Hague Conference on Apostille Convention

This explains the Hague Conference on Apostille Convention. The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, which is also commonly known as the Apostille Convention. This is an international treaty that simplifies the process of authenticating public documents for use in foreign countries. It was adopted on October 5, 1961, in The Hague, Netherlands, and it entered into force on January 24, 1965. Thailand however is not a signatory. Read further on the notary public Bangkok below.

Hague Conference on Apostille Convention

The rules outlined under the convention are applicable. Below is a list of countries that have signed the convention. If you are from a country that is a signatory to the convention, feel free to reach out to our public notary in Thailand for additional guidance and assistance. The current rules are for official papers made in one country but needed in another. According to these rules.

Hague Conference on Apostille Convention

Apostille Convention Countries

Here is a list of the countries that are participants of the Apostille Convention. Please note that this list was last revised on January 11, 2024. So, is Thailand a member of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, then Yes. Is Thailand a member of the Hague Convention on Apostille – No.

AlbaniaAndorraAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustralia
BelgiumBelizeBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazil
Brunei DarussalamBulgariaBurundiCanadaCape VerdeChile
China, People’s Republic ofColombiaCook IslandsCosta RicaCroatiaCyprus
Czech RepublicDenmarkDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEl Salvador
JamaicaJapanKazakhstanKorea, Republic ofKosovoKyrgyzstan
MalawiMaltaMarshall IslandsMauritiusMexicoMoldova, Republic of
New ZealandNicaraguaNiueNorth Macedonia, Republic ofNorwayOman
PolandPortugalRomaniaRussian FederationSaint Kitts and NevisSaint Lucia
Saint Vincent and GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegal
SerbiaSeychellesSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSouth Africa
TongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyUkraineUnited Kingdom


Hague Convention Apostille law

Section 1

The following documents can fall under this agreement.

  1. a) Documents connected to the courts, such as a prosecutor. These are considered official documents.
  2. b) Likewise there as also administrative papers which are also included.
  3. c) Note that notary papers are part of it too.
  4. d) Certificates put on documents signed by individuals privately

Note however that these rules don’t apply to:

  1. a) Documents made by diplomatic or consular agents.
  2. b) Likewise administrative papers related to direct business or customs operations.


Section 2

In simple terms, according to the mentioned Convention, each country it (Contracting State) that has agreed to doesn’t require additional authentication (legalisation) for certain documents that fall under the Convention and need to be used within its borders. Speak to our Thai lawyer for more information.

The term “legalisation” here specifically refers to the process where diplomats or consular agents of the country where the document is intended to be used verify the legitimacy of the signature on the document. This verification also includes confirming the role or capacity of the person who signed the document and, if applicable, confirming the identity of the seal or stamp on the document. The best example in Thailand is where your marriage status has to be legalised or authenticated at the Thai Foreign Affairs office before you can use it with the Thailand marriage visa application form as well as with the progression of the gay marriage Thailand as well when it becomes law. 


Section 3

In simpler terms, the only thing that might be needed to confirm a signature. Likewise the role of the person signing. Finally the details about the seal or stamp on a document. That this is a certificate from the relevant authority in the country where the document originates (as described in Section 4).

However, this requirement doesn’t apply if the laws, rules, or practices of the country. Where the document is being used. This, or an agreement between two or more countries involved eliminated or made this formality simpler. In such cases, the document may be exempt from the usual process of legalisation. In other words, two countries might have their own agreements to simplify the document authentication.


Thai Notary Public

Section 4

Note that the certificate mentioned in the first part of Section 3, should be put directly on the document or on an attachment called an “allonge.” This certificate should follow the specific format outlined in the Convention. You can see an example of this which has been added below. Most Westerners or expatriates in Thailand tend to need this to certify their signatures on banking documents from home while abroad. It’s a bit of a hybrid form from Thailand, but speak to our notary public in Bangkok. Mainly as we have done this for a number of expats from many Western countries. Note again that the Apostille is not recognised in Thailand as it is not a Hague Convention country or signatory. Speak to our notary public in Bangkok for more information.

Note however that it’s allowed to be written in the official language of the issuing authority. The standard terms in the certificate can also be in a second language. The title “Apostille (Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961)” should be in French.


Section 5

The certificate is given when someone who signed the document or anyone carrying it asks for it. Once it’s completed correctly. The certificate confirms that the signature is genuine, mentions the role of the person who signed the document, and, if needed, identifies the seal or stamp on the document.

Importantly, the signature, seal, and stamp on the certificate itself don’t need any additional verification. Note that the notary will place her certificate on the document as well as the seal as well as the signature on the document. It is usually a bundle of documents with the verified or certified document in the middle of the bundle. Speak to us at the well known law firm in Bangkok G.A.M. Legal Alliance.


Section 6

In simpler terms, each country that agrees to this Convention needs to specify which of its official authorities can issue the certificate mentioned in the first part of Section 3. This information should be communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands when the country officially approves or joins the Convention. Any changes to these designated authorities also need to be reported. This as stated is not applicable in Thailand as it’s not a Hague Convention country for an Apostille.


Section 7

In simpler terms, each authority chosen according to Section 6 must maintain a record or card index. This record should include details such as:

  1. a) The certificate’s number and date.
  2. b) Likewise the name of the person who signed off on the document and their role.

If someone is interested and asks, the authority that issued the certificate must check if the information on the certificate matches what is in their record or card index. Note again that this is not in Thailand but only for signatories of the convention of which Thailand is not a signatory.


Section 8

In simpler terms, if there’s an international agreement between two or more countries that includes rules about how signatures, seals, or stamps should be certified. Then, the rules in this Convention will only apply if they are less strict than the procedures described in Section 3 and 4. In other words, this Convention won’t change any rules in existing agreements unless the rules it introduces are less demanding.


Section 9

Every country that agrees to this Convention must ensure that its diplomats or consular agents don’t go through the process of legalizing documents. This when this Convention says that such documents are exempt from that requirement. In other words, if the Convention says a certain document doesn’t need legalization, the country should make sure its diplomats and consular agents don’t go ahead with that unnecessary process. Likewise speak to our Thai notary public if you need more information.


Section 10

The countries that were present at the Ninth Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. This being Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, and Turkey have the option to sign this Convention. If they decide to go ahead. Then they need to officially approve it (ratify), and the documents confirming this approval should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands


Section 11

This Convention becomes active and applicable on the sixtieth day after the third country submits its official approval (ratification). This as mentioned in Section 10. After that, any country that signs up and ratifies later will also have the Convention come into effect for them on the sixtieth day after they submit their ratification documents.


Section 12

Likewise any country not mentioned in Section 10 can join this Convention after it has already started. This as long as it has become active according to the process in Section 11. The country wanting to join (accede) needs to submit its approval documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.

This joining becomes official only if none of the existing member countries objects within six months after receiving the notification outlined in Section 15. If there are no objections from existing member countries during this time, the new country’s participation becomes effective on the sixtieth day after the six-month period ends.


Section 13

Note that when a country signs, approves (ratifies), or joins (accedes) this Convention. It can declare that the rules of the Convention apply to all its territories involved in international relations. This, or just too specific ones. This declaration becomes effective when the Convention itself becomes active for that country.

If a country makes this declaration after initially signing and ratifying. Then, the Convention’s rules apply to the specified territories as outlined in Section 11. If the declaration comes from a country joining later. Then, the rules apply to the mentioned territories according to Section 12. Any changes or additions to these declarations should be reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands


Section 14

This Convention is initially valid for five years from the time it becomes active according to the rules in Section 11. Even for countries that sign up or join later. This five-year period applies. If no country decides to end their participation (denounce) during this time. Likewise the Convention automatically continues for another five years, and this renewal keeps happening every five years unless a country decides to withdraw.

If a country wants to end its participation, it needs to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands at least six months before the end of the ongoing five-year period. This decision to end participation can apply to specific territories covered by the Convention for that country but won’t affect the validity of the Convention for other participating countries.


Section 15

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands will inform the countries mentioned in Section 10 and those that have joined in accordance with Article 12 about the following:

  1. a) Notifications as described in the second paragraph of Section 6.
  2. b) Signatures and approvals (ratifications) mentioned in Section 10.
  3. c) The date when this Convention officially begins, as per the rules in the first paragraph of Section 11.
  4. d) Countries that have joined (acceded) and any objections raised, along with the date when these new joining become effective, as outlined in Section 12.
  5. e) Any extensions as described in Section 13 and when they become effective.
  6. f) Notifications of countries deciding to end their participation (denunciations) as mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 14.


This information is shared to keep all the concerned countries updated about the status of the Convention. The Convention was signed on October 5, 1961, in both French and English. This with the French text being the authoritative version in case of any differences. A single copy is stored in the archives of the Netherlands government, and certified copies are sent through diplomatic channels to the countries present at the Ninth Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, as well as Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, and Turkey. Lastly again if you are not certain then speak to our notary public in Thailand for more information.


Thailand Legal Services

There are a number of articles on this website. See also the notarial services attorney on this website as well as the articles on kidnapping in Thailand as well as the renew retirement visa Thailand article as well. Lastly there is also the work permit Thailand cost on this website.