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Frequently Asked Q & A On Notarization And Legalization
2004-08-03

A. What formalities shall be required in case of documents to be used between the mainland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region?

1. Notarial certificates, executed in the mainland, and to be used in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, shall be acknowledged by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

2. Civil and commercial documents, which are prepared in Hong Kong and to be used in the mainland, shall be notarized by solicitors in Hong Kong appointed by the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China, and then be acknowledged and delivered by China Law Service (Hong Kong) Ltd. Co..

3. Notarial certificates, executed by Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the mainland and Hong Kong to their citizens, may be used directly, without legalization, either in the mainland or Hong Kong Special Administrative Region .


B. What formalities shall be required in case of documents to be used between the Mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region?

1. Civil and commercial documents may be used directly between the mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region without acknowledgment.

2. Notarial certificates, executed by Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the mainland,Hangkong and Macao to their citizens, may be used directly, without legalization, either in the mainland or Macao Special Administrative Region.


C. How shall Chinese citizens abroad apply for notarial certificates to be used in foreign countries?

Notarial certificates, with which facts occurred in China, shall be, in principle, applied for notarization to the notary offices in China which are authorized to provide foreign- related sevices in China.  Relatives or friends of the applicant could be entrusted by the applicant to apply first for notarial certificates, and then the legalization of the certificates to the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the other organs so authorized, and last the legalization by the Embassies or Consulates of the Foreign Countries  where the notarial certificates will be used.


D. How shall divorce judgment or divorce mediation certificate  from foreign court be acknowledged by the People's Court in China?

Requirements for the application for acknowledgment of foreign divorce judgment and divorce mediation certificate are specified in  Regulations Of The Supreme People's Court On The Acceptance By The People's Court Of Applications For Acknowledgment Of Divorce Judgments By Foreign Courts, which are as follows:

1. The People's Court shall not refuse any application by Chinese citizen for acknowledgment of a divorce judgment by foreign court with the reason that the marriage was not contracted in China. The application for acknowledgment of a divorce judgment by foreign court in the absence of the Chinese applicant, shall be accepted by the People's Court with the proof that the  legal subponea has been served.

2. The People's Court shall accept the application by a foreign citizen for acknowledgment of a divorce judgment by foreign court provided that the applicant's divorced spouse is a Chinese citizen. The People's Court shall not accept the application by a foreign citizen for acknowledgment of a divorce judgment by foreign court provided that the applicant's divorced spouse is a foreign citizen, but shall inform the applicant to apply directly to marriage-registering authority for marriage registration.

3. The People's Court shall accept, exam and judge the application for acknowledgment of the enforcement of a divorce mediation certificate by foreign court, in accordance with Regulations On The Procedural Issues Concerning The Applications By Chinese Citizens For The Acknowledgment Of Divorce Judgments By Foreign Courts. A written decision of acknowledgment shall be made by the People's Court.


E. Could foreign citizens (including foreigners of Chinese origin) apply to the Chinese Embassies and Consulates in foreign countries for notarial certificates?

Only the Chinese citizens, in principle, may apply for notarial certificates to the Chinese Embassies and Consulates abroad. Foreigners (including foreigners of Chinese origin), whose documents prepared in foreign countries and to be used in China, shall apply for notarization to the local notary publics. The notarial certificate shall be legalized first by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country or its authorized organ,and then legalized by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate before it is produced in China.
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