Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in LEGAL UPDATES

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In a recent article (click link to read) we confirmed that the EU Regulation on Public Documents n. 1191/2016 had come into force on 16/02/2019. This legislation, in relation to the circulation of public documents between EU member states, has abolished the need for a document issued after this date to have an Apostille to prove that the document is genuine.

The public documents covered by the Regulation include birth, death, marriage, registered partnership or adoption certificates, residence certificates and proof of absence of a criminal record.

The Regulation introduces optional multilingual standard forms that can be attached to the public documents to avoid translation requirements.

There have been two recent circolari issued by the Ministero dell’Interno giving pratical guidance.

Circolare 2/2019 of 28/01/2019 by the Ministero dell’Interno  states that The Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 is aimed to ensure the free movement of citizens of EU Member States by simplifying the requirements for the presentation of some public documents in the EU by amending EU Regulation 1024/2012, which came into force on 16/02/2019. The amendment is to remove the formalities of recognition of original documents in different Member States from the Member State where is was issued.

Article 1 para 1 of the Regulation states that in relation to certain public documents which are issued by the authorities of a Member State and which have to be presented to the authorities of another Member State, an exemption or other formality is no longer required. The main example of such a formality up until now was an Apostille.

Article 1 para 2 of the Regulation establishes multilingual standard forms are to be used as a translation aids attached to public documents concerning birth, a person being alive, death, marriage (including legal freedom to marry and marital status), registered partnership (including legal freedom to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status), domicile and/or residence and absence of a criminal record. As of 15/02/2019 these forms can be downloaded via the following link:


The Italian Consulate in London has suggested that where possible certificates should be obtained in the multilingual format (MSF) from the British authorities. The General Registry Office (GRO) in Southport has the authority to issue all standard certificates in a multilingual formal. Please see below the link below for more information:


You will note that the fee for obtaining a certificate is £11 and the fee for a multilingual standard form is £11, a total of £22. This is decidedly less than the fees for obtaining an Apostille, a translation and having that translation sworn at the Italian Courts.

The Prefettura of Ancona issued a further Circolare dated 26/02/2019 reiterating what is stated in Circolare n.2., i.e. encouraging citizens of Member States who need to produce documents in other Member States to use multilingual forms in order to avoid the need of translations for any public documents. Under Article 6 (b) a public document concerning birth, a person being alive, death, marriage (including legal capacity to marry and marital status), registered partnership (including legal capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status), domicile and/or residence or absence of a criminal record, is accompanied, in accordance with the conditions set out in this Regulation by a multilingual standard form, provided that the authority to which the public document is presented, considers that the information included in the multilingual standard form is sufficient for processing the public document.

The Regulation also introduces safeguards against fraudulent public documents. If an authority has reasonable doubt about the authenticity of a public document presented, it will be able to check its authenticity with the issuing authority of the other EU country through the Internal Market Information System (IMI).

The multilingual certificates will include Italian, which will assist our clients and in particular those who are applying for Italian citizenship and would normally have a number of certificates that require translating.

The Regulation marks an end to a number of bureaucratic procedures, red tape and high costs for ‘around 17 million EU citizens live in another EU country than their own. Around two million citizens are cross-border daily commuters who work or study in one country but live in another’ (statistics from European Commission website).


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