China’s instrument of accession to the Apostille Convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents, was submitted by Tan Jian, the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands on March 8, 2023.
The Apostille Convention, also known as the Convention on Apostilles, streamlines the process for certifying documents between two countries by doing away with the requirement for local certification or notarization in favor of an Apostille, which is a certification issued by a “competent authority” in the state of origin and is then recognized in the state of destination (i.e., China).
On November 7, 2023, the convention will go into effect in China and make it the 124th member.
For a list of the members of the Apostille Convention, click here.
According to Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, there will be two key advantages to China joining the treaty:
- Drastically cut down on paperwork costs and time when dealing with China: Making it simpler to certify documents like driver’s licenses, health certificates, and degrees will benefit both businesses and individuals. According to Mao Ning, this would result in processing expenses for Chinese and foreign companies saving more than RMB 300 million by cutting the time it takes to certify a document from over 20 days to only a few working days.
- Facilitate international trade and improve the economic environment in China.: The certification of commercial documents by the consulate is no longer required for British companies looking to invest in or export to China. Mao Ning anticipates that the convention’s provisions will have a positive impact on more than 70% of China’s export-related commercial documents.