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Requirements for Evidence Generated outside China in Chinese Courts

When you file a lawsuit in a Chinese court, you need to provide evidence to the court to support your claim. For evidence formed outside China, Chinese courts have special requirements. If the evidence you submit does not meet the requirements, the court will not accept your evidence or accept your evidence but will not take the evidence as the basis of judgment.

Therefore, in order to win the case by submitting sufficient and compliant evidence, you need to understand the requirements of Chinese courts on evidence formed outside China.

According to Article 16 of the Provisions on Evidence in Civil Litigation(最高人民法院关于民事诉讼证据的若干规定) issued by the PRC Supreme People's Court, the latest requirements of Chinese courts for evidence formed outside China are as follows:

1. When you submit a document issued by a non-Chinese government department (including the governments of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) as evidence, you need to first notarize the document at the notary office of the country where the document was formed.

2. When you submit evidence related to identity relationships formed outside of China (such as evidence used to prove kinship and marriage relationship), you should first notarize the evidence at the notary office of the country where the evidence was formed, and then certify the evidence at the Chinese embassy or Chinese consulate of the country where the evidence was formed.

3. When you submit evidence formed outside China in addition to the above two kinds of evidence, you do not need to notarize or authenticate the evidence, you only need to submit the Chinese translation of the evidence together with the evidence to the court. It should be noted that when submitting the two kinds of evidence mentioned above that need notarization and certification, the Chinese translation is also required.

In addition, for the evidence needs to be notarized and certified mentioned above, the notarization and certification do not need to be completed before filing the case. Upon filing the case, only a scanned copy of the evidence is needed. Only at the hearing (normally 2-3 months after filing the case), the scanned copies of notarized and certified evidences are required.

If you have any question about the evidence submitted to the Chinese courts, please do not hesitate to contact our professional Chinese lawyers.

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Larry Zhou, Partner

Landing Law Offices China

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