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  • Writer's pictureKeila Vitola Druzian

Haia Apostille for export of health products

documents about a world map and the phrase "Hague Apostille"
Haia Apostille

The apostille process can be very objective, when it is an official document for example, or it can present several difficulties that will require a lot of reading, international negotiations and a pinch of creativity.


The Hague Apostille Convention is an international treaty that simplifies the legalization of documents between signatory countries, eliminating the need for a series of bureaucratic steps. Brazil joined the Hague Convention on August 14, 2016, facilitating the apostille of documents for international use.


The following are the steps that a Brazilian company can follow to apostille its documents in accordance with the Hague Convention Apostille:


1 - Adequate documentation:  Make sure that the documents you wish to apostille are recognized by the Hague Convention. Generally, this includes public documents such as birth and marriage certificates, diplomas, powers of attorney, commercial contracts and declarations, and other documents issued by public authorities.

In the case of the companies we work with, as they are companies that export health products, it is common for importers to request the apostille of the free sale certificate (CLV or FSC in English), operating authorization from ANVISA (AFE) and international certificates (such as ISO 9001 or ISO 13485). 

In addition to requesting the apostille, the importer of health products can request that the apostilled documents be sent in the language chosen by them. And that's where some complications can start. We will talk below about the famous SWORN TRANSLATION.

2 - Notarization: Before apostilling, the document must be notarized by a recognized notary. This step guarantees the authenticity of the signature on the document.

Another difficulty that may arise at this point is when the documents are bilingual or when, despite having been issued in Portuguese, the person signing the document is foreign and does not have the signature registered at any notary office for notarization (the famous RECOGNITION OF FIRMA) .

If the document is issued electronically and can be validated, it cannot present any scanned signature. Either the document is digitally signed and verified, or it must have a notarizable physical signature.

3 - Competent body:  In Brazil, the apostille is issued by the Notary Offices or by the Protest Notary Offices, depending on the state. Make sure you choose a body authorized to issue the apostille.

4 - Filling out the form: Complete the specific form for the handout. This form is generally available on the website of the apostille issuing body. It will include information about the type of document, date of issue, notary details and other relevant information.

5 - Payment of fees: Pay the fees necessary to issue the apostille. The values for issuing the Hague Apostille may vary between different registry offices and Brazilian states, as the authority for issuing the apostille is decentralized, and the values are established by the registry offices themselves. The fee table (fees charged for notary and registration services) can be defined by each state, which may result in differences in costs.


Man like coins 4 stacks of increasing size and a little wooden house
Tips for paying cheaper in the Hague apostille

Tip: Brasília and Paraná are much cheaper than São Paulo, around 1/3 of the price.

6 - Receiving the Apostille: After processing and paying the fees, the issuing body will provide the apostille document. This is a sheet or stamp that will be attached to the original document, certifying the authenticity of the notary's signature.


Copy and apostilled document
Example of document apostille for export of health product

7 - International verification:  Before presenting the documents in a foreign country, check whether the destination country accepts the apostille issued by Brazil. Each country may have specific rules for accepting apostilled documents.


  APOSTILLE OF DOCUMENTS ISSUED IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE


The apostille of documents issued in Brazil, but written in a foreign language, may present some difficulties for Brazilian companies. This is the case of international certificates, commercial contracts and declarations requested by the importer, which, although signed by a resident in Brazil, may have been written in a language other than Portuguese, or even bilingual.

Here are some of the main questions that may arise:


1 - Sworn translation:  Many countries require that documents in a foreign language be accompanied by a sworn translation into the official language of the destination country. This means that the company will have to hire a sworn translator to translate the document, adding an additional cost and possibly increasing the time required for the apostille process.

A problem that may arise here is that the translation is accepted in the importer's country. There are countries that only recognize their own translators, in this case, the best option would be to issue and apostille the document in Portuguese in Brazil and send it for translation in the importer's country.

Tip:  There is an understanding among registry offices in most states that bilingual documents must have the foreign language portion translated by a sworn translator. Therefore, if possible, issue your documents entirely in Portuguese, or look for notary offices in other states.

2 - Recognition of the translator's signature:  Some countries may require recognition of the sworn translator's signature, which may involve an additional procedure to authenticate the translation.

3 - Specific documents:  Depending on the type of document (such as contracts, articles of association, etc.), it may be necessary to check whether the destination country has specific requirements for this type of document. For example, some countries may require additional information or specific formats.

4 - Specific rules of the destination country:  Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding the apostille of documents. It is crucial to be aware of the specific requirements of the destination country to ensure that the apostille is accepted without problems.

5 - Time and additional costs:  The process of translating and apostille documents in a foreign language may require more time and generate additional costs for companies, which must be taken into account when planning international transactions .

6 - Understanding foreign laws:  In some cases, it may be necessary to understand the laws of the destination country to ensure documents comply with local requirements. This may require specialist legal advice.

7 - Validation of original documents:  As stated above, some countries may have specific procedures to validate original documents issued in a foreign language. The company must be aware of these requirements to avoid delays in the apostille process.


In summary, when apostille documents issued in Brazil but written in a foreign language, it is essential to research and follow the specific regulations of the destination country, seeking professional guidance when necessary. Collaboration with sworn translators and professionals specializing in international law or business can facilitate this process.


There are different understandings in different Brazilian States regarding the correct procedure for apostulating these documents. This understanding has also changed over time, which makes everything a little more complicated, but SC Vitola is available to assist with whatever is necessary.


Remember that adherence to the Hague Convention significantly simplifies the document legalization process, making it more efficient and agile for international purposes. However, it is always recommended to check the specific requirements of the destination country to ensure compliance with local regulations.


SC Vitola simplifies your international transaction processes.

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