On 7 Nov. 2023, the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention) came into effect in China.
The Apostille Convention is the international treaty with the widest application and the largest number of contracting members under the Hague Conference on Private International Law(HCCH). It aims to simplify procedures for cross-border circulation of public documents.
Upon the Apostille Convention’s entry into force on 7 Nov. 2023, China will be exempted from the formalities for consular legalization with 125 countries.
This means that foreign-related public documents sent from China to the aforementioned countries will only require an apostille issued by the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an authorized local foreign affairs office. Public documents sent from these countries to China will also no longer require legalization (consular authentication) by the local Chinese Consulate.
- Public documents within the scope of the Convention issued by the U.S. only need to apply for a U.S. apostille before they can be sent to Chinese mainland for use. There is no need to apply for consular authentication by the U.S. and the Chinese Embassy and Consulates-General in the U.S.
- Public documents sent from China to the U.S. within the scope of the Convention will no longer require consular authentication by China and the U.S. consulates in China, but will instead be processed with apostilles.
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team