On 8 March 2023, China officially acceded to the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Convention). The Convention entered into force in China on November 7, 2023.
Upon the Convention becoming effective in China,
Public documents produced in China are only required to be apostilled by a designated competent authority in China before being used in other member states to the Convention. The competent authorities include the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the foreign affairs offices of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as authorised by MFA for public documents emanating from their respective areas.
Public documents produced in another member state to the Convention are only required to be apostilled by a designated competent authority of such state before being used in China. Consular legalisation by Chinese embassies or consulates in other member states to the Convention is, in theory, no longer required. Designated competent authorities in other member states can be found on the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) website.