On the 8th of April 2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH Apostille Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention).

Countries that have signed the convention can obtain an Apostille certificate from an authorized competent authority to authenticate a public document. This one-step process saves time and money by avoiding additional certification or legalization at a foreign country’s embassy or consulate.

To use a foreign document in the Kingdom, it must first be legalized by the Saudi Embassy in the country issuing the document, then by a Notary Public and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

The apostille procedure simplifies legalization requirements for foreign documents, which is a positive step forward as Saudi legal practice is heavily reliant on certified documents. Allowing a designated authority in the country of origin to apostille documents for use in the Kingdom in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention, rather than going through Saudi consular offices, would significantly accelerate or simplify the process of legalizing documents. This agreement is likely to minimize complexity, timeliness, and potentially cost for Saudi Arabia’s private sector, as this will mostly benefit in the document such as corporate Power of Attorney, Affidavits and much more.

The Kingdom’s participation in this agreement is part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision to improve the business environment for companies and individuals.

The Apostille Convention will enter into force in the Kingdom on 7 December 2022. It is worth noting that the Kingdom has been a member of the Hague Conference since 2016.

If you would like to register your trademark or have any questions about enforcing, protecting, or watching your intellectual property in Saudi Arabia, please contact us at: ksa@alyafi-ip.com

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