The Abolition of Legalization Requirement for Foreign Public Documents

On 5 October 1961, the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign
Public Documents (the “Hague Convention”) was signed and agreed upon as an international
treaty by several countries which participated in the convention. As of 2021, there are 120
countries around the world that have ratified and implemented the Hague Convention (these
countries each is typically referred to as the “Contracting State”).
Pursuant to the Hague Convention, any public document (as shall be defined hereunder)
produced or signed within the territory of a Contracting State shall be exempt from having to
go through the legalization process before it can be used in territory of any other Contracting
State. The process to validate or certify the authenticity of signature in the public documents
is conducted by applying the apostille, so that the public documents can be recognized in any
other Contracting State’s territory. Apostille is a process in which the appointed government
official certifies that the notary’s or other competent officer’s signature, seal, and license are
valid. The appointed government official then attaches a certificate to the public document with
his/her authorization seal and signature. It should be noted, however, that an apostille does
not typically certify and/or validate the contents of a document. Instead, it usually only certifies
the authenticity of signatures, the capacity of the signatories, and validity and correctness of
the seal(s) and/or stamp(s) contained in a particular document.
Pursuant to the Hague Convention, documents that are categorized as “public documents”
are as follows:
1. Documents issued by authority or official relating to the state court or tribunal;
2. Administrative documents;
3. Documents issued by a notary; and
4. Official certificate(s) attached to a document signed by an individual in his/her civil
authority, such as a certificate that records the registration of a document or one that
records a certain validity period of a document on a certain date or legalization of
signatures by officials and notaries.
On 5 January 2021, the President of the Republic of Indonesia has enacted the Presidential
Regulation No. 2 of 2021 concerning Ratification of the Convention Abolishing the
Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (“PR 2/2021″). With the enactment
of PR 2/2021 which ratifies the Hague Convention, the validation process of public documents
executed in the territory of a Contracting State in the form of consular legalization shall not be
required, accepting, instead, documents that have gone through the apostille process.

The Abolition of Legalization Requirement 19 February 2021

However, the Annexure of PR 2/2021 conveys that any documents issued by the prosecutor’s office, as a prosecuting agency in Indonesia, are not included as public documents as referred to in the Hague Convention. Therefore, documents issued by the prosecutor’s office will still go through the legalization process.
Based on confirmation from relevant government agencies, currently the Indonesian government is taking all necessary steps, so that the Hague Convention can come into force in Indonesia, including the apostille system. If there is no objection raised by any existing Contracting State, the Hague Convention would come into force in Indonesia in the near future. Nevertheless, we still need to see further measures to be taken by related government agencies and view from notary public in Indonesia as to whether, when the Hague Convention comes into force in Indonesia, corporate documents, such as shareholders’ resolutions or powers of attorney are included in the definition of public documents as referred to in the Hague Convention.
This client alert is intended to provide an overview only, thus, cannot be deemed as a legal advice. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need a more detailed discussion and/or advice.
Brigitta I. Rahayoe
Ahmad Fadli
Michael H. Giovanni