On 14 May 2019, the Philippines’ accession to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (the “Apostille Convention”) took effect. The Apostille Convention was created to abolish the requirement for diplomatic or consular legalization of foreign public documents. The Philippines acceded to the Apostille Convention on 12 September 2018.

Pursuant to this accession, the Department of Foreign Affairs (“DFA”) will no longer issue authentication certificates and will instead affix an “Apostille” to documents for use abroad as proof of authentication for use in Apostille-contracting parties.

A DFA Public Advisory dated 07 May 2019 states that “after authentication by the DFA, there is no more need for authentication (legalization) by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country or territory of destination of the authenticated document is already a member of the Apostille Convention.”

The public documents deemed covered by the present Convention are documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with the courts or tribunals of the State, administrative documents, notarial acts, and official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (e.g. official certificates recording the registration of a document, or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date, and official and notarial authentications of signatures).

For public documents executed in Apostille-contracting countries and territories (except for Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece) to be used in the Philippines, authentication by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General will no longer be required once Apostillized. While in countries and territories which are not Apostille-contracting parties, documents still have to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General before they can be used in the Philippines. The previous process of authentication and the authentication fees still apply. Moreover, there is still a need for authentication or legalization by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country of destination of the authenticated document is not yet a member of the Apostille Convention. The updated list of Apostille-contracting parties may be found here.  

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