As part of the ongoing national campaign to ease market entry and promote the growth of the private sector, Saudi Arabia approved the accession to The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille). Saudi Arabia is expected to complete the necessary legal procedures for the Kingdom’s accession to the aforementioned agreement.

By way of background, the Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that was drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law and was first enforced in 1965 by the initial ratifying states, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong. The Convention specifies how certain types of documents issued in a signatory state can be certified for legal purposes in the other signatory states.

A certification pursuant to the Convention is called an apostille. To be eligible for an apostille, a document must first be issued or certified by an officer recognized by the authority that will issue the apostille.

With Saudi Arabia’s upcoming accession, this means that if the convention applies between two countries, such an apostille is sufficient to certify a document’s validity, and removes the need for double-certification, by the originating country and then by the receiving country.

This update is bound to reduce complexity, timelines and possibly cost for the private sector in Saudi Arabia.

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