Declarations
Notifications

Articles:

This Convention applies to the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao only, as a result of extensions made by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Portugal, respectively. When Hong Kong and Macao were restored to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997 and 20 December 1999, respectively, China declared that the Convention will continue to apply for Hong Kong and Macao.
Date of entry into force of the Convention for Hong Kong: 25 April 1965; date of entry into force for Macao: 4 February 1969.

Declarations / notifications:

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 3 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 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents done at The Hague on 5 October 1961 (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 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents done at The Hague on 5 October 1961 (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. The Government of the People's Republic of China also makes the following declaration:
In accordance with Article 6 of the Convention, it designates each of the following as the competent authorities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to issue the certificates referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Convention for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: the Administrative Secretary, the Registrar of the High Court, the Deputy Registrar of the High Court and the Assistant Registrar of the High Court. 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.
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)".

By letter dated 26 November 1999, the Ambassador of Portugal to the Netherlands informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands of the following:

"Upon instructions from my Government and referring to the Convention abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents concluded at The Hague on 5 October 1961 (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. (…)."

By letter of 10 December 1999, the Ambassador of the People's Republic to the Netherlands informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands of the following:

(Courtesy 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 (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Declaration) 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.
It is provided both in Section VIII of Elaboration by the Government of the People's Republic of China of its Basic Policies Regarding Macao, which is annex I to the Joint Declaration, and Article 138 of the Basic Law of Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, which was adopted on 31 March 1993 by the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, that international agreements to which the Government of the People's Republic of China is not yet a Party but which are implemented in Macao may continue to be implemented in the Macao Special Administrative Region.
In accordance with the provisions mentioned above, 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 aboslishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign publuc documents, done at The Hague on 5 October 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention), which applies to Macao at present, shall continue to apply to the Macao Special Administrative Region with effect from 20 December 1999. (...)
Within the above ambit, the Government of the People's Republic of China will assume the responsibility for the international rights and obligations that place on a Party to the Convention. (…)".

Declaration Hong Kong, 3 March 2006:

(...) that the Apostille Service Office of the Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has recently computerized the Apostille system.
As a result of the computerization of the system, there will be a change in the way that the Apostille Certificate is produced. At present, the Apostille Certificate is in the form of a chop stamped on the document requiring Apostille service with blanks completed in handwriting. After computerization, the Certificate will be generated from the computer and be affixed to the document requiring Apostille.
As the current practice, the Certificate will be signed by the Registrar, High Court, and sealed with the Seal of the Court. This new system will commence operation with effect from 20 March 2006.
Apart from the above, all existing practice and procedure remain unchanged.

Declaration Hong Kong, 18 April 2012:

The Office of the Chief Secretary for Administration [of the Government of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") of the People's Republic of China] has the further honour to inform [ ... ] that in order to follow the recommendation of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the Hague Apostille Convention, the Apostille Service Office of the Judiciary of the HKSAR will indicate the limit effect of an Apostille by inserting the following statement at the top of the Apostille with effect from 23 July 2012:

"This apostille only certifies the signature, the capacity of the signatory and the seal or stamp it bears. It does not certify the content of the document for which it is issued".

Apart from insertion of the statement mentioned above, there will be no other change to the Apostille.