Relocation of the European Medicines Agency

As of March 2019, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be relocating from their London headquarters to a new address in the Netherlands. The decision to relocate was made as a direct consequence of the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union.

What Documents are issued by EMA?

The EMA issue certificates relating to medicinal products for human and veterinary use. The certificate issued by the EMA, on behalf of the European Commission, confirms the product is compliant with good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations.

These certificates and the legalisation thereof are often necessary when exporting such goods and to support the work of health authorities outside of the European Union.

How does this affect the Apostille?

It is best practice for documents to be legalised in the country of origin. Historically, and until the 1st of March 2019, documents issued by the EMA were considered to be UK issued documents for the purpose of the apostille. EMA certificates are signed by an official of the issuing body and the apostille is issued to verify this signature.

Following the relocation, any new documents issued by EMA will be treated as foreign documents and the UK apostille can no longer be issued to verify the signature of the issuing official. In the event an EMA document is certified with a notarial coversheet, or if a photocopy of the document is certified by a UK solicitor or notary, it may be possible to legalise this with the UK apostille.

It is still advisable for any future EMA documents to be legalised in the Netherlands. After the 1st of March 2019, any newly issued EMA documents legalised in the UK may not be accepted overseas.

EMA documents with an issue date prior to March of this year will be unaffected and we can still assist with the legalisation of such documents.

For more information on legalising EMA documents with the apostille please contact us for advice.

The full EMA relocation press release can be found here.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.