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 In 2002, the Law of Ukraine “On Ukraine’s Accession to the Convention abolishing the requirement to legalize foreign official documents” (hereinafter referred to as “K”) was adopted.

 Mentioned “K” for Ukraine gained its legal force in December 2003. According to this act, the legalization of documents for countries – participants of “K” is canceled and a new procedure is introduced – affixing of the Apostille. The process of affixing Apostille on documents is regulated by the Rules for placing Apostille on official documents intended for use in other countries.

 These are documents in:

  • judicial jurisdiction and prosecutors of the country;
  • administrative sphere;
  • notarial field;
  • as well as official certificates.

 According to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 61 for January 18, 2003, the responsibilities for affixing Apostille to official documents were transferred:

  • MES regarding documents from educational institutions or state bodies in the field of education and science (for example, a diploma of full higher education or a certificate of complete general secondary education);
  • MJU in respect of documents issued by courts, justice or notaries (for example, a court decision or a notarized power of attorney);
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – for all other types of documents.

 The terms of this “K” apply to documents issued in the territory of one of the countries – participants of “K” – in relation to the document that will be provided to another country – participant “K”.
The procedure of consular legalization of official documents is a legal procedure, which means confirmation of the validity of the original official documents. And in this case, the consul is not responsible for the content of the document.

 Options for the consular legalization procedure:

  • Legalization of a document in the country where it is issued.
  • Legalization of the relevant document in the country of presentation of such a document.

 The responsible Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine implements the legalization of documents issued in Ukraine and intended for presentation abroad.

Final conclusions

 * Documents issued in another country (which is a member of K) are not subject to mandatory legalization. To bring such documents into effect, an apostille must be affixed. Mandatory in the country issuing an official document.
 ** If such a document was issued in a country that is not a member of K, the document is subject to mandatory legalization. And only in the country of issue of the document. The legalization process is provided for by law and is possible for implementation at the embassy or consular office of Ukraine in another country.

 There are certain difficulties in the process of legalizing documents or affixing A. on them. For example, legalization has its own difficulties. Basically, these are subjective reasons. What does it mean? For example, having collected the correct package of documents necessary for the legalization of the document, due to the disorganized work of the state. authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the embassy of a certain country, need to stand in a long line for more than one hour, but, for example, with a country like China, you will have to wait more than six hours. The queue for filing documents must be taken from early morning or late evening – if you want to apply for legalization on the same day.
There are no problems with affixing Apostille. The main thing is to correctly prepare the documents and understand that it must be in a diligent form – the seals must not be cleaned, the text must be clear, the signature of the authorized person must be real and so on.

 Author: Tatiana Petryk

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