HCCH Working Group on the Authentication of Documents Generated by Supranational and Intergovernmental Organisations

A meeting of the Working Group on the Authentication of Documents Generated by Supranational and Intergovernmental Organisations took place on 1 December 2017 and its Report has just been made available on the Hague Conference (HCCH) website (click here). This is both the first and the last meeting of the Working Group.

A couple of Information Documents were drawn up for the meeting, in particular a summary of proposals for consideration and a comparative summary of documents generated by supranational and intergovernmental organisations and their authentication practices. As is evident from the findings of the latter, it would appear that some documents generated by intellectual property organisations (such as patents, trademarks and designs) may experience difficulties when it comes to authentication. However, this does not mean that these are the only documents generated by supranational and intergovernmental organisations that may need to be authenticated and the Report is thus drafted in general terms.

The Report indicates:

“Having reviewed the different practices across Contracting Parties with respect to authenticating documents generated by supranational and intergovernmental organisations in their territory, the Group recommended the following options, if and when a need to authenticate such documents for use in another Contracting Party arises:

  1. the relevant Competent Authority of the host State, in possession of the required sample signatures and seals of the officials that issue such documents for the organisation in question, may directly apostillise the documents;

  2. a notary of the host State may first authenticate the document or a copy of the document and this notarial authentication is subsequently apostillised by the relevant Competent Authority;

  3. a government office or authority may be designated by the host State, and which holds the required sample signatures and seals of the officials that execute such documents for the organisation in question, to act as an intermediary for the purposes of authenticating such documents and this authentication is subsequently apostillised by the relevant Competent Authority.”

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