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Who Pays for Translation and Notarization/Authentication Fees in Enforcement of Foreign Judgments/Awards in China?-CTD 101 Series

Thu, 01 Jun 2023
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌
Editor: C. J. Observer

The applicant itself may have to bear the cost of translation, notarization, and authentication when applying for enforcement of foreign judgments/awards in China.

This post was first published in CJO GLOBAL, which is committed to providing consulting services in China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection. We will explain how debt collection works in China below.

1. What are translation fee and notarization/authentication fee?

The translation fee refers to the expense of translating documents from foreign languages to Chinese.

Under Chinese law, the Chinese language shall be used in court. Therefore, any documents written in a foreign language, such as written evidence, must be translated into Chinese before being submitted to the court.

The notarization/authentication fee refers to the expenses of notarizing and authenticating the documents.

If you submit legal documents to Chinese courts that are formulated overseas, such as judgments and identity certificates, you need to have them notarized in your country and have them authenticated by the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in your country.

So, if you want to enforce a foreign judgment or arbitral award in China, then at least you shall have the foreign judgment or arbitral award translated, notarized, and authenticated.

The cost ranges from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more.

2. Can I ask the debtor to bear the translation fee and notarization/authentication fee?

A Chinese court had clearly stated in a case that the debtor was not required to bear the translation fee and notarization/authentication fee of the creditor.

On 17 June 2020, in the case for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards of Emphor FZCO v. Guangdong Yuexin Offshore Engineering Equipment Co., Ltd. ([2020] Yue 72 Xie Wai Zhi No. 1, [2020]粤72协外认1号), Guangzhou Maritime Court, which is located in Guangdong Province, stated that the Applicant’s request that the Respondent bore its translation and notarization fees had no ground under Chinese laws and therefore the Applicant’s request could not be granted.

If there is one thing we can learn from this case, it is that translation and notarization/authentication fees will become costs that foreign creditors will have to bear when enforcing foreign judgments/awards in China.

It is worth noting that the translation fees incurred during the trial can be borne by the losing party. For more information, please kindly refer to our previous posts.

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Photo by tommao wang on Unsplash


Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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