Bulgaria eases rules on legalisation of documents from abroad

Bulgaria’s caretaker government has eased the rules on legalisation, authentication and translation of documents from abroad, to widen the circle of foreign institution whose legalisation of documents will be recognised, according to a statement by the government information service.

The decision “aims to improve and speed up administrative services for Bulgarian and foreign individuals and legal entities abroad, expanding the range of foreign entities that can legalise documents issued in foreign countries and subject to certification by Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions abroad,” the statement said.

Currently, Bulgaria’s diplomatic and consular missions legalise documents and other papers issued in foreign countries only if the documents are certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the missions are located, it said.

This limits the range of entities that can legalise documents issued abroad, reducing it to only one entity – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country in which the Bulgarian diplomatic and consular representation is accredited.

This is a problem in countries that are not parties to the Hague Convention on the Abolition of the Requirement for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents (1961), the statement said.

The decision taken by the caretaker government on April 5 will allow those who need documents to be legalised a choice about which authority to submit the documents to, based on how fast the process will be and possibly the cost, where fees charged by various authorities differ, according to the statement.

The change would lead to “an immediate improvement of the service” because Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions will certify documents not only legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the foreign country, but also by any other body of that country, provided local legislation empowers it to authorise documents, the statement said.

(Photo: Tony Webster)

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