Acceptance of public documents within EU

Acceptance of public documents within EU

You can benefit from the Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 (Regulation).

Since 16 February 2019 You should not need for certain public documents issued by an EU member state an apostille. The enumeration of these documents, however, does not help business very much. It is focused on natural persons and their personal status.

At the moment, you can benefit from Apostille Convention, bilateral treaties or this Regulation. The Regulation refers to public documents about e.g. birth, name and surname, marriage, place of residence, nonexistence of entry in the criminal record. The last one, criminal register statement, can also help in business life. This document issued by one of EU member states, shall be accepted within EU without further need of an apostille if issued for an EU member state citizen.

There are two more benefits introduced by the Regulation. You can avoid arrangement of a translation of certain public documents if you ask a public authority in your country to attach to such a public document a so-called Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) which actually contains an extract of the content of such a public document in one or more EU languages. This MSF then should be again accepted without any further need of translation. Additionally, if you arrange a translation e.g. from Czech language into German and this translations was prepared by a translator officially appointed to be a translator (qualified translator) in CZ, such translation must automatically be accepted in Germany despite the fact it was not executed by a translator qualified for this activity in Germany.

The Regulation is still far from delivering real help to daily business life, as it does not refer to standard business documents such as excerpts from commercial registers etc. and as it does not refer to direct acceptance of verification of signatures or notarial copies, but in relation to certain documents in case there does not exist a bilateral treaty between two states, it can be understood as a first step towards simplification and decrease of administration of civil life in EU.

As the Regulation has been effective for more than 2 years, CAG members will carry out a survey in 2022 about its use in real life in CAG member states, especially in relation to the use of MSF in relation to criminal register statements and birth and marriage certificates.

Author: P. Compel


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