Macau – Will Macau recognise an apostille?

Does the legalisation process for China also apply to Macau?


If our clients send documents to China, they must have their documents notarised by a notary public, authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and then legalised by the Chinese Consulate. This legalisation process for documents intended for China sometimes causes some confusion for clients if they are sending their documents to Macau since Macau was returned to China in 1999. In this article, we clarify what is the legalisation process for documents intended for Macau.

The Chinese Consulate website advises that documents intended for Macau (and Hong Kong) do not need to be legalised by the Chinese Consulate. Instead, documents intended for Macau must be notarised by a notary public and then stamped with an apostille from DFAT. The Chinese Consulate is not involved.

Also, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the authority responsible for drafting the Apostille Convention, confirms that:

“When Hong Kong and Macao were restored to the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997 and 20 December 1999, respectively, China declared that the Convention will continue to apply for Hong Kong and Macao.”

This is important information. Many people including lawyers in Australia and in Macau, Hong Kong and China assume that since Macau is now part of China, the formal process to authenticate and legalise notarised documents intended for China also applies to documents intended for Macau. But this is not correct.

Macau recognises an apostille and fortunately, this means that legalisation for documents intended for Macau is faster and cheaper.

If you need to send documents to Macau, check with your lawyer or the appropriate government office in Macau first. But if they advise you that you need to legalise your document through the Chinese Consulate in Australia, you can provide them with the links in this article and draw their attention to the correct procedure outlined by the Chinese Consulate and Hague Conference on Private International Law.

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Do you have any questions regarding this article?

If you have never had to have a document notarised before, you may find our role as a notary public, the notary public services that we provide, and this whole process (especially authentication, legalisation and apostille) to be confusing and daunting. Do not worry! We are here to try to simplify it, make it easy for you to understand, and to guide you or assist you with achieving your desired goal.

Please contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding this article or our notary public services.

Click here to see the flowchart that we created to help you understand the process regarding notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what next?

If you are now ready to proceed with having your document notarised, please visit our Notary Fees page for a FREE quote on our notary public services or just call us on 02 9687 8885 and speak to our friendly staff about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We are a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our low-cost fixed fee notary services, our availability to provide notary public services on short notice, and our focus on personal and timely notary public services. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, our notary public assists clients from across all suburbs of Sydney and beyond.

Ern Phang, Notary Public

Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice in Parramatta and a leading provider of notary public services to clients across Sydney. Extensive experience and low-cost fixed prices ensures quality services and satisfied clients.

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the kinds of issues faced by his clients in sending documents overseas.

All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct as at the time of publication. You should only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.