The Apostille Convention reduces burocracy for foreign documents in Brazil

The Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, called Apostille Convention (“Convention”), promulgated by Decree No. 8,660/2016, entered into force on August 14, 2016. The Convention was held on October 05, 1961 in the Hague, but Brazilian Government only deposited the instrument of accession and notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands in December 2015 after the approval by the National Congress by the Legislative Decree No. 148/2015.

With Convention in force the only formality that may be required in order to certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears, is the addition of the apostille, i.e., such certificate shall consolidate all the information necessary to check the validity of public documents, acting as an international transactions enabler. Thus, public documents issued by Brazil or others signatories countries of the Convention will attend a simplified procedure, resulting in economy of public resources, reduction of processing time, increase of the legal certainty and reduction of financial costs for individuals and legal entities.

Article 1 of the Convention indicates the public documents subjected to the apostille regime: (i)  documents from an authority or an official connected with the courts or tribunals of the State, including those from a public prosecutor, a clerk of a court or a process-server; (ii)  administrative documents; (iii) notarial acts; and (iv)  official certificates which are placed on private documents, such as official certificates recording the registration of a document, attesting the existence of the document on a certain date and validity of signatures.

The international transactions of public documents, before the Convention and your accession by the Brazilian Government, followed a sequential legalization procedure until the consular legalization or consularization. With the accession and the implementation of the Convention, this procedure will be replaced by the Hague apostille, which shall be placed on the document itself or attached by the competent authority of the issuing country, giving validity to the document in 108 (one hundred eight) signatory countries.

Finally, according to Federal Law No. 8,935/1994, in articles 37 e 38, supervision and regulation of notarial activities is competence of the Judiciary branch. For this purpose, the Nacional Council of Justice (CNJ), with the Resolution No. 228/2016, regulated the application of the Convention, and established the competence to place the apostille in the public documents by (i) General Internal Affairs of Justice and Judges of the court officers in other judicial units, regions or sub-sections for the judicial interest documents; and (ii) Extrajudicial Notary Offices within the limits of its responsibilities.

The lawyers of Bastilho Coelho Advogados are available for more information.

Get our notifications

Contact us


Rua Helios Seelinger, 155, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brasil • 22640-040

Phone number

+55 21 3747 1757


If you would like to join our firm, please send your résumé to

© 2021. Bastilho Coelho Advogados. Todos os direitos reservados. All rights reserved.