Documents that have been issued and legally binding on the territory of a country may be used on the territory of another country after they have been properly drawn up. Currently, there are two types of such issuance:
- Apostille issuance
- Consular legalization
In 1961, the Convention on the Elimination of the Requirement for Foreign Official Documents was signed in the Hague to simplify the procedure for document legalization. States that have signed the Convention and acceded to it have the right to legalize documents in a simple way. Such legalization is made by issuing Apostille by the competent authorities established by the State. The Apostille affirms the authenticity of the signature of the person who signed the official document, the authority of that person, as well as the authenticity of a seal or stamp in the official document.
Apostille is considered to be legalized and has legal force in the territory of all States party to this Convention. Information about those participating countries can be accessed from the official website of the Hague Conference (www.hcch.net).
The Republic of Azerbaijan joined the said Convention on 5 March 2004 and in relation to our country, it entered into force on 2 March 2005.
According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 10, 2004, No. 544 "On the establishment of competent authorities envisaged by article 6 of the Convention, which abolishes the requirement of the Convention", documents issued by the courts, prosecution and judiciary, documents certified by notaries in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, documents on state registration of civil status by the competent authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as documents issued by the diplomatic representations and consulates of the Republic of Azerbaijan except for administrative documents that are directly related to commercial and customs operations, the apostille is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Procedures for the issuance of certificate (apostille) documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the official documents intended to be used in the territories of the states acceding to the Convention for the abolition of the requirement for the legalization of foreign official documents is regulated by decision of the Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated February 14, 2019 Q / 02-19 on "Rules of Issuance of Certificate (Apostille) to Official Documents" approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The text of the rules may be obtained from here.
According to the rules, the official documents belonging to the physical person for the issuance of apostille are issued in the name of the person who signed the document or the person belonging to the document, including the close relatives of that person (husband, wife, parents and children, grandparents, grandchildren and sisters) on the basis of the person's application. Official documents for government agencies, state-owned legal entities, legal entities that are state-owned and controlling shares (stocks) owned by the state, the official documents of budgetary organizations (hereinafter referred to as "institutions") shall be accepted on the basis of the relevant letter of the relevant institution (with the indication of the name, surname and position of the person) submitting the official documents in the letter. The issuance of apostille to official documents of legal entities, representations and branches are made consequently on the basis of a power of attorney issued to a legal person, representation or branch representative.
The following documents should be submitted for the issuance of Apostille to the official documents:
- petition of the person applying for the issuance of the apostille;
- original and copy of the official document submitted for the issuance of the Apostille;
- original and copy of the identification document of the person submitting the official document;
- original and copy of the document confirming close relationship, when the official document is presented by close relatives;
- original and copy of power of attorney or letter of request, if the official document is presented on the basis of the power of attorney or letters of request from institutions;
- Receipt on payment of state fee.
The official documents submitted for issuance of the apostille shall be issued after the verification of compliance with the "Rules of Issuance of the Certificate of Appellation of Official Documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan" within 5 (five) working days.
According to Article 13-1 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On State fee", the state fee in the amount of 10 AZN for the issuance of Apostille documents is to be paid.
Documents that contravene the international treaties or international treaties to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party or which contravene the legislative acts of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as by its content to the interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the honor and dignity of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are not apostilled. At the same time, if there is no sample of signature, seal or stamp on the official document in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan or if the official document is not drawn up in the form prescribed by the legislation, as well as the signature, seal or stamp on the official document is deleted or damaged Apostille is not issued.
Posting of additional information, drawing of endless lines or lines in other blank spots to the official documents submitted for issuance of Apostille shall not be allowed. According to item 3 of the Instruction of consular legalization, consular legalization functions are carried out by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, embassies and consulates of the Republic of Azerbaijan abroad.
The original of the document intended for consular legalization should be addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In order to legalize a copy or translation of the document, the authenticity of the translator's signature in its copy and translation shall be certified by a notary. In this document, the authenticity of the notary's signature and the seal belong to that notary office are approved by the Ministry of Justice. Afterwards, the document is legalized in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the consular service of the country to be used in its territory.
The document legalized by this way can only be used only in the territory of a state in which it was issued.
According to Article 16.5.1. of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On State fee” the state fee in the amount of 4AZN is to be paid for legalization of the documents in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
We would like to state that the Apostille issuance and the legalization of the official documents are carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the ASAN Service Center No. 5 in Baku. A sample of a signature signed by an official who signed the official document, as well as a sample of a seal or stamp on the official document may be requested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the purpose of issuing the Apostille in that document.
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