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DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
Finland is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served directly to Finland’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. The person in the United States executing the request form should be either an attorney or clerk of court. The applicant should include the titles attorney at law or clerk of court on the identity and address of applicant and signature/stamp fields. In its Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Service Convention, Finland did not object to service via postal channels under article 10(a), but Finnish authorities are not obliged to assist in serving documents transmitted using the methods outlined in Article 10(b)-(c). For additional information see the Hague Conference Service Convention web page and the Hague Conference Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Hague Service Convention. See also Finland’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Service Convention.
Service on a Foreign State: See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.
Service of Documents from Finland in the United States: See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.
Finland is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters, The Central Authority for Finland for the Hague Evidence Conventiondesignated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Justice. See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on how to prepare a letter of request. Letters of Request should be prepared in duplicate. No translation from English is required. Requests for compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Finland Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. See the Finland Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Evidence Convention. See also Finland’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from Finland to Obtain Evidence in the United States: The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L Street N.W., Room 8102, Washington, D.C. 20530.
Voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in civil and commercial matters are permitted regardless of the nationality of the witness. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys at the U.S. Embassy or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly.
Finland is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. Finland’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Conventionwill authenticate Finnish public documents with Apostilles. For information about authenticating U.S. public documents for use in Finland, see the list of U.S. Competent Authorities. To obtain an Apostille for a U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America, contact the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Vital Records Office.