EU documents liberalisation

Liberalization of the regime of movement of official documents for EU citizens

17 million EU citizens

Already in February 2019, new EU rules have been applied throughout the European Union to reduce costs and formalities for citizens living outside their own country.

Before February, 2019, some 17 million EU citizens who were moving or living in another EU country had to certify their official documents in their new country. For example, birth certificates, marriage certificate, death certificate, etc. All these documents had to be authenticated by the citizens in order to prove that they are authentic.


The New Regulation

The New Regulation 2016/1191 eliminates the need for such certification when presenting official documents issued in an EU country to the authorities of another Member State. It will no longer have to go through the bureaucratic procedures involved in the certification in question. Under the new rules, in many cases, citizens will no longer be required to provide a translation from a professional translator/official translation of their official documents.


What do the new rules say?

The new rules put an end to a number of bureaucratic procedures:

  • official documents (such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or criminal records) issued in an EU country must be accepted as authentic by authorities in other Member States without the need for certification;
  • it removes the obligation for citizens to submit in any case, a certified copy and a certified translation of the issued official documents. To avoid the need for such a translation, citizens may also request multilingual standard certificates in all EU languages, which will be attached to the official documents to facilitate translation;
  • the regulation provides for safeguards against fraud: if the originating authority has reasonable doubts as to its authenticity, it will be able to verify it with the issuing authority in the relevant other EU country through an existing IT platform – the Internal Market Information System.


 An e-Justice portal for EU citizens

The European e-Justice Portal allows citizens to check which certificates is issued in their EU country. And for the public authorities to download and use the certificates.

The regulation deals only with the authenticity of official documents. Member States will continue to apply their national rules on the recognition of the content and validity of official documents issued in other countries of the Union.

Hristo Vassilev Law Office in Sofia is at your disposal for any legal cases and issues that concern you.


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