shall designate by reference to their
official function, the authorities who are competent to issue
the certificate referred to in the first paragraph of Article
It shall give notice of such designation to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands at the time it deposits
its instrument of ratification or of accession or its declaration
of extension. It shall also give notice of any change in the
Each of the authorities designated in accordance with Article
6 shall keep a register or card index in which it shall record
the certificates issued, specifying:
a) the number and date of the certificate,
b) the name of the person signing the public document and
the capacity in which he has acted, or in the case of unsigned
documents, the name of the authority which has affixed the
seal or stamp.
At the request of any interested person, the authority which
has issued the certificate shall verify whether the particulars
in the certificate correspond with those in the register or
When a treaty, convention or agreement between two or more
Contracting States contains provisions which subject the certification
of a signature, seal or stamp to certain formalities, the
present Convention will only override such provisions if those
formalities are more rigorous than the formality referred
to in Articles 3 and 4.
Each Contracting State shall take the necessary steps to
prevent the performance of legalisations by its diplomatic
or consular agents in cases where the present Convention provides
The present Convention shall be open for signature by the
States represented at the Ninth Session of the Hague Conference
on Private International Law and Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein
It shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification
shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
The present Convention shall enter into force on the sixtieth
day after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification
referred to in the second paragraph of Article 10.
The Convention shall enter into force for each signatory
State which ratifies subsequently on the sixtieth day after
the deposit of its instrument of ratification.
Any State not referred to in Article 10 may accede to the
present Convention after it has entered into force in accordance
with the first paragraph of Article 11. The instrument of
accession shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Netherlands.
Such accession shall have effect only as regards the relations
between the acceding State and those Contracting States which
have not raised an objection to its accession in the six months
after the receipt of the notification referred to in sub-paragraph
d) of Article 15. Any such objection shall be notified to
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The Convention shall enter into force as between the acceding
State and the States which have raised no objection to its
accession on the sixtieth day after the expiry of the period
of six months mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Any State may, at the time of signature, ratification or
accession, declare that the present Convention shall extend
to all the territories for the international relations of
which it is responsible, or to one or more of them. Such a
declaration shall take effect on the date of entry into force
of the Convention for the State concerned.
At any time thereafter, such extensions shall be notified
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
When the declaration of extension is made by a State which
has signed and ratified, the Convention shall enter into force
for the territories concerned in accordance with Article 11.
When the declaration of extension is made by a State which
has acceded, the Convention shall enter into force for the
territories concerned in accordance with Article 12.
The present Convention shall remain in force for five years
from the date of its entry into force in accordance with the
first paragraph of Article 11, even for States which have
ratified it or acceded to it subsequently.
If there has been no denunciation, the Convention shall be
renewed tacitly every five years.
Any denunciation shall be notified to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Netherlands at least six months before the
end of the five year period.
It may be limited to certain of the territories to which
the Convention applies.
The denunciation will only have effect as regards the State
which has notified it. The Convention shall remain in force
for the other Contracting States.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands shall
give notice to the States referred to in Article 10, and to
the States which have acceded in accordance with Article 12,
of the following:
a) the notifications referred to in the second paragraph
of Article 6;
b) the signatures and ratifications referred to in Article
c) the date on which the present Convention enters into force
in accordance with the first paragraph of Article 11;
d) the accessions and objections referred to in Article 12
and the date on which such accessions take effect;
e) the extensions referred to in Article 13 and the date
on which they take effect;
f) the denunciations referred to in the third paragraph of
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised
thereto, have signed the present Convention.
Done at The Hague the 5th October 1961, in French and in
English, the French text prevailing in case of divergence
between the two texts, in a single copy which shall be deposited
in the archives of the Government of the Netherlands, and
of which a certified copy shall be sent, through the diplomatic
channel, to each of the States represented at the Ninth Session
of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and also
to Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Turkey.
к русскому варианту