What is the Hague Apostille Convention?

The Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The purpose of the Convention is to abolish the traditional requirement of legalisation, replacing the often lengthy and costly legalisation process with the issuance of a single Apostille certificate by a Competent Authority where the document originates.

The Convention has over 110 Contracting Parties and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year.

The need to produce public documents abroad has increased alongside cross-border mobility and interactions at the global level. In many cases, to ensure the authenticity of these public documents, they are subject to the costly and time-consuming process of legalisation, often requiring multiple steps and involving multiple authorities.

The Apostille Convention replaces the traditional and cumbersome legalisation process with a single formality: issuing a certificate called an Apostille. An Apostille, issued by the State of origin, authenticates the source of a public document to be presented abroad in another Contracting Party. This simplified framework facilitates the circulation of public records internationally for individuals, families, and commercial operators.

Louwrens Koen Attorneys provide document legalisation services from commercial offices in Pretoria, through the use of apostille certificates, authentications and embassy legalisations for all South-African documents. We offer an comprehensive document legalisation service, which service include, all relevant attendances.


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