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KEP and Services for Greeks Abroad
As of 25 June 2014, the Foreign Ministry's Citizen Services Centre (KEP) for Greeks Abroad will temporariliy cease operation. The KEP Certification Center will continue to operate on the ground floor of the Foreign Ministry's Translation Service (10 Arionos St., Monastiraki; tel. 210 3285 755/759; fax: 210 328 5779.
The certifications section is located at 10 Arionos St., Monastiraki (on the ground floor of the Translation Service Premises), and is open daily from 09:00 to 13:00 (tel: 210-3285755-59; fax: 210-3285779). The certifications section certifies:
1. Authenticity of signatures of the competent organs of the Greek State on documents of Greek Public Services in Greece and abroad, in cases of non-implementation of the Hague Convention. An up-to-date file of signature samples is kept for this purpose.
2. Copies of original documents issued by Greek Public Services in Greece or abroad.
3. Signatures of Greek and foreign nationals on all documents in the Greek language – apart from power of attorney – provided said documents are signed in the presence of the competent employee.
4. Authenticity of signatures of accredited personnel of all diplomatic and consular missions in Greece on documents issued or certified by said authorities. An up-to-date file of signature samples is kept for this purpose.
Note 1: GREEK PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
Public documents, as defined by the Hague Convention, are certified by the Foreign Ministry’s Certification Section for use in countries outside the Hague Convention or in countries that have ratified the Convention, but regarding which Greece has voiced objections (Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Peru and Tunisia), if they are originals or exact copies from the issuing authority. Certification is done FREE OF CHARGE.
Documents from Ministries are certified directly by the Foreign Ministry Certification Section, while documents from other public authorities must first by certified by the competent Ministry (e.g., documents from courts or notaries must first be certified by the Justice Ministry, and then by the Foreign Ministry; tax documents must first be certified by the Finance Ministry, and then by the Foreign Ministry). Documents issued by Municipalities must have been issued within the past six months so that they can be certified by the competent Ministry – the Interior Ministry (27 Stadiou St., 1st floor) – and then by the Foreign Ministry. For other categories of Greek public documents that are to be used in countries outside the Hague Convention, we recommend that you request information on the certification process by contacting the Certification Section, before bringing you documents for certification.
NOTE 2: FOREIGN PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
For a foreign public document to be accepted by the Greek Public Services, its prior certification is required, according to the legalization requirements in the given case. Certification also precedes official translation by the Foreign Ministry’s Translation Service. More specifically:
a) if the foreign public document has been issued by an Authority from a country that is party to the Hague Convention, ratified by Greece in Law 1497/1984 (GG 108Α), according to the existing contractual obligation, it must bear the apostille;
b) if the foreign public document comes from an Authority of a country that has ratified the Convention, but regarding which Greece has voiced objections (Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Peru and Tunisia), said document is certified only by the Greek consular authority in the document’s country of origin;
c) if the foreign public document comes from an Authority of a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention or is a public document expressly exempted by the Hague Convention from the apostille requirement (e.g., documents issued by Diplomatic or Consular agents, administrative documents directly concerning a commercial or customs act), it requires consular certification if it is to be accepted by the Greek Public Services.
Briefly, we note that
c.1) consular certification can be carried out for a foreign public document issued by a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention, by the closest Greek Consular Authority in the country of the document’s origin, provided it has first been certified by the Foreign Ministry of the country of origin. Alternatively, the foreign public document can be certified by the Certification Section of the KEP for Greeks abroad, provided that, following its certification by the Foreign Ministry of the country of origin, it is certified by the Consular Authority of that country in Greece.
c.2) a document issued by a Diplomatic or Consular Mission accredited in Greece, within the framework of the exercising of consular duties, must be certified by the Certification Section of the KEP for Greeks Abroad or, due to territorial competencies, by the corresponding Certifications Office of the International Relations Service in Thessaloniki, except in cases where the document is exempt from the certification requirement due to bilateral or multilateral contractual obligations of Greece (e.g., London Convention of 1968, ratified by Law 844/1978).
We note that when, based on the aforementioned, the certification of a foreign public document is requested from the Certifications Section of the Foreign Ministry’s KEP for Greeks Abroad, authentication of the signature of the Foreign Authority requires:
1) following instructions of the Foreign Ministry’s General Inspectorate, a public fee voucher in the amount of €20 or duplicate receipt of payment of the same amount, with the code KAE 3741, from a State Revenue Office (Δ.Ο.Υ.) for the payment of consular fees in implementation of the consular fees in effect (Presidential Decree 116/2002, GG96A/30.4.2002). 2) national ID data or proof of legal residency of the foreign national written on the foreign document that is to be certified, in accordance with article 84, paragraph 1, of Law 3386/2005. 3) appearance in person of the interested party or power of attorney validated for authenticity of signature, in accordance with the stipulations of the Administrative Procedure Code.
We recommend that, before bringing documents for certification, interested parties contact the Certification Section of the KEP for Greeks Abroad for information on the correct procedure for consular certification regarding countries’ whose diplomatic/consular documents are exempt from consular certification based on the London Convention of 1968, which was ratified in Law 844/1978; countries whose documents must be certified by the competent Greek Consular Authority in the country of origin to ensure the authenticity of content, and any other relevant issue.
The list of countries that are party to the Hague Convention of 1961 (abolishing compulsory consular validation of foreign public documents) and whose public documents require an apostille if they are to be used by the authorities of another country that is party to the convention is available on the official Hague Convention website: www.hcch.net. There you can find the authority of each state, including Greece, competent for affixing the apostille seal.