What is Apostille

The word Apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a French word meaning certification.

An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Competent Authority under the Apostille Convention. It is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.

Who are the members of Hague Apostille Convention

There are  currently 91 Members: 90 States and 1 Regional Economic Integration Organisation. You can find the current list of the members at their website at Members.

Singapore becomes a Member of Hague Apostille Convention

On 18 January 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of accession to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (“Apostille Convention”), making Singapore a Contracting Party to the Convention. The accession facilitated the cross-border use of public documents1, saving time and costs for users through the use of a simplified one-step process.

Prior to 15 September 2021

Any party who wishes to use a copy of his public document had to have them legalised by the Embassy or High Commission of destination in Singapore. Legalisation involves a multi-stage process whereby the signature, seal or stamp on a local public document is certified as authentic by a series of public officials along a “chain”, to a point where the ultimate authentication is readily recognised by the foreign country of destination.

On and after 16 September 2021

On 16 September 2021, Singapore implemented its obligations under the Apostille Convention through the Apostille Act 2020, which was previously passed in Singapore Parliament in November 2020.

With the implementation, other Contracting Parties are now obliged to waive the legalisation requirement for public documents issued by Singapore authorities and must accept it issued by Singapore’s designated Competent Authority. Likewise, the Singapore authorities will be obliged to accept apostilles in place of legalisation for incoming foreign public documents from these Contracting Parties, where applicable.

The Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”) is designated as Singapore’s Competent Authority under the Convention.

Further details on the implementation of the apostille regime in Singapore are available from Singapore Ministry of Law website at www.mlaw.gov.sg.

If you need your document to be apostilled, please contact us to arrange on your behalf.