SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Hanoi , May 18, 2007
ON THE ISSUE OF COPIES FROM MASTER REGISTERS, AUTHENTICATION OF COPIES FROM ORIGINALS, AND AUTHENTICATION OF SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government;
At the proposal of the Minister of Justice,
Article 1.- Scope of regulation
This Decree provides for the competence and procedures for the issue of copies from master registers; authentication of copies from originals and authentication of signatures; legal validity of copies issued from master registers, of authenticated copies and signatures; state management of the issue of copies from master registers, authentication of copies from originals and authentication of signatures.
Article 2.- Interpretation of terms
In this Decree, the terms below are construed as follows:
1. "Original" means a document issued for the first time by a competent agency or organization, which has legal validity for use and serves as a basis for comparison and authentication of copies.
2. "Copy" means a duplicated, printed, typewritten, computer-typed or handwritten document, which contains full and accurate content as the master register or the original document.
3. "Master register" means a register made by a competent agency or organization when issuing originals, which reflects all contents of the originals it has issued.
4. "Issue of copies from master registers" means that agencies or organizations managing master registers base themselves on those registers to issue copies. Copies from master registers must have the same contents as those recorded in the registers.
5. "Authentication of copies from originals" means that a competent agency defined in Article 5 of this Decree bases itself on originals to certify that copies from those originals are true.
6. "Authentication of signatures" means that a competent state agency defined in Article 5 of this Decree authenticates that signatures in papers or documents are truly those of authentication requesters.
Article 3.- Legal validity of copies issued from master registers, authenticated copies from originals and authenticated signatures
1. Copies issued from master registers and copies from originals authenticated under the provisions of this Decree are legally valid for use as substitutes for their originals in transactions.
2. Signatures authenticated under the provisions of this Decree are valid for proving that authentication requesters have made those signatures and serve as a basis for determining the signers' responsibilities for the contents of papers or legal documents.
Article 4.- Competence and responsibility to issue copies from master registers
Agencies and organizations managing master registers are competent and responsible for issuing copies from those registers.
Copies from master registers are issued concurrently with or after the issue of their originals.
Copies from master registers of civil status papers are issued in accordance with the Government's Decree No. 158/2005/ND-CP of December 27, 2005, on civil status registration and management.
Article 5.- Competence and responsibility to authenticate copies from originals and signatures
1. Justice Sections of rural districts, urban districts, provincial towns or cities (below referred to as district-level Justice Sections) have the competence and responsibility:
a/ To authenticate copies from originals of papers and documents in foreign languages;
b/ To authenticate signatures of translators in papers and documents which have been translated from foreign languages into Vietnamese or vice versa; to authenticate signatures in papers and documents in foreign languages;
Heads and deputy heads of district-level Justice Sections shall authenticate affairs specified in Clause 1 of this Article and affix stamps of Justice Sections.
2. People's Committees of communes, wards or townships (below called commune-level People's Committees) have the competence and responsibility:
a/ To authenticate copies from originals of papers and documents in Vietnamese;
b/ To authenticate signatures in papers and documents in Vietnamese;
Presidents or vice presidents of commune-level People's Committees shall authenticate affairs specified in Clause 2 of this Article and affix the seals of commune-level People's Committees.
3. Overseas diplomatic missions and consulates of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (below referred to as overseas Vietnamese representations) have the competence and responsibility:
a/ To authenticate copies from originals of papers and documents in Vietnamese or foreign languages;
b/ To authenticate signatures in papers and documents in Vietnamese or foreign languages; signatures of translators in documents translated from foreign languages into Vietnamese or vice versa.
Consuls and diplomatic officers of overseas Vietnamese representations shall authenticate affairs according to their competence and affix the seals of their overseas Vietnamese representations.
4. Copies from originals and signatures prescribed in this Article may be authenticated regardless of places of residence of authentication requesters.
Article 6.- Responsibilities of copy-receiving agencies and organizations
1. Agencies and organizations receiving copies issued from master registers or authenticated copies from originals may not request submission of originals for comparison. When suspecting that copies are counterfeit, they may conduct verification.
2. Agencies and organizations receiving unauthenticated copies may request submission of originals for comparison. Comparers shall compare those copies with their originals, sign for certification in the copies and take responsibility for their truthfulness.
Article 7.- Copy-issue fee, authentication fee
1. Persons requesting the issue of copies from master registers, authentication of copies from originals or authentication of signatures shall pay fees in accordance with law.
2. The fee rates, the collection, remittance, management and use of fees prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article are provided for by People's Councils of provinces or centrally run cities under the guidance of the Finance Ministry.
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