The Executive Decree no. 8,630, of January 29, 2016, which enacted the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents of October 5, 1961 ("Apostille Convention"), was published on February, 2016, which is now officially in force in the Brazilian territory.

The publication of this Executive Decree and Brazil´s adoption of the Apostille Convention constitutes an important step towards dismantling bureaucracy in the country, given that it will no longer be necessary the consular legalization (consularization or consular seal) of foreign documents in Brazil (as well as of Brazilian documents abroad) along with the Brazilian consular /diplomatic offices.

In this way, for a foreign document to be valid in Brazil, it will solely and simply be necessary the issuance and attachment of the "Hague Apostille" to the referred document, which can be made by the own public notary who issued or notarized the document.

This change will ensure a significant reduction of time and costs for sending and the use of foreign documents in Brazil, and a stimulus for the domestic economy and foreign trade, since that the Apostille Convention is nowadays adopted by 110 countries (including the United States, the European Community, Australia, Japan, and almost the totality of the South American countries).

It should also be noted that due to the provisions of the own Apostille Convention, such Apostille Convention will only be in fact in effect among Brazil and its other member countries on August 14, 2016, should there be no objections to the adhesion of Brazil.

We highlight that practically, it will be necessary to wait until a structure be established for issuance of these apostilles by the Brazilian notary offices. Thus, the Brazilian National Council of Justice ("CNJ") will be responsible for coordinating and regulating the application of the Apostille in Brazil. Such work has already started, given that the CNJ´s Ordinance no. 155 of November 12, 2015, created a working group to present a final report on the measures to be taken by March 11, 2016.

At last, we point out that will still subsidize the necessity to obtain the sworn translation by an official translator and subsequent registration of the foreign document with the Registrar of Deeds and Documents so that this foreign document can produce its effects in Brazil.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.