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 The Hague Conference on Private International law has announced the holding of the 6th Forum on the electronic Apostille Pilot Program (e-APP) in Madrid on 29 & 30 June 2010.

The e-Apostille is a digital document communicated in electronic form; it allows a country to improve the issuance of reports of an administrative or notarial character, certifications of authority or of civil servants, in order to produce full effects in a foreign State. 

Under the electronic Apostille Pilot Program (e-APP), the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and the National Notary Association of the United States (NNA) are, together with any interested State (or any of its internal jurisdictions), developing, promoting and assisting in the implementation of low-cost, operational and secure software technology for the issuance of and use of electronic Apostilles (e-Apostilles), and the creation and operation of electronic Registers of Apostilles (e-Registers).

This is the current list of operational e-registres:

Andorra (since July 2009)
Belgium (since October 2007)
Bulgaria (since November 2009)
Colombia (since October 2007)
Georgia (since July 2009)
Mexico (since February 2010)
New Zealand (since April 2010)
Republic of Moldova (since January 2009)
USA – Rhode Island (since February 2007)
USA – Texas (since November 2008)

Recently, the European Union has accorded substantial financial support to the e-APP. This support will allow for the further development, implementation and operation of e-Registers of Apostilles and the promotion of the e-APP in the European Union and beyond. The e-APP for Europe is a transnational e-justice/e-administration project designed to develop best practices in relation to the Apostille Convention by promoting the e-APP, in particular the use of e-Registers of Apostilles. The 18-month project comprises 3 interrelated elements:

1.The development and implementation of a central e-Register of Apostilles for all Competent Authorities in Spain*
2.The holding of 3 regional meetings across Europe to encourage all participating States to implement e-Registers
3.The holding of the 6th International Forum on the e-APP

The first highlight of the project will be the the above mentioned forum. It will be open to any interested State and targeted to government officials, Competent Authorities, IT experts, judges, practitioners and scholars who are interested in the most recent developments with the e-APP; an open dialogue on the best practices for the implementation of the e-APP; or learning from the experiences of those with first hand knowledge of the e-APP.

The programme of the Forum will also highlight the development of a central e-Register for all Competent Authorities issuing Apostilles in Spain. The successful roll-out of the Spanish e-Register of Apostilles will serve as a model for implementing this component of the e-APP in other European jurisdictions and indeed any other Contracting State.

There is no cost to attend the Madrid Forum, but registration will be required. Additional details, including information on registration, venue, and the draft programme, will soon be published at the Hague Conference site.

Source: Hague Conference on Private International Law

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