Access to the Courts in China: In Anticipation of the Apostille Convention
In the sixth instalment of Longan Law Firm’s “China In and Out” podcast series, Frank Hong discusses how it is hoped that the Apostille Convention will help to facilitate access to the courts, especially in the context of growth in volume and procedural complexity of cases.
Using a practical example of an American-based company applying for trade marks in China, Hong demonstrates the intricacies of the system, and describes how the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (the “Apostille Convention”) could provide a systemic and long-lasting solution.
On 8 March 2023, China officially acceded to the Apostille Convention, which will come into effect on 7 November 2023.
Under this Convention, public documents such as articles of incorporation which have been certified in the United States, for example, will be exempted from legalisation if they are used in China. Notarial acts will also be exempted from legalisation. Instead, apostille certificates will be issued by the competent authority of the state where the documents are issued, saving effort and costs. By the same token, public documents issued in China will be authenticated by apostille certificates without involving foreign nations’ consulates or embassies in China.
It remains to be seen which agencies in China will have the authority to issue apostille certificates, and this will become clear after November 2023.