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Foreign legal documents

Started by H. M. Nasim, October 14, 2018, 12:54:43 PM

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H. M. Nasim

Foreign documents are those issued abroad by a foreign authority, even if they are in the Italian language, which in order to be used in Italy require legalization or an apostille.

In this sense, a document prepared by an Italian consulate or ambassador abroad is not "foreign", even if the parties are foreign. If it is written in a foreign language, the foreign document must also be accompanied by its "translation".

More precisely, the obligation to legalize a foreign document is currently stipulated in Article 33 of the Unified Text of 28 December 2000 no. 445 (on the subject of administrative documentation).

Based on this regulation, in summary, for documents issued abroad:

– by a foreign authority: these are legalized by the Italian diplomatic or consular authorities in the country in which the document is issued;

– by our diplomatic or consular offices: these do not need to be legalized. Our consuls may accept documents: between Italians; between Italians and foreigners; or even between foreigners if the documents are destined for use in Italy.

Exceptions are made for cases covered by international treaties that specify differently (the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961).

If "foreign" documents are written in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by a certified translation done by our diplomatic or consular authorities, or an official translator (in practice, this figure does not exist; so it will be a reliable translator such as a translator registered with the Tribunal; or a competent Public Official such as the notary public himself, as is expressly authorized in Article 68 of the Regulation of Notaries).