Knowledge Highlights 15 June 2022

On 4 June 2022, the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, commonly known as the Apostille Convention (“Convention”), came into force for Indonesia.

The Convention has over 120 parties, including Singapore, and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in legal cooperation. The Convention entered into force for Singapore on 16 September 2021. With the Convention now in force for Indonesia, the cross-border use of public documents will be simplified between Indonesia and Singapore, as well as with the other contracting parties.

This article provides a brief overview of the Convention.

Background

The Convention is the first Hague Conference on Private International Law (“HCCH”) convention that Indonesia has acceded to. HCCH is a global inter-governmental organisation that develops and services multilateral legal instruments in response to global needs.

The Convention abolishes the traditional requirement of legalisation, replacing the often long and costly legalisation process with the issuance of a single apostille certificate by a competent authority in the country from which the document originates. Foreign documents certified by apostille are recognised in all member countries of the Convention and do not require any other form of certification.

Indonesia issued Presidential Regulation No. 2 of 2021 on 4 January 2021 to give effect to the country’s accession to the Convention. Indonesia deposited its instrument of accession on 5 October 2021.

Effect of Convention coming into force

From 4 June 2022, parties to the Convention are obliged to waive the legalisation requirement for public documents issued by Indonesian authorities and accept apostilles issued by Indonesia’s designated competent authority. It should be noted that Indonesia has excluded from the definition of public documents (Article 1(a) of the Convention) the documents issued by the Prosecutor Office of Indonesia.

Indonesia has designated the Directorate General of Administration of General Laws of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights as the competent authority. Indonesia must now accept apostilles for incoming foreign public documents issued by the competent authorities of other Convention member States.

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