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Business Public Notary System
 

Keywords: public notary office, civil matter, contracts, birth, death, marriage, divorce notarization, signature and seal authenticity

 

Public notaries are persons accredited by the state to witness civil matters for legal purposes. Since October 1, 2000, the Ministry of Justice has implemented a plan to reform the notary system. Under the new scheme, public notary offices are no longer administrative bodies; rather, they are non-profit entities with a legal-person status that independently conduct notary business to meet market demand and assume full responsibility for their operations. In the future, the state will no longer approve the establishment of public notary offices as administrative bodies. Public notaries will be recruited openly through examinations administered by the Ministry of Justice. 

Public notary offices are set up in municipalities directly under the central government, counties (autonomous counties), and cities. Subject to approval from judicial authorities of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, districts of cities may also set up public notary offices. All the offices are independent of each other. 

Each office should have a director and a deputy director who should be notaries themselves. 

Scope of Business 
• Notarize civil legal acts such as contracts, trusts, wills, gifts, division of property, and adoption of children; 

• Notarize facts that amount to civil legal acts such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, kinship, identity, degree, and experience; 

• Notarize documents that amount to civil legal acts such as authenticity of signatures and seals on certificates, consistency of copies of certificates, excerpts, translations and photocopies with the originals; 

• Notarize the enforceability of creditor documents such as repayment agreements and contracts on recovery of debts; 

• Auxiliary business, such as preservation of evidence, maintenance of wills or other documents, drafting notary documents on behalf of clients, notarizing the opening of lottery draws, etc. 

Notarized documents are good for the following four purposes: 

• Evidence. Article 67 of the Civil Procedure Law states, "Legal acts, legal facts and documents that have been notarized through legal procedures should be regarded as a basis for establishing facts, except where opposing evidence is sufficient to overrule the notarized documents." 

• Enforceability. At present, this is limited only to the recovery of debts and goods. Liability documents notarized by public notaries are enforceable; if one party fails to comply, the other party can apply to the local grassroots court that has jurisdiction for enforcement. 

• Legality. This means certain legal acts take effect and become legally binding only after they are notarized. These include adoption of children and marriage registration between Chinese citizens and foreigners. 

• Extraterritoriality. Notarized documents are legally valid outside China. This is an extension of the inherent legal effect of notarized documents abroad. According to international practice, notarized documents sent by Chinese citizens and legal entities for use abroad can take legal effect and be accepted by the host country only after they are certified by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Foreign Affairs Offices of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities or foreign embassies or consulates in China.

                                                                                                                        Source: http://www.lawinfochina.com/legal/Display_8.asp

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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