Documents to be submitted to official authorities in other countries (contracting states to the Hague Convention 1961) are authenticated following a special simplified procedure. The competent bodies in Ukraine affix a special seal called Apostille, which does not require further certification or legalization and is recognized by competent authorities in all contracting states to the Convention. According to the Article 9, each contracting state shall take the necessary steps to prevent the performance of legalisations by its diplomatic or consular agents in cases where the present Convention provides for exemption.
The Hague Convention abolishes the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalization of public documents to be produced in the territory of either Contracting State and introduces a simplified apostille procedure.
Apostille is a special stamp (or form) affixed to the public documents emanating from the Contracting States to the Hague Convention and does not require further certification. It certifies 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.
In accordance with the article 1 of the Hague Convention, abolishment of legalization requirement shall apply to public documents which have been executed in the territory of one Contracting State. For the purposes of the Hague Convention, the following are deemed to be public documents:
The Hague Convention applies to documents confirming one’s education, civil status, and employment record, certificates of life, references, powers of attorney, court judgments and materials relating to civil, family and criminal legislation.
The articles of the Hague Convention do not apply to documents emanating from diplomatic or consular agents and having direct relevance to any commercial or customs operation. Those include powers of attorney for settlement of transactions, traffic of goods across the border, contracts (agreements) on delivery of goods and provision of services, statements of various types of work and payments for them etc.
In cases stipulated by domestic laws of the country, which the given documents are to be produced in, they should be legalized in the ordinary manner, that is, consular legalization should apply, providing for successive certifying inscription to be placed by several authorities. Preserving multistage legalization procedure for the above documents provides for strict control of commercial companies’ activity. At the same time Apostille is placed on the articles of association and constituent documents, patents and other documentation emanating from bodies of state authority or control (registration certificates, licenses etc.). The constituent documents, as well as revisions and amendments thereto, shall bear a respective record and seal of a registration chamber or a tax authority, as well as signature of the registration chamber’s official.
The competent authorities vested with the power to affix the Apostille in Ukraine are as follows:
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