Using Dutch medical documents abroad
To use a Dutch medical document abroad, you need to have it legalised. This is done with a stamp or sticker. After legalisation, you can use the document abroad.
What is legalisation?
Legalisation makes documents suitable for use in another country. It shows that a document has been issued by a competent authority.
How it works
If you have a Dutch medical document that you want to use abroad, for example:
- a medical certificate
- a medication certificate
- a veterinary certificate
your document will need to be legalised by at least 2 Dutch authorities. Which authorities legalise your document depends on:
- the type of document
- the agreements between the Netherlands and the country where you want to use the document
Step 1 - What type of document do you have?
Medical certificate issued by a general practitioner or specialist
Legalisation is not always required. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to use the certificate.
If legalisation is required, first have the document legalised by the Central Information Unit on Health Care Professions (CIBG).
>> Go to Step 2
You must first have your document legalised by the Central Administrative Office for Exceptional Medical Insurance (CAK) (this site is in Dutch). The office acts on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
>> Go to Step 2
Pet passports and veterinary certificates
EU pet passports and veterinary certificates must first be legalised by the veterinary service where the vet is registered. You can find more information on the website of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
If you want to use an EU pet passport in a country that is a member of the Apostille Convention, you must always have it legalised first by the Consular Service Centre (CDC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then take the pet passport to the district court for an apostille.
>> Go to Step 2
Step 2 - What are the agreements with the foreign country?
In some cases, your document may require an apostille. This depends on whether the country where you want to use your document is a member of the Apostille Convention.
You can find a list of the countries that are members of the Apostille Convention on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).
The country is a member of the Apostille Convention
- Take your document to the district court for the final step. Check this list of courts in the Netherlands (this site is in Dutch) to find the nearest one.
- Ask the foreign country’s embassy or consulate whether you need to provide a translation of the document and whether the translation also needs to be legalised.
>> Your document has now been legalised and can be used abroad.
The country is not a member of the Apostille Convention
You must have your document legalised by the Consular Service Centre (CDC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.
>> Go to Step 3
Step 3 – Legalisation by the foreign country’s embassy or consulate
- Ask the foreign country’s embassy or consulate if it also needs to legalise your document.
- If so, have your document legalised by the country’s embassy or consulate. The foreign country’s embassy or consulate can tell you how this works.