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Saudi Arabia Joins the Hague Appostille Convention

  • 08 Aug 2023

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention of 1961 is an international agreement that governs the international service of judicial documents and simplifies the legalization process of civil and commercial documents.

The convention sets a formal process where member countries may verify a document via an apostille stamp issued in the document’s country of origin.

Benefits of the Convention 

The first main benefit of the convention is simplifying the certification process by removing the mandate for official documents issued in one contracting state to be legalized by the consulates of any of the other contracting states, saving a lot of time.

The second main benefit is that legalizing these documents through the convention becomes cheaper in most cases because a local attorney can affect the service without hiring a foreign attorney to advise on foreign service procedures.

News about the convention in KSA

On April,9,2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lodged its instrument of accession to the convention, abolishing the requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention).

Previously, on December 31, 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a decree providing for the country’s accession to the Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents.

Saudi Arabia has recently enacted Royal Decree M/40 dated 26/05/1443 H to transform the convention into domestic law.

Without the Hague Convention, all foreign public documents (from public authorities, courts, or notaries) must be legalized to be recognized by Saudi authorities in Saudi Arabia, which takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.

To tackle this, Saudi Arabia has now acceded to the Hague Apostille Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (“Convention”). 

Under the convention, an apostille stamp is sufficient for certification and use in other member states. Apostilles significantly shortened the process compared to the legalization of documents.

The Ministries Council met virtually in December 2021 and issued six resolutions. Resolution number 2 was issued to officially confirm the approval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enter the Hague Agreement and delegate power to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to complete all required formalities for entering the convention.


Once Saudi Arabia is officially a contracting party, brand owners and other intellectual property (IP) stakeholders residing in 121 countries will no longer be required to legalize foreign public documents when they pursue their rights locally, which will simplify the process and attract foreign investments to the Kingdom.


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