If you need a sworn translation for any reason, contact Sémaphores straight away so we can help you with the formalities. We are familiar with the regulations and will immediately refer you to the relevant authorities based on your needs.

To be recognised by the authorities, some translations must undergo an often-complex legalisation process. Sémaphores can take care of these steps for you and go to the offices that handle the legalisation process.

This legal validation process includes :

  • the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Consulates and Embassies
  • the Apostille

A. Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP)

The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) certifies the signature of a sworn translator. For the CCIP to certify a sworn translator’s signature, it must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Administrative officials check the authenticity of the signature on the translated documents by comparing it with the one in their records. This gives the document the status of a public deed, which can then be recognised by the Apostille Office or the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

B. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE)

When a sworn translator’s signature has been certified, the legalisation process will either continue at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or at the Apostille Office.

Translations intended for countries that have not signed the Apostille Convention must be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs certifies the authenticity of the French document, confirming that the document was drawn up and signed in France and is compliant with French law. It guarantees the viability of the document and declares that its validity extends beyond France’s borders. However, it cannot certify the authenticity of a document written in French but drawn up in Switzerland, for example.

C. Consulates and Embassies

After passing through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the legalisation process continues with the consulates or embassies of the country for which the document is intended. Each embassy or consulate follows procedures and sets prices that can differ considerably. Some embassies or consulates certify the document immediately, while others require up to two weeks to complete the process.

D. Apostille

The Apostille (The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961) is a treaty designed to simplify legalisation procedures. Only public deeds can be legalised this way. To date, some 106 countries have signed the convention.

In Paris, the Apostille Office is located in the Paris Court of Appeal. This is where apostilles are issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the last page of the translation.