Macau – Will Macau recognise an apostille?
Documents intended for Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR must be stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and do not follow the same process as documents intended for China (mainland).
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.
Documents for Macau must be stamped with an apostille
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.
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.
How can we help you?
Macau recognises an apostille and fortunately, this means that legalisation for documents intended for Macau is faster and cheaper (compared to the process for China). As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we help many clients with sending documents to Macau and arranging for the apostille from DFAT.
Do you have any questions?
Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.
If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We've also created a flowchart to explain the process.
So, what's next?
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We're a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We're known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice.
Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney.
Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to other countries.