Who Pays Translation/Notarization/Authentication Fee in Enforcing Foreign Judgments or Arbitral Awards in China?
The costs of translation, notarization and authentication of the application documents are borne by the applicant itself.
1. What are translation fee and notarization/authentication fee?
Translation fee refers to the cost of translating the documents from foreign languages into Chinese.
Under Chinese law, the Chinese language must be used in court. Therefore, any documents written in a foreign language , such as written evidence, must be translated into Chinese before being submitted to the court.
Notarization/Authentication fee refers to the cost of notarizing and authenticating the documents.
When submitting to Chinese courts legal documents (such as judgments and identity certificates) that are formulated overseas, you need to have them notarized in your country and have them authenticated by the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in your country.
If you want to enforce a foreign judgment or arbitral award in China, you must at least have the foreign judgment or arbitral award translated, notarized and legalized.
The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more.
2. Can I ask the debtor to bear the translation fee and notarization/authentication fee?
A Chinese court has clearly indicated in a case that the debtor is not required to bear the translation fee and notarization fee of the creditor.
On 17 June 2020, in the case for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards of Emphor FZCO v. Guangdong Yuexin Offshore Engineering Equipment Co., Ltd. ( Yue 72 Xie Wai Zhi No. 1, 粤72协外认1号), Guangzhou Maritime Court of Guangdong Province held that the Applicant’s claim that the Respondent should bear its translation and notarization fees had no ground under Chinese laws and therefore dismissed the Applicant’s claim.
In other words, translation and notarization fees will become the costs that foreign judgment/award creditors have to bear when collecting debts in China.
It is worth noting that the translation fees incurred in litigation can be borne by the losing party. For more information, please kindly refer to our previous post ‘Who Pays Translation Fee in Chinese Courts?’.