Overview of legalisation conventions

Overview of legalisation conventions

1. Issue free of charge of copies of civil status records

Luxembourg, 26 September 1957 (Treaty Series 1958, 168)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

The parties to the Convention undertake to issue to the other contracting States, free of charge and without requiring legalisation, extracts from civil registration documents in cases where such documents are requested for administrative purposes or on behalf of indigent persons.

2. Declarations acknowledging natural children

Rome, 14 September 1961 (Treaty Series 1962, 96)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

Pursuant to this Convention, in the territory of the contracting States whose legislation provides only for acknowledgement with filiation, nationals of other contracting States, whose legislation provides for acknowledgement without filiation, are allowed to sign an acknowledgement with filiation. The converse also applies. The declarations of acknowledgement do not require legalisation, providing they bear the seal of the authority issuing them in the territory of contracting States.

3. Abolishing legalisation for foreign public documents (Apostille Convention)

The Hague, 5 October 1961 (Treaty Series 1963, 28)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which the Apostille Convention entered into force for each state.

This Convention abolishes the legalisation requirement for foreign public documents, which is often time-consuming and expensive.

For the purposes of the Convention, the following are deemed to be public documents:

  • 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;

  • administrative documents (including deeds and extracts from civil status records , diplomas and certificates);

  • notarial acts;

  • official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity and which record the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and legalisations of signatures.

The Convention does not apply:

  • to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents;

  • to administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations.

The contracting States have abolished legalisation of documents by diplomatic or consular authorities. In order to certify authenticity, a standard certificate (‘apostille’) is appended to the document by an authority designated by each State. In the Netherlands, the registrar of the court in the court district in which a deed was drawn up is the authority competent to issue the apostille.

4. Abolishing legalisation of documents executed by diplomatic agents or consular officers

London, 7 June 1968 (Treaty Series 1969, 168)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

This Convention applies to documents which have been executed by diplomatic agents or consular officers of a Contracting Party, acting in their official capacity and exercising their functions in the territory of any State, and which have to be produced:

a. either in the territory of another Contracting Party, or
b. to the diplomatic agents or consular officers of another Contracting Party exercising their functions in the territory of a State which is not a party to this Convention.

It also applies to official certificates, such as those recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date, and legalisations of signatures, appended by diplomatic agents or consular officers to documents other than those referred to above. Documents to which this Convention applies are exempt from legalisation.

5. Convention on legitimation by marriage

Rome, 10 September 1970 (Treaty Series 1972, 61)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

Under this Convention notifications of legitimation by marriage and any appended documents are exempt from the requirement for legalisation within the territories of the Contracting States.

6. European Convention on social security

Paris, 14 December 1972 (Treaty Series 1976, 54)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

7. Issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records

Vienna, 8 September 1976 (Treaty Series 1977, 70)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

This Convention concerns the issue of international (multilingual) extracts from civil status records. The Convention specifies the form in which such extracts must be issued. These multilingual extracts are accepted by the Contracting States without requiring legalisation or an Apostille.

The Convention on the issue of certain extracts from civil status records for use abroad signed in Paris on 27 September 1956 applied until 17 July 1997. Given that all States that were party to the 1956 Convention are now party to the 1976 Convention, the 1956 Convention has ceased to apply.

8. Exemption from legalisation of certain records and documents

Athens, 15 September 1977 (Treaty Series 1978, 19)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

The Contracting States undertake to waive the requirement of legalisation for any documents relating to civil registration, family status, nationality, domicile or residence, or marriage, provided that they are dated and bear the signature and, where appropriate, the seal or stamp of the authority which has issued them.

If there is serious doubt about the authenticity of a signature, stamp or seal, verification may be requested free of charge from the country in which it originated. The multilingual form appended to the Convention must be used for this purpose.

Amended as of 26 April 2000 as follows:

Each Contracting State shall accept without legalisation or equivalent formality, provided that they are dated and bear the signature etc. etc.

1. Records and documents relating to the civil status, capacity or family situation of natural persons or their nationality, domicile or residence regardless of their intended use;

2. all other records and documents if they are produced with a view to the celebration of a marriage or the establishment of a civil status record.

9. Certificate of capacity to contract marriage

Munich, 5 September 1980 (Treaty Series 1981, 71)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

The Contracting States undertake to issue a certificate of capacity to contract marriage to any of their subjects who may request such a document with a view to celebrating their marriage in another State and who satisfy the conditions for doing so, according to the law of the State issuing the certificate. Such certificates shall be exempt from the requirement for legalisation.

10. International cooperation in administrative assistance to refugees

Basel, 3 September 1985 (Treaty Series 1985, 147)

The Treaty Database contains a list of signatories, including the dates on which this Convention entered into force for each state.

The forms annexed to this Convention (concerning the status of refugees) are exempt from the requirement for legalisation, as are documents which are to be submitted by refugees and issued by their country of origin concerning their identity and civil status.

11. Copies of and extracts from civil status records

The Hague, 2 May 1924 (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 1924, 249)

A convention was concluded between Belgium and the Netherlands in The Hague on 2 May 1924 which provides that copies of and extracts from civil status records drawn up in either state need not be legalised in order to be used in the other State. This convention came into effect on 15 May 1924 and remains in force.