Having submitted their instrument of accession to the Apostille Convention on April 8 2022, and after signing the agreement on December 7 2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has officially become the 122nd member nation to join the Hague Convention.
But what does this mean?
The Apostille Convention is an international treaty drafted and administered by the Hague Conference on Private International Law and its main objective is to simplify the certification process that official documents issued in the contracting states have to go through. It basically removes the mandate for official documents issued in one of the contracting states to be legalised by the consulates of any of the other contracting states.
Prior to the accession, commercial documents issued in the UK that were to be used in Saudi Arabia had to be certified by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, apostilled by the Foreign and Common Wealth office and finally legalised by the Saudi Arabia Consulate. The accession of Saudi to the Hague Convention means that this last step of the process is no longer necessary, making the process easier and more accessible to traders.
The official notice reads:
“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in UK would like to inform all agents hereby that the Apostille System for attestation has been implemented, so, any certificate attested by the apostille, does not require to be attested again by the consulate, the same will be applied to academic qualifications as well, but does not apply to administrative documents related to customs transactions, such as establishment certificates, import and export licenses and documents signed by members of the diplomatic or consular corps.”
Submitting documents through the Arab-British Chamber remains an essential part of the process, but traders need to be aware that a membership is required in order to do so. Any traders that are not members of the ABCC can contact the London Chamber of Commerce to submit any documentation to the ABCC on their behalf.
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