Apostille & certified translation

Apostille & certified translation

The Apostille certificate is issued by state authorities that issued the document.

In time it was proven that, though just a formality, the complicated legalization procedure cannot keep up with the development of international legal traffic and the needs of the modern world, which resulted in an agreement between a certain number of states to sign the Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents in the Hague, on October 05, 1961.

The Apostille certificate is the only formality which, according to the provisions of the Convention, may require that public documents developed on the territory of one of the signatory countries could be used on the territory of all signatory countries, with the same power of evidence possessed by public documents of those countries.

The Apostille certificate is issued at the request of every document holder.

The signatory countries freely determine the appropriate authority, competent for issuing the Apostille certificate. The Convention determines to which public documents it applies, and to which it cannot apply.

It applies to documents issued by authorities or officials of the state judiciary system, public prosecutor’s office, court clerk’s office and court enforcement officers, to administrative documents, documents issued or certified by a public notary, official quotes on entries in public ledgers and to official signature certifications on private documents.

It does not apply to documents issued by diplomatic and consular representatives, as well as to documents that directly refer to a trade or customs operation.

The Apostille certificate should be made in accordance with the prescribed form, placed on the document itself or its addendum, it can be made in the official language of the authority issuing it, but the title: “Apostille (Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961)” must remain in French, so that authorities of the signatory countries could recognize and accept it.

In Serbia, the basic court is competent for issuing the Apostille certificate, for public documents made, issued or certified by authorities with headquarters in the court’s area.

The Apostille certificate is signed by the President of the Municipal Court or a judge authorized by him/her, and it contains the court’s seal.


In order for a public document of a country to be used in another country, whose language is different from the language in which the document was issued, it is necessary for it to be translated into the language of the country in which it is to be used. The translation may be made in the country from which the document originates, or in the country in which it is to be used. The translation of the document is an accompanying document and it is valid only together with the source document.

If the translation was made in the country from which the document originates, it should be legalized in the same manner as the source document.
The signature of the authorized person and stamp impression, or seal of the authority issuing the document are certified on the source document, while the signature of the authorized translator and the seal impression, if used, are certified on the translated document.

By legalizing the translation, foreign authorities are informed that the translator from one country is officially authorized by that country’s law to perform translations into a certain language (registered court translator, authorized agency, translation bureau, etc.).

Source: www.mfa.gov.rs

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