Notarization and legalization in China becomes Smoother and Shorter
China’s accession to the “Hague Authentication Convention” is another solid step that China has taken in the process of globalization and international cooperation, which brings greater convenience to cross-border individuals and enterprises in the era of globalization.
Recently, an international legal news has attracted widespread attention in the business and personal interfaces: China has officially proposed to join the Convention on the Abolition of the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. This move will bring revolutionary convenience to the flow of cross-border documents. Come with me to learn more about the story behind this.
What is “Hague Authentication Convention”?
We have to explain a professional term “Hague Authentication Convention”.
Documents used cross-border need to go through a cumbersome authentication process at first: first notarized by the notary public in the place of origin, then handed over to the country’s diplomatic department for authentication, and finally handed over to the embassy or consulate of the receiving country for legalization again. This series of procedures is not only time-consuming, but also reduces the efficiency of cross-border circulation of documents. Therefore, in 1961, the Dutch city of The Hague became the birthplace of an international event. Here, a convention on simplifying the legalization procedures for transnational documents came into being. Since then, the transfer of documents between member states of the Convention no longer requires complicated embassy or consulate authentication, and only requires a simple “Hague authentication” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Over time, the convention gained global popularity. Today, more than 120 countries and regions have become parties to the Hague Convention, including Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Ireland, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, etc.
But before that, mainland China was not a member of this Convention. This means that whether domestic documents are used abroad or foreign documents are used in China, they need to undergo the cumbersome certification mentioned above. But on March 8, 2023, all this changed. On the same day, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Tan Jian formally submitted an application for accession to the convention depository (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands). Accordingly, the convention will officially enter into force for China in November 2023.
Convenience for processing cross-border documents
And what does this change mean? In short, both individuals and businesses will enjoy unprecedented convenience when processing cross-border documents in the future. These include:
Personal documents: such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, green card, passport, real estate certificate, etc.;
Study abroad: including transcripts and academic certificates;
Proof: such as single certificate, no criminal record certificate, etc.;
Commercial documents: such as registration certificate, legal person qualification, contract, authorization letter, etc.
The advantages of this Convention go beyond convenience. Its advantages also include: short time, wide scope, and the apostille document has legal effect in the member countries of the Convention.
Joining the Convention is an important measure for China to expand institutional openness in the field of foreign-related document circulation. After joining the Convention, the time and economic cost of cross-border circulation of documents will be greatly reduced. The time to complete the certification of a document can be reduced from about 20 working days to If the day is reduced to a few working days, the cost will also drop significantly. It can save more than 300 million yuan in certificate application fees for Chinese and foreign personnel and enterprises every year. The time for document transfer procedures between contracting countries has been reduced by about 90% on average.
China’s accession to the “Hague Authentication Convention” not only represents another step forward in international cooperation, but also brings greater convenience to individuals and enterprises in the era of globalization. In the future, the flow of cross-border documents will be smoother. At the same time, it also represents another solid step China has taken in the process of globalization.