(legal status on April 9, 2020)


automatic translation from Polish

From the point of view of the Polish legal system, there are two ways to certify Polish documents intended for legal circulation abroad:

  • apostille, intended for use in countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention on the lifting of the requirement to legalize foreign official documents (Journal of Laws of 2005 No. 112, item 938). This is the only act required to certify a document in trade between states that are signatories to the Convention (see Resolution of the Supreme Court of 13 April 2007 III CZP 21/07)
  • legalization, intended for other countries

In accordance with art. 1 of the Hague Convention of 1961, official documents shall be:

  1. documents originating from a court authority or official, including those from the prosecutor, court clerk or service officer ("huissier de justice");
  2. administrative documents;
  3. notary deeds;
  4. official certificates placed on documents signed by persons operating in a private capacity, such as official certificates confirming the registration of a document or the fact of its existence on a specific date, as well as official and notarial certifications of signatures.

However, this Convention shall not apply to:

  1. documents drawn up by diplomatic representatives or consular officers;
  2. administrative documents directly related to commercial transactions or customs operations.

Official documents are not private documents, such as lists. However, the apostille clause provides official confirmations, which are placed on private documents, e.g. a notarized signature on a will. (see the judgment of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw of 23 December 2008). It should also be remembered that the apostille is not necessary in a situation where the Republic of Poland binds with the country in which we want to use the document bilateral speech simplifying or abolishing the requirement of legalization .

The competent office for issuing an apostille or legalizing, in relation to Polish documents, is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

For some documents, before they can be legalized or given an apostille, authentication by the appropriate authority is required. These documents (together with the authority responsible for authentication) are:

  • notary and court documents, with the exception of excerpts from the National Court Register (President of the competent regional court)
  • diplomas of universities (Ministry of Science and Higher Education) [exceptions - see below]
  • diplomas of artistic universities, such as Music Academies, Academies of Fine Arts, Theater and Film Schools (Minister of Culture and National Heritage)
  • diplomas of military universities (Minister of National Defense)
  • diplomas of medical universities (Minister of Health)
  • diplomas of the Maritime University of Gdynia and the Maritime University of Szczecin (Minister of Infrastructure);
  • "new matura" (Ministry of National Education)
  • school certificates (territorially competent school board)
  • master's diplomas, craft certificates (Polish Craft Association in Warsaw)
  • commercial documents (Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw and regional chambers of commerce)

The amount of stamp duty for certifying documents is PLN 60 for apostille or PLN 26 for legalization of documents

Countries party to the 1961 Hague Convention on Apostille:


More information on pages:



text of the convention

court rulings