As of 16 February 2019, the new rules of Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the European Union and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 (the "Regulation") will become applicable.
The Regulation provides for the simplification of the requirements related to the presentation of certain types of public documents before the authorities of a Member State of the European Union in cases where such documents have been issued in another Member State.
The new rules will not apply to public documents issued by the authorities of Switzerland and the countries that are part of the European Economic Area but are not members of the European Union. In addition, the Regulation will not apply to public documents issued by the authorities of a third country and certified copies of such documents.
The Regulation will be directly applicable without the adoption of any internal legislative act by the Bulgarian legislator.
Exemption from the requirement for legalization
As of 16 February 2019, public documents which fall within the Regulation's scope and which are issued in a Member State may be presented before the authorities of all other Member States without certification with an apostille or any other form of legalization. By comparison, as to date, such a certification by the authorities of the Member State where the document was issued is often a mandatory requirement for the use of this document before the authorities of another Member State.
Public documents within the Regulation’s scope
First, the Regulation applies to public documents whose primary purpose is to certify circumstances related to the civil registration of individuals. These documents fall under the simplified regime introduced by the Regulation provided that they establish one or more of the following facts:
In addition, the Regulation applies to public documents attesting to a person's criminal record, provided that they are issued by the authorities of that person's Member State of nationality.
The public documents issued by Bulgarian authorities within the Regulation's scope may include: birth certificate; marriage certificate; death certificate; certificate of permanent or current address; certificate of nationality; certificate of criminal record; judgements in court cases the subject of which is to establish the facts above. These documents may be presented before the authorities of any other Member State without the need for certification with an apostille.
Introduction of a multilingual standard form and simplifying the requirement for certified translation of the documents
A multilingual standard form is introduced for some of the documents within the Regulation's scope. The multilingual standard form will serve as an appendix to the respective public document and will be drafted by the authority which has issued the document.
The multilingual standard form will contain a translation of the public document in the language of the Member State in which the document will be used. If there is such a form, the authorities of that Member State may not require the submission of a certified translation of the document except in cases where the information contained in the form is deemed insufficient.
Furthermore, in cases where the multilingual standard form is not applicable or a person has not obtained such a form, a certified translation of a public document carried out by a person qualified to do so under the law of a Member State will be accepted in all other Member States.
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