Insights

No More Red Ribbons: Philippines Accedes To Apostille Convention

On 12 September 2018, the Philippines acceded to the Apostille Convention,[1] an international convention aimed at streamlining authentication of documents abroad by facilitating the circulation of public documents executed in one State party to the Convention and to be used in another State party to the Convention.

The Convention will enter into force between the Philippines and other State Parties on 14 May 2019.

The Convention reduces the authentication process to a single formality: the issuance of an Apostille, an authentication certificate issued by a competent authority designated by the country where the public document was executed, certifying the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. An Apostille authenticates the origin of a public document.

Once the Apostille Convention enters into force, public documents from State Parties shall be exempt from legalization[2] and need not be authenticated abroad by the diplomatic or consular agents of the State Party where the document will be used. Authentication by Philippine Embassies and Consulates General will not be necessary for recognition and acceptance of the public document in the Philippines. Likewise, Philippine public documents to be used in other State Parties need not undergo diplomatic or consular authentication.

However, documents from foreign jurisdictions intended for use as evidence in Philippine courts would still be subject to the rules on authentication and proof under the Rules of Court.

Should there be any doubt regarding the admissibility of any document to be used as evidence in a judicial proceeding, it would be best to seek your counsel’s legal advice.

[1] Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

[2] The formality by which the diplomatic or consular agents of the country in which the document has to be produced certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, and where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears (Article 2 of the Apostille Convention).


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