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New EU Regulations Nullifies the Need to Legalise (Apostille) Many Public Documents

Posted in: Brexit, Information Topic, Latest News,
Author: Myra Cecilia Azzopardi
Tags: , ,

Update September 2019. On the website from the Ministry of Justice, info on how to apply for a criminal record check in Spain, they’ve included this info now, re no need for Apostilles for this document when used in the EU.

The Regulation on Public Documents applies in all EU countries as from 16 February 2019, simplifies the circulation of certain public documents. The public documents covered by the Regulation are, in particular, civil status, birth, death, marriage, registered partnership, adoption), but also residence and the absence of a criminal record.

Citizens living in an EU country other than their own often need to present a public document to the authorities of the EU country where they live. Such public documents can be, for example, a birth certificate to get married, or a certificate on the absence of a criminal record to get a job.

The Regulation on Public Documents applies from 16 February 2019, aims at cutting red tape and costs for citizens when they need to present a public document in one EU country issued from another EU country.

Prior to the Regulation, citizens that needed to present a public document in another EU country had to obtain an authenticity stamp (the so-called apostille) to prove that their public document was authentic. Citizens were often also required to present a certified copy and a translation of their public document.In July 2016, the European Union adopted regulations simplifying the circulation of certain public documents between EU countries. The Regulation aims at reducing red tape and costs for citizens when they need to present a public document issued by the authorities of a EU country to the authorities of another EU country. Under the Regulation, public documents (for example, a birth certificate or a marriage notarial document) issued in a EU country must be accepted as authentic in another EU country without the need for such documents to bear an authentication stamp (the apostille). The public documents covered by the Regulation are, in particular, civil status (for example, birth, death, marriage, registered partnership, adoption), but also residence and the absence of a criminal record.

The Regulation also abolishes the obligation to, in all cases, provide certified copies and certified translations of public documents issued in another EU country. The Regulation introduces optional multilingual, standard forms that can be attached to the public documents to avoid translation requirements. The Regulation does not govern the recognition in a EU country of the content or effects of a public document issued in another EU country. The recognition of such content or effects depends on the law of the receiving country. The Regulation will apply as from 16 February 2019.

At present the UK as an EU Member State is included. We cannot make any comment on the status post Brexit.

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Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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