Civil, Property, Family Laws

The Apostille Convention, now in effect.

Having acceded to the Apostille Convention last 12 September 2018 (see related post: https://platonmartinez.com/articles/no-more-red-ribbons-philippines-accedes-to-apostille-convention), the Philippines shall honor public documents bearing ‘apostilles’ from competent authorities which authenticate documents executed in apostille-contracting countries. Starting 14 May 2019, apostilled documents need not be presented to Philippine embassies or consulates abroad for authentication (so-called “red ribbon”) before these are recognized as official records.

An apostille is a certification that authenticates the origin of the document and not its contents. In effect, the apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person, or authority that signed or sealed the public document. (See list of competent authorities here: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/authorities1/?cid=41).

The receiving party of an apostilled document may verify the authority of the entity that issued the apostille abroad through the embassies and/or consulates of the place where the apostille was issued in the country where the public document will be used. For public documents originating from the Philippines, the competent authority is the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs – Authenticating Units.

Below is a summary of the rules on authentication:

Place of Execution

Place of Use

Authentication procedure

Steps

Philippines

Philippines

Notarization

N/A

Apostille-contracting party (except Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece)

Apostillization

Step 1: Submit the document/s to the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) – Authenticating Units to get an apostille;

Step 2: Submit the document to the apostille-contracting party for the intended purpose.

Step 3: The receiver may verify the authority of the DFA-OCA-Authenticating Units through the Philippine embassy or consulate in the ‘place of use’.

Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece or Non-Apostille-contracting party

Apostillization and Consularization

Step 1: Submit the document/s to the DFA-OCA - Authenticating Units to get an apostille;

Step 2: Inquire with the Embassy and/or Consulate of Austria, Finland, Germany, or Greece, or the Non-apostille contracting country in the Philippines if:

a. they require the presentation of the document in their embassy and/or consulate for consularization; or

b. they only require presentation of the apostilled document in the Philippine embassy and/or consulate in their respective countries or ‘place of use’.

Step 3: Submit the document for its intended purpose.

Apostille-contracting party (except Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece)

Philippines

Apostillization

Step 1: Submit the document/s to the Competent Authority in the ‘place of execution’ to get an apostille;

Step 2: Once submitted in the Philippines, the receiver may verify the authority of the issuer of the apostille through the embassy or consulate of the ‘place of execution’ of the document;

Step 3: Submit the document for its intended purpose.

Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece or Non-Apostille contracting party

Philippines

Apostillization and Consularization

Step 1: Submit the document/s to the Philippine embassy or consulate in the ‘place of execution’ for apostillization/authentication;

Step 2: Submit Authenticated document to the Philippines (DFA) for certification/verification;

Step 3: Submit the document for its intended purpose.

To see the list of the apostille-contracting parties, click here.


Disclaimer: The information in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Platon Martinez or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances.