By Note dated 24 January 2003, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia informed the depositary of the following:
"The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and with the reference to the misunderstandings concerning the application of the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, signed at The Hague on 5 October 1961 and ratified by the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia on 21 May 1961, and the Convention On the Issue of Multilingual Extracts from Civil Status Records, signed in Vienna on 8 September 1976 and ratified by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the succession of which the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed the declarations on 19 April 2001 and 16 October 2001 respectively, and, in that connection, the competencies of Yugoslav institutions to legalize public documents, has the honour to inform of the following:
1) Yugoslavia has legalized public documents in the sense of the Hague Convention under the Law on the Legalization of Public Documents in International Traffic (“Official Gazette of the SFRY”, No.6, 8 February, 1973) since its adoption.
Under the article. 8 of the said Law, the courts of the first instance and the Ministries of Justice of the constituent Yugoslav Republics provide apostilles, i.e. authorize Yugoslav documents, for use in the States Parties to the Hague Convention. Under the Law, municipal courts have primary competence to certify documents issued by institutions resident in the areas under the jurisdiction of the courts. Republican and Provincial justice administration authorities are competent to authorize, as an alternative, documents issued by institutions resident in the areas under their jurisdiction if not authorized by competent courts of the first instance.
Bearing that in mind, only one authorization, i.e. apostille, by the competent court of the first instance or, exceptionally, by a Republican or Provincial justice administration authority will suffice for the authorization/acceptance of Yugoslav documents in international legal traffic. The insistence therefore on a cumulative authorization of documents by one or more Yugoslav institutions is in contravention of the provisions of the Hague Convention and the goals for the promotion of which it was signed and acceded to by a large number of countries, Yugoslavia included, as a source of international law.
2) Furthermore, and with reference to the said Note, the Embassy has noticed that the competent authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands frequently request that multilingual extracts from Yugoslav civil status records be legalized by alternative Yugoslav authorities (Ministries of Justice of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro).
That practice is contrary to the provisions of Article 8, para 2, of the Vienna Convention and Article 6, para 1, of the Hague Convention. They also request that extracts from Yugoslav civil status records in Serbian undergo the entire gamut of possible legalizations by various Yugoslav and Dutch authorities, which runs counter to the letter and spirit of Article 1 of The Hague Convention which provides for the obligation of the States Parties to accept extracts from civil status records of all States Parties, defined as public documents, if they are supplied by an apostille alone.
In advising the Ministry of the above, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would appreciate if it interceded with the competent authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as the depository of the Hague Convention, to change the existing practice and align it with the provisions of the Hague Conventions and to advise thereof the other States Parties to the Convention. (...)"
Note received on 9 June 2006:
"... following the declaration of the state of independence of Montenegro, and under the Article 60 of the Constitutional Charter of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia is continuing international personality of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, which was informed also by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at its session held on 5 June 2006."
Note received on 29 May 2017:
The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and recalling the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), has the honour to notify esteemed Ministry that the present extension ratione loci of the applicability of the 1961 Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents (hereinafter the Apostille Convention) to the territory of the Serbia's Province of Kosovo and Metohija has to be interpreted in accordance with Article 13 of the Apostille Convention.
Furthermore, in conformity with above mentioned Resolution 1244 and the Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Government of Kosovo established by the UNMIK regulation 2001/9 of 15 May 2001, which was confirmed by the ICJ Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010 to be in force, all references to the Province of Kosovo and Metohija and its provisional institutions need to be designated accordingly and in conformity with the UN practice.
The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia would highly appreciate if the Ministry, acting in its capacity as Depositary, brings this Note Verbale containing declaration of extension to the attention of all Contracting States to the Apostille Convention and to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.