Civil Service of process upon a party located in mainland China (Hong Kong an administrative region of China, is a bit different).
THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION AND MAY NOT BE ACCURATE FOR ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
Civil Service of Process in China
China and the United States are both signatories to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters ("Hague Service Convention"). The Hague Service Convention provides general rules for for civil service of process between both countries.
The China central authority is the Ministry of Justice receives Hague Service Convention request. China in its declarations (declaration to the Convention's Article 5(3)) mandates that all documents to be served be accompanied with a translation from English to Chinese,(generally translation should be in the Mandarin dialect, but literally, simplified Chinese). One should always question the experience of the translator providing legal translation.
China is generally fairly expedient in processing requests for service, generally documents are served within two to weeks of the (China) central authority's receipt of the request for service. However, because the request is received by a federal authority, then possibly forwarded to a regional, then the local jurisdiction, the return of the certificate of service and related documents will likely take three to four months to process through the same channels.
Notably, the Chinese authorities generally will not acknowledge any request for expedited service.
While the Convention provides a feasible means to serve process, there may be alternative means to effect service of process in China, consulting with a professional, and legal counsel, experienced with such matters is strongly suggested.
Additional resources provided by the author
For additional information about the Hague Service Convention and civil service of process in China pursuant to you may find more helpful information with the appropriate section of U.S. Department of State and the website for Hague Conference on International Law.
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