After almost 55 years of waiting, in the last day of August 14, 2016 entered into force in Brazil the “Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents”, known as “Hague Convention” or “Apostille Convention”, pursuant to Decree No. 8660 of January 29, 2016 and Resolution 228 of June 22, 2016 of the National Council of Justice.
The Apostille is a certification that replaces the entire process of diplomatic or consular legalization of documents, simply by conferring Apostille for the document to be valid and take effect in any of the 112 countries signatories of the Convention.
It is no longer necessary to make the consular legalization of documents in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassies, which substantially reduces the cost and time spent on the legalization of documents.
Thus, the documents issued in Brazil can be authenticated by Apostille, in the authorized extrajudicial registry offices, so they can be valid in all signatory countries of the Convention. Furthermore, documents from member countries that are properly authenticated by Apostille will be automatically valid and will have effect in Brazil.
Legalized documents by embassies and consular offices before August 14, 2016 will only be accepted until February 14, 2017. After this date, the documents issued by the Hague Convention member countries should be authenticated by Apostille accordingly with the new rules.
These rules do not apply to countries which Brazil has bilateral cooperation and simplification in civil matters, since the consular legalization was already dismissed, such as France, Italy, States Parties of Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile.
The adoption of the Apostille brings an important advance in order to reduce bureaucracy, contributing to a significant reduction of time and cost in the legalization of documents, which is certainly beneficial to Brazilians and foreigners with commercial interests in Brazil.