Document Legalisation Law in Latvia

Document Legalisation Law

Chapter I

General Provisions

 

Section 1.

The purpose of this Law is to ensure the effective international circulation of public documents and simultaneously – the verification of the authenticity thereof.

 

Section 2.

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) certificate (apostille) – corresponds to the interpretation of the relevant term used in the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents;

2) public document – corresponds to the interpretation of the relevant term used in the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents;

3) legalisation – the process of ensuring the authenticity of public documents.

 

Section 3

 

(1) The legalisation of public documents shall be performed in accordance with this Law, if international agreements ratified by the Saeima or legal acts of the European Union do not specify otherwise.

(2) This Law shall not be applied, if a public document has been issued in a state of the European Union, of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation. If the institution, which accepts such public document, is having doubts regarding its authenticity, the institution shall communicate in writing with the foreign institution, which issued the public document or is responsible for authenticity of the public document, if international agreements ratified by the Saeima or legal acts of the European Union do not specify otherwise.

[28 October 2010]

Section 4

The legalisation of a public document issued in Latvia, if it is provided for utilisation in foreign states, and the legalisation of a public document issued in foreign states, if it is provided for utilisation in Latvia, shall be performed by the authorised officials of the diplomatic and consular service.

Section 5

A State fee shall be payable for the legalisation of public documents. The amount of the State fee and procedures for payment shall be determined by the Cabinet.

Chapter II

Legalisation of a Public Document Issued in Latvia if it is Provided for Utilisation in Foreign States

Section 6.

For the legalisation of a public document issued in Latvia a person shall complete a submission form and submit the document to be legalised. The Cabinet shall approve the sample submission form and prescribe the procedures by which legalisation shall be performed or a decision shall be taken to refuse legalisation.

Section 7.

It is prohibited to legalise the following public documents issued in Latvia:

1) documents that do not conform with the requirements for drawing up of documents laid down in laws and regulations;

2) documents the certification of which is technically impossible due to the actions of the submitter (for example, the document submitter has laminated the document him or herself);

3) electronic documents that do not conform with the requirements for drawing up and circulation of electronic documents laid down in laws and regulations.

Section 8.

If a public document issued in Latvia is provided for utilisation in a foreign state that is a participating state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents, it shall be legalised with a certificate (apostille) according to this convention.

Section 9.

If a public document issued in Latvia is provided for utilisation in a foreign state that is not a participating state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents, it shall be legalised by certifying the authenticity of the signature, the status of the person that has signed the document and – if necessary – the authenticity of the seal or stamp imprinted on the document.

Chapter III

Legalisation of a Public Document Issued in a Foreign State if it is Provided for Utilisation in Latvia

Section 10.

(1) In order for a public document issued in a foreign state to have the force of a public document in Latvia, it shall be legalised.

(2) In implementing State public administration, State administration, judicial and legislative institutions, other institutions and persons may accept only a legalised public document issued in a foreign state.

Section 11.

If a public document has been issued in a foreign state that is a participating state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents, the document shall require a certificate (apostille) according to this convention.

Section 12.

If a public document has been issued in a foreign state that is not a participating state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents, it shall be legalised by the procedures determined by the Cabinet.

Transitional Provision

The Cabinet shall, within four months following the coming into force of this Law, issue the regulations referred to in Sections 5, 6, and 12 of this Law.

This Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 22 March 2007.