The Kingdom’s admission to the Hague Convention to activate the Apostille system


The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the Kingdom’s accession to the Hague International Convention on the Activation of the Apostille System to Facilitate International Transactions, and the Ministry confirmed that the agreement will enter into force starting from the twelve of December 2022. 


The use of legal documents outside the country requires a series of protracted and expensive authentications and procedures, which contradicts the Kingdom’s vision to simplify legal processes as much as possible and improve the business environment. Hence, the decision to join the Hague Convention on Legal Cooperation came to reduce the financial and administrative burdens resulting from the international certification of documents. 


During the Kingdom’s participation in the Hague Conference on Private International Law last April, Ambassador Ziad bin Maashi Al-Attiyah deposited the Kingdom’s deed of accession with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its capacity as the depositary, so the Ministry announced the entry into force under the Convention and the adoption of the Apostille certificate starting from December 12, 2022.

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What is the Hague Convention and what is meant by Apostille ratification?

The Hague Convention is an international treaty that aims to bridge the gap of legal variation between states and establish a unified procedural legal framework, by abolishing the mandatory legalization of documents such as court documents, administrative documents, and official certificates as well as commercial documents, and recognizing them legally in different countries without the need for new international ratification, provided that the state is a member to the Convention and that the document bears the apostille ratification.


Apostille Convention is one of the agreements of the Hague Conference, involving more than 120 States parties, and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the field of legal cooperation, with several million Apocettel ratifications issued each year.


The apostille certificate is an international authentication system for documents that include the standardization of the ratification data required to prove the authenticity of the document, where the formality of the apostille must include the following data:

  • Country name and city
  • Name of the signatory 
  • job title  of the Site 
  • Stamp of the government entity to which it belongs 
  • Type of seal or stamp
  • Signature Date 
  • International document number 
  • Seal of the ratification authority 
  • Signature 


Formality is therefore compulsorily titled by this French phrase “(Apostille (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre 1961)” 

The formality of the apostille shall be formulated in the official language of the issuing authority and may be legally translated into any other language depending on the requirements of the donor-driven you are applying to.


Thus, expatriate citizens and entrepreneurs get rid of a series of international routine procedures for the attestation of contracts, documents and others, whether in the Kingdom or the member states of the Hague Convention. 

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