Lodgment Of Foreign Deeds In Italy: Legalisation And Apostille

Author:Ms Daniele Raimondi
Profession:TMF Group

For a foreign deed to produce its effects in Italy, it must first be lodged with an Italian notary and legalised. However there are some exceptions to the legalisation process.

Any deed produced abroad and intended to take effect in Italy must be examined by an Italian notary who shall verify whether:

the foreign deed is capable of directly producing its effects in Italy the foreign deed that does not produce its effects in Italy can come into line with Italian laws the foreign deed is inadequate to produce any effect whatsoever in Italy. A foreign deed is defined as any legal deed drawn up abroad by public officials or private citizens resident in a third state, in a foreign or Italian language. In order for a foreign deed to produce its effects in Italy, it should be lodged with an Italian notary (or notarial archives).

Notarial Regulation no. 1326/1914 and Royal Decree-Law no. 1666/1937 provide that an Italian notary may accept the lodgment of deeds drawn up and legalised in a foreign country, as well as other types of documents drawn up abroad (certified private instruments, public deeds, etc.). However, the purpose of a mere lodgment is only that of making certain the existence of the document and to allow the issue of copies, within the territory in which it has been lodged, to whoever may request them. The effectiveness of a foreign deed within the Italian territory is subject to several elements to be necessarily verified by the Italian notary before it can be lodged.


Foreign deeds must be drawn up or certified by individuals (notary/public official) vested with the necessary powers abroad, in order for the deeds to be in the proper form to be made equal to an Italian deed. The signature certifying the deed (or its writing and subscription by a notary/public official) may be defined as the first fundamental requirement for a foreign deed to be lodged in Italy.

The validity of a foreign deed within the Italian territory: legalisation and Apostille

Legalisation (or Apostille) may be defined as the necessary instruments to certify the origin of a deed; in particular, the two abovementioned instruments attest that the signature of the foreign notary/public official indicated in the deed is true and that the individual issuing it is entitled to do so. This step is preliminary to the subsequent lodgment by the Italian notary, who shall be exclusively responsible for verifying that the deed is legal for the purpose of...

To continue reading