Legalisation is associated with a not inconsiderable expenditure of time and money. For this reason, it has been partially declared unnecessary by international treaties. These agreements include the Convention on the Exemption of Foreign Public Documents from Legalisation (Hague Apostille Convention). The apostille then takes the place of legalisation as proof of authenticity. This is issued by the competent internal authority of the state which issued the document. It is then no longer necessary for the foreign representation of that state to be involved in Germany.
In addition, there are also conventions with the consequence of mutual recognition of the respective deeds, so that public deeds are regarded as genuine without further ado (Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy; Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland).
To find out which states recognise the "Hague Apostille", please click here: