LA PAZ – Bolivia started on Monday applying what is known as The Hague Apostille Convention, which provides methods through which a document issued in one signatory country can be legally certified in all other signatory states.
President Evo Morales said the convention would help reduce red tape with an “agile and efficient” system, leading to one-step certification of documents that previously required six or seven procedures.
The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents puts an end to “pilgrimages around offices in search of successive signatures and stamps,” Morales said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Raul Castro told reporters after the ceremony that starting on Monday, the process of certifying public documents to make them valid in other countries now required just a 15-minute visit the Foreign Ministry.
The convention’s coverage is not restricted to physical documents since “there is also an electronic apostille,” a service not yet implemented in all of the 114 signatory states but being adopted in a number of Bolivian agencies.
The apostille allows Bolivians living overseas and foreigners in Bolivia to speed up notary, court and administrative procedures.
Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni and members of the diplomatic corps in La Paz attended the ceremony, which was opened with a thanksgiving ritual for Mother Earth officiated by Andean elders.