Is China a Member of the Hague Convention?

hague convention service process china


Attorneys and paralegals frequently ask “Is China a member of the Hague Convention?” The short answer is yes. However, the question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes.

The “Hague Convention” is a term that is used interchangeably for several different treaties that many countries are parties to. Overall, there are 42 “Hague Conventions”. The most commonly referred to treaty is the Service Treaty. The full name is The Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. So when asking about the Service Convention, yes, China is a member.

This means that process service in China must conform to the protocols and requirements of the Convention. This is mandated by international law and the Supreme Court of the United States. However, China has gone one step further and declares that the only valid service is service through Article 5 of the Convention. Thus, China’s central authority is the only recognized agency for service. Even further, China has special requirements for their pleadings and transmittal of the service documents. Failure to comply with China’s requirements means you will lose time and money.

When you have a service request for China, make sure to hire someone that knows China’s rules but also guarantees their translations. China routinely sends documents back to attorneys for improper translations. Ancillary Legal knows how to avoid this problem.

Ancillary has decades of experience serving process in China. We have relationships with their agents and know exactly what they need for service. Ancillary guarantees its translations and submissions to China for accuracy to China’s specific requirements. We are happy to help you serve documents in China, with competitive prices, attorney reviewed documents, and decades of knowledge to make sure your request is not returned for improper submission.

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