The issuing of apostilles – newly at the Notarial Chamber
- Grant Thornton Czech Republic
From 1 October 2021, the agenda of authentication of public documents issued or verified by notaries is being transferred to the Notarial Chamber of the Czech Republic. It will thus be possible to obtain the so-called apostille clause not only at the seat of the Notarial Chamber, but also at all of its regional branches, in Prague, Ústí nad Labem, Plzeň, České Budějovice, Hradec Králové, Brno and Ostrava. This change has been brought about by a change in Act no. 358/1992 Coll., on Notaries and their Activity (code of notarial procedure). The apostille clause for other Czech public documents will continue to be provided by the Ministry of Justice.
From 1 September 2021, the fee for issuing an apostille has also been raised by an amendment of Act no. 634/2004 Sb., on administrative fees. A fee of CZK 300 will thus newly be charged for the issuing of an apostille. Its increase should be balanced by time and travel cost savings, because many will no longer need to travel to the Ministry of Justice in Prague to obtain it.
When is an apostille needed?
An apostille clause is needed in cases, when a public document needs to be acknowledged in a foreign country. The purpose of authentication is to prove that a document was issued or authenticated by a competent authority of the Czech Republic or it was signed before this authority. The apostille itself authenticates the authenticity of the stamp and signature on the document.
Apostille or superlegalisation?
More complex superlegalisation or higher authentication is applied for documents, which are to be acknowledged in countries that are not contractual parties to the Haag Apostille Convention. The document needs to be verified by a central authority first, superordinated to the authority, which issued the document (the respective ministry). The document then needs to be provided with a certificate from the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the final certificate needs to be obtained from the embassy of the country, in which the document will be used. China, Canada or the United Arab Emirates are not contractual parties to the Convention, for example.