The presidential decree promulgating the Apostille Convention was published in the Official Gazette on March 24 2016. The convention eliminates the requirement of consular legalisation of foreign public documents for signatory states.

In Chile the legalisation of a foreign document – before it is sent to the respective Chilean consulate – requires that the signature of the officer issuing the document is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the respective country. The signature of the respective consulate officer must then be approved by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Further, internal law requires that in order for a foreign public document to be used in Chile, it must be filed in a notary's protocol.

The following are considered public documents that could use the apostille procedure instead of the complete legalisation procedure:

  • documents from an authority or dependent official of a state jurisdiction, including those documents provided by a public ministry, secretary or judicial officer;
  • administrative documents;
  • notarial documents; and
  • official statements.

The convention does not apply to:

  • documents issued by diplomatic or consular agents; and
  • administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations.

The convention will apply for five years following its entry into force. This term will be tacitly renewed for another five years unless the convention is abrogated.

The convention will come into force in Chile on August 30 2016. Apostilles issued in Chile will be electronic, so that their validity can be confirmed online.

Foreign companies conducting business in Chile will benefit from the application of the Apostille Convention, since the existing and cumbersome legalisation procedure will be replaced by the more expeditious apostille procedure.

For further information on this topic please contact Santiago Montt Vicuña at Montt y Cia SA by telephone (+56 22 233 8266) or email (smonttv@monttcia.cl). The Montt y Cia SA website can be accessed at www.monttcia.cl.

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