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What is the Hague Service Convention?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2022 | Blog, Business Litigation

Gone are the days when entrepreneurs conducted business exclusively in their home countries. With the expansion of the global marketplace, your business may have decided to branch out into China or other places. If so, you are likely to experience an international business dispute at some point in the future.

While there certainly are ways to resolve cross-border disputes without litigation, you may need to know to serve legal documents on a party outside the U.S. For countries that are signatories to the Hague Service Convention, the 1965 treaty outlines the process.

The U.S. and China are signatories

According to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Hague Service Convention currently has 89 contracting states. These countries have signed the treaty, essentially agreeing to comply with its terms. Both the U.S. and China are signatories.

The convention controls the transmission of documents

When taking legal action against a business in China, one of your first concerns is likely to be the transmission of documents. While the Hague Service Convention does not provide substantive rules for serving legal documents, it offers a framework for transmitting them. Specifically, the convention establishes a central authority in each country to receive the paperwork.

The process is faster and easier

Because the U.S. and China both must follow the Hague Service Convention, you can expect a speedier and simpler process. Specifically, you use standard forms that both countries recognize. When using the Hague Service Convention, you must translate English into simplified Chinese, however.

Ultimately, to avoid wasting time and possibly missing critical deadlines, it is critical to comply with the terms of the Hague Service Convention at the outset.