Documents for use in P. R. of China? Louise Explains The Road-Blocks

Documents for use in P. R. of China? Louise Explains The Road-Blocks

If you have a personal or a commercial document which you require to use in The People’s Republic of China then after Notarization it will need the further stamp of the PRC Embassy in England before it will be acceptable to the authorities abroad.

But please note that legalising your document(s) with that Embassy is not straightforward.

For private documents you as the Signatory of the document or the Holder of it, if it is, say, a copy of your Criminal Record check or University degree will need also to provide a photocopy of your passport or Driving Licence. If you have neither, perhaps because you are unwell and can no longer travel or drive, you may have to obtain a new passport before matters can proceed.

In relation to commercial documents it is required that again a photocopy of the legal representative’s passport and a Companies House document be also produced to the Embassy – the second in order to prove the legal status of the Company and its representative – which means that if the particular papers are executed by a person who is not a Board Director then there is a problem.

The Embassy requires a copy of a Director’s passport to be produced.

We have taken on a recent case where our client has contacted us from The People’s Republic of China wishing to commence litigation proceedings there against an English registered company trading in PR China.

The Chinese Court has ordered that our client should obtain and submit a Notarised Certificate of Good Standing from Companies House in England to confirm that the Company is still in existence.

So after Notarisation and obtaining the Foreign and Commonwealth Apostille the snag is that our client is not of course a Director of the Company to which the Certificate of Good Standing relates.

Our client has no connection to that Company whatsoever other than the fact that she is wanting to commence litigation proceedings against it. So of course, she has no access to the passport of any of its Board Directors.

A Certificate of Good Standing of a Company is a public document and any person in the world can obtain such a certificate from Companies House – you do not have to have an affiliation with the Company. But PR China is saying effectively, that for use in PR China you cannot obtain a valid Certificate without access to a passport of a Director.

What do we do in this scenario? Answers on a postcard to me please.

There seems to be a “Catch-22” situation here. Our suggestion for a resolution is that the Court in PR China should be prevailed upon to make an Order requiring that as a condition of defending the action, a Director of the Company must make his passport available to our client. Fingers crossed we will get there. Of course we will.

But, don’t be asking for logic or consistency in the whacky world of Notarisations, there is none to be found.

As ever, do contact me or Christopher Atkinson here at AtkinsonNotary [0113 816 0116 or or ] where we shall be more than happy to assist and help you through the maze whenever you have paperwork to be processed for foreign countries.