On December 2 and 16, 2015, Brazil and Chile respectively deposited their instruments of accession to the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (the “Apostille Convention”). Following the usual procedural steps, the Convention will enter into force for Brazil on August 14, 2016, and for Chile on August 30, 2016, making them the 111th and 112th Contracting States to the Convention respectively.

The Apostille Convention facilitates the circulation of public documents executed in one state party to the Convention and to be produced in another state party to the Convention by replacing the formalities of a full legalisation process (chain certification) with the mere issuance of an Apostille (also called Apostille Certificate or Certificate).The Apostille Convention only applies if both the state in which territory the public document was executed (the “state of execution”) and the state in which territory the public document is to be produced (the “state of destination”) are state parties (i.e., contracting states for which the Convention is actually in force).

Article 1 of the Apostille Convention establishes that it applies to the following public documents: court documents, administrative documents, documents issued by a notary and official certifications in documents signed by private persons.

Brazil and Chile´s ratification of the Apostille Convention will help reduce the time and costs involved in obtaining foreign public documents for local purposes. In the IP field, this will have particular impact in easing the requirements for filing trademark, patent and industrial design applications as well as for matters such as recordal of changes of name or assignments, among others.

Originally published on 23 February 2016 in https://www.hcch.net

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