Philippines removes Embassy Authentication:Legalization vs Apostille eg Free Sale or Country of Orig

ARQon shared industry view in ASEAN meeting 5 years back on having recognition like Hague Apostille Convention, finally came true.

Philippines is the first ASEAN country for the removal of authentication of foreign public documents. Some countries product registration like in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam also required authentication of documents eg Free Sale Certificate which can take 2 to 3 months in the authentication process.

Refer to FDA Memorandum Circular No. 2019-008 ‘Removal of Authentication of Foreign Public Documents Executed in Apostille-contracting Countries and Territories by the Philippine Embassies or Consulates General Meeting Beginning 14 May 2019’

In connection with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Public Advisory dated 07 May 2019 ‘Apostille Convention on Authentication of Documents Takes Effect in PH on 14 May 2019’, all concerned stakeholders are hereby notified that foreign public documents executed in Apostille-contracting countries and territories (with the exception of Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece, all of which objected to the accession of the Philippines to the Apostille Convention) no longer have to be legalized/authenticated by the appropriate Philippine Embassy or Consulate General once they have been Apostillized in order to be recognized and accepted in the Philippines.

An Apostille is a document used in international law that is issued by a government in accordance with the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (otherwise known as the Hague Apostille Convention or simply the Apostille Convention). It is attached to a public document to certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, and where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears.

Relative to certain documents submitted to the Food and Drug Administration presently requiring “authentication by the territorial Philippine Consulate” (e.g. Certificate of Free Sale, as per A.O. No. 67 s. 1989 and B.C. No. 5 s. 1997), this Office shall begin accepting such documents bearing an Apostille in lieu of the traditional red ribbon.

However, for countries and territories which are not Apostille-contracting parties, the requirement of authentication of foreign public documents by the appropriate Philippine Embassy or Consulate General shall still apply.

For reference purposes, Apostille-contracting parties as below or the updated list can be accessed here.

Please see below the difference of Apostille vs Legalization or Authentication:

Source: Website of HCCN, Philippine FDA

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