The third meeting of the Apostille Convention’s Special Commission on the practical operation of the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents was held during November 6~9, 2012. Over 160 experts from 75 States and international organizations attended the meeting.
Of all conventions ratified by the Hague Convention, the Apostille Convention has been the most widely ratified (with 104 Contracting States). This is mainly due to Apostille’s relevance with people’s daily lives as well as cross-border business. The Convention has simplified the process of producing public documents abroad, including civil status certificates and notarial acts, as well as facilitate the circulation of public documents issued by one Contracting State for use in another, thus gaining extreme popularity throughout the world.
The Special Commission meeting allowed the Contracting States and interested international organization to discuss the Apostille Conventions’ operations. The discussed subjects included the applicability of the Convention, options that can further simplify the Apostille process, and options for the potential globalization of the successful electronic Apostille Program (e-APP), which is an innovative technological solution for modernizing existing Apostille procedures. To help designated Competent Authorities perform their functions under the Apostille Convention, the meeting also approved the final text of a Handbook on practical operation of the Apostille Convention.
Currently, more than 150 Competent Authorities throughout 15 Contracting States have already implemented at least one of the components of the Apostille Convention. Furthermore, thousands of e-Apostilles have been issued.