Declarations
Notifications
Reservations

Articles: 4,16,23,33

People's Republic of China:

(Translation)
"1. (...)
2. in accordance with Article 23 of the Convention concerning the Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents as known in common law countries, only the request for obtaining discovery of the documents clearly enumerated in the Letters of Request and of direct and close connection with the subject matter of the litigation will be executed;
3. in accordance with Article 33 of the Convention, the provisions of Chapter II of the Convention except for Article 15 will not be applicable." (...)
The accession will have no effect on the notification and the accompanied declarations contained in the Note of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China dated 10 June 1997 concerning the application of the Convention in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 


Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong (entry into force: 22 August 1978)

As a result of the continuation of the application of the Hague Evidence Convention to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong SAR) (see declarations below), this Convention has never ceased to be applicable between Hong Kong and the Contracting States to which it was applicable before Hong Kong was restored to the People’s Republic of China.

A) The Convention is in force between the Hong Kong SAR and the following ratifying Contracting States:
Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

B) The Convention is also in force between the Hong Kong SAR and the following acceding States whose accession was accepted by the United Kingdom and extended to Hong Kong (now Hong Kong SAR):

Entry into force between Hong Kong (now SAR) and Entry into force
Argentina 12-IV-1988
Australia 20-IV-1993
Cyprus 18-X-1983
Estonia 21-II-1997
Latvia 12-IX-1995
Mexico 16-III-1990
Monaco 18-VIII-1986
Poland 21-II-1997
Venezuela 15-VIII-1994
Barbados 21-IX-1981
Singapore 13-V-1979

C) The Evidence Convention is in force between the Hong Kong SAR and the following acceding States whose accession was accepted by the People’s Republic of China on behalf of the Hong Kong SAR:

Entry into force between Hong Kong (now SAR) and Entry into force
Bulgaria 25-VIII-2003
Lithuania 25-VIII-2003
Sri Lanka 25-VIII-2003
Slovenia 25-VIII-2003
Ukraine 25-VIII-2003
Russian Federation 25-VIII-2003
Belarus 25-VIII-2003
Kuwait 25-VIII-2003
Romania 16-X-2005
South Africa 24-XI-1998
Bosnia and Herzegovina 27-III-2009
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 20-IX-2009
Croatia 27-III-2010
Republic of Korea 16-VII-2010
Albania 14-XII-2010
Serbia 8-I-2011
Malta 31-I-2012
Morocco 31-I-2012
Brazil 26-VIII-2014
Costa Rica 30-X-2016
Armenia 15-I-2017
Colombia 15-I-2017
Hungary 15-I-2017
Iceland 15-I-2017
India 15-I-2017
Liechtenstein 15-I-2017
Montenegro 15-I-2017
Secheylles 15-I-2017
Andorra 6-I-2018
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, depositary of the Convention, gave notice that on 16 June 1997, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands received a Note dated 11 June 1997 from the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at The Hague and a Note dated 10 June 1997 from the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China at The Hague concerning Hong Kong.

 

The Note from the Ambassador of the United Kingdom reads as follows:

"Your Excellency,
I am instructed by Her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to refer to the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters done at The Hague on 18 March 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) which applies to Hong Kong at present. I am also instructed to state that, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong signed on 19 December 1984, the Government of the United Kingdom will restore Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China with effect from 1 July 1997. The Government of the United Kingdom will continue to have international responsibility for Hong Kong until that date. Therefore, from that date the Government of the United Kingdom will cease to be responsible for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Convention to Hong Kong.
I should be grateful if the contents of this Note could be placed formally on record and brought to the attention of the other Parties to the Convention. (...)
(signed Rosemary Spencer)".

The Note from the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China reads as follows:

(Translation )
"Your Excellency,
In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the Question of Hong Kong signed on 19 December 1984 (hereinafter referred to as the `Joint Declaration'), the People's Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong with effect from 1 July 1997. Hong Kong will, with effect from that date, become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.
It is provided both in Section XI of Annex I to the Joint Declaration, `Elaboration by the Government of the People's Republic of China of its Basic Policies Regarding Hong Kong', and Article 153 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, which was adopted on 4 April 1990 by the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, that international agreements to which the People's Republic of China is not a Party but which are implemented in Hong Kong may continue to be implemented in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In accordance with the above provisions, I am instructed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China to make the following notification:
The Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters done at The Hague on 18 March 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the "Convention"), by which the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is designated as the depositary, which applies to Hong Kong at present, will continue to apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with effect from 1 July 1997.
(...)
It would be appreciated if the contents of this Note could be placed formally on record and brought to the attention of the other Parties to the Convention. (...)
(signed Zhu Manli, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of the Netherlands)".

Declarations (Articles 4, 16, 23 and 33):
1. With reference to the provisions of Article 16 of the Convention, the diplomatic officer or consular agent of the other Contracting State will not be permitted to take the evidence of nationals of the People's Republic of China or of a third State in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
2. It declares, in accordance with Article 23 of the Convention, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will not execute the `Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents'. The `Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents' for the purposes of the foregoing Declaration include any Letter of Request which requires a person:
1) to state what documents relevant to the proceedings to which the Letter of Request relates are, or have been, in his possession, custody or power; or
2) to produce any documents other than particular documents specified in the Letter of Request as being documents appearing to the requested Court to be, or to be likely to be, in his possession, custody or power.
3. (...)
4. In accordance with Articles 4 and 33 of the Convention, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will not accept a Letter of Request in the French language. Within the above ambit, responsibility for the international rights and obligations of a Party to the Convention will be assumed by the Government of the People's Republic of China.


Special Administrative Region of Macao (entry into force: 14 December 1999)

The Ambassador of Portugal at The Hague informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands by letter of 16 December 1999 of the following:

 

"Upon instructions from my Government and referring to the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters concluded at The Hague on 18 March 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) which currently applies to Macao, I have the honour to inform Your Excellency of the following:
In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the Portuguese Republic and of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the question of Macao, signed in Beijing on 13 April 1987, the Government of the Portuguese Republic will remain internationally responsible for Macao until 19 December 1999, the People's Republic of China resuming from that date the exercise of sovereignty over Macao, with effect from 20 December 1999.
From 20 December 1999 the Portuguese Republic will cease to be responsible for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Convention in Macao. (…)"

The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China at The Hague informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs by letter of 16 December 1999 of the following:

(Translation)
" In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Portugal on the Question of Macao signed on 13 April 1987, the Government of the People's Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao with effect from 20 December 1999. Macao will from that date become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.
In this connection, I am instructed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China to inform Your Excellency of the following:
The Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, concluded at The Hague on 18 March 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention), to which the Government of the People's Republic of China deposited the instrument of accession on 8 December 1997, shall apply to the Macao Special Administrative Region with effect from 20 December 1999.
(...)
The Government of the People's Republic of China shall assume the responsibility for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Convention to the Macao Special Administrative Region. (...)".

Declarations (Articles 4, 23 and 33):

1. (...)
2. In accordance with Article 23 of the Convention, it declares that the Macao Special Administrative Region will not execute Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents known in common law countries.
3. In accordance with Article 33 of the Convention, it declares that the provisions of Chapter II of the Convention except for Article 15 will not be applicable in the Macao Special Administrative Region; paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the Convention will not be applicable in the Macao Special Administrative Region.

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China at The Hague informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands by letter of 1 November 2000 of the following amendments with respect to the contents of the above Note of 16 December 1999:

(Translation)
"1. (...)
2. The Government of the People's Republic of China also wishes to make the following supplementary declaration: "In accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 4 of the Convention, it declares that the Macao Special Administrative Region will only accept Letters of Request in either Chinese or Portuguese, or those accompanied by a translation in either Chinese or Portuguese".
(...)".