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12. Cable re Hague Apostille Convention

R 092304Z JAN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY TBILISI
AMEMBASSY CHISINAU

UNCLAS STATE 002726

ATTN: CONS

E.O. 12958: N/A

SUBJECT: AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS: ACCESSION TO HAGUE APOSTILLE
CONVENTION BY KOREA, GEORGIA AND MOLDOVA

REF: 7 FAM 876

1. SUMMARY:

THE HAGUE CONVENTION ABOLISHING THE REQUIREMENT FOR LEGALIZATION OF
FOREIGN PUBLIC DOCUMENTS (THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION) ENTERED
INTO FORCE FOR KOREA, GEORGIA AND MOLDOVA IN 2007. THIS TELEGRAM
SUMMARIZES THE OPERATION OF THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION IN THE
UNITED STATES AND PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR POSTS REGARDING YOUR NOTARIAL
AND AUTHENTICATION FUNCTIONS NOW THAT THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION
IS IN FORCE. END SUMMARY.

2. WHAT IS THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION?

THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION IS IN FORCE IN NINETY-TWO COUNTRIES ON
FIVE CONTINENTS. THE CONVENTION PROVIDES A SIMPLIFICATION OF THE
SERIES OF FORMALITIES, WHICH COMPLICATE THE USE OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY FROM WHICH THEY EMANATE. THE CONVENTION
REDUCES ALL OF THE FORMALITIES OF LEGALIZATION TO THE SIMPLE DELIVERY
OF A CERTIFICATE IN A PRESCRIBED FORM, ENTITLED AN "APOSTILLE," BY
THE DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES OF THE STATE WHERE THE DOCUMENTS
ORIGINATE. THE APOSTILLE CERTIFICATE, PLACED ON THE DOCUMENT OR ON A
PIECE OF PAPER ATTACHED THERETO CALLED AN "ALLONGE", IS DATED,
NUMBERED AND REGISTERED. THE VERIFICATION OF ITS REGISTRATION CAN BE
CARRIED OUT WITHOUT DIFFICULTY BY MEANS OF A SIMPLE REQUEST FOR
INFORMATION ADDRESSED TO THE AUTHORITY WHICH DELIVERED THE
CERTIFICATE. THE EFFECTS OF THE APOSTILLE ARE LIMITED TO ATTESTATION
OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SIGNATURE, THE CAPACITY IN WHICH THE
PERSON SIGNING THE DOCUMENT HAS ACTED AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE
IDENTITY OF THE SEAL OR STAMP WHICH IT BEARS. THE CONVENTION NOT
ONLY SERVES TO LIGHTEN THE TASK OF THE JUDGES BEFORE WHOM FOREIGN
DOCUMENTS ARE PRODUCED; IT IS ALSO OF THE GREATEST IMPORTANCE TO
EVERYONE WHO WISHES TO RELY ABROAD ON THE FACTS SET OUT IN A DOCUMENT
EMANATING FROM THE AUTHORITIES IN HIS OR HER OWN COUNTRY. THUS, THE
CONVENTION HAS PROVED TO BE VERY USEFUL FOR THOSE COUNTRIES THAT DO
NOT HAVE THE PRACTICE OF REQUIRING LEGALIZATION IN THEIR OWN LEGAL
SYSTEMS.

3. HOW DOES THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION WORK IN THE UNITED STATES?

THE UNITED STATES HAS THREE TIERS OF AUTHORITIES COMPETENT TO ISSUE
THE APOSTILLE CERTIFICATE. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
AUTHENTICATIONS OFFICE AFFIXES APOSTILLES TO DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY
FEDERAL AGENCIES OF THE UNITED STATES. THE CLERKS AND DEPUTY CLERKS
OF THE FEDERAL COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES ISSUE APOSTILLES ON
DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY THOSE COURTS. PUBLIC DOCUMENTS ISSUED IN U.S.
STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OTHER U.S. JURISDICTIONS MAY BE
LEGALIZED WITH AN APOSTILLE BY DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES IN EACH
JURISDICTION, GENERALLY THE STATE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE.
INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO CONTACT EACH OF THESE AUTHORITIES IS
AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AUTHENTICATIONS OFFICE WEB PAGE
(HTTP://WWW.STATE.GOV/M/A/AUTH/) AND ON THE WEB PAGE FOR THE HAGUE
CONFERENCE ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW (WWW.HCCH.NET).

4. U.S. DECLARATION - DO NOT USE APOSTILLES IN EXTRADITION DOCUMENTS

THE UNITED STATES MADE A DECLARATION AT THE TIME OF ITS ACCESSION TO
THE HAGUE APOSTILLE CONVENTION THAT THE CONVENTION PROCEDURE SHALL
NOT APPLY TO EXTRADITION RELATED DOCUMENTS DUE TO OTHER REQUIREMENTS
OF U.S. LAW. EXTRADITION RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR USE BY THE UNITED
STATES MUST BE AUTHENTICATED BY THE PRINCIPAL DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR
OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 18, UNITED
STATES CODE, SECTION 3190.

5. CONSULAR RESPONSIBILIITES FOR AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS AND
NOTARIAL SERVICES IN A COUNTRY PARTY TO THE HAGUE APOSTILLE
CONVENTION:

-- YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO PROVIDE NOTARIAL SERVICES FOR U.S. CITIZENS;

-- YOU MAY PROVIDE NOTARIAL SERVICES FOR NON-U.S. CITIZENS FOR
DOCUMENTS INTENDED FOR USE IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU MAY RESTRICT
SUCH SERVICES AS TO HOURS OF THE DAY OR DAYS OF THE WEEK IN
ACCORDANCE WITH 7 FAM 812.

-- YOU SHOULD NO LONGER PROVIDE AUTHENTICATION SERVICES EXCEPT FOR

-- EXTRADITION (SEE 7 FAM 877, 7 FAM 1633) AND
-- EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS (SEE 7 FAM 962.6).

-- YOU SHOULD REFER REQUESTS FOR AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS (OTHER
THAN EXTRADITION AND EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS) TO THE HOST
COUNTRY AUTHORITY DESIGNATED TO ISSUE APOSTILLES. INFORMATION ABOUT
EACH COUNTRY'S AUTHORITY COMPETENT TO ISSUE APOSTILLES IS AVAILABLE
ON THE HAGUE CONFERENCE WEB PAGE HTTP://WWW.HCCH.NET/INDEX_EN.PHP.
COUNTRY SPECIFIC JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE
CONSULAR AFFAIRS INTERNET PAGE TRAVEL.STATE.GOV.

7. ACTION: POSTS SHOULD

-- UPDATE YOUR WEB PAGES TO INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HAGUE
APOSTILLE CONVENTION AND AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS IN THE HOST
COUNTRY

-- PROVIDE CA/OCS/PRI (ASKPRI@STATE.GOV) WITH THE CURRENT NAME,
ADDRESS, PHONE, AND EMAIL/WEB PAGE FOR THE HOST COUNTRY COMPETENT
AUTHORITY WHICH PRI WILL ADD TO THE COUNTRY SPECIFIC JUDICIAL
ASSISTANCE WEB PAGE ON TRAVEL.STATE.GOV.

8. QUESTIONS: POSTS MAY DIRECT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HAGUE APOSTILLE
CONVENTION TO ASKPRI@STATE.GOV.
RICE

NNNN


End Cable Text



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