Gov’t to consolidate charges for notary services

An inauguration ceremony for private notaries

The various existing fees and charges for notary services will be compiled into a single charge to be posted on the website of the Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ).

This is one of several measures the bureau has proposed to refine and safeguard the quality of notary services in Macau.

Its first action will be to tighten the supervision of the practices of private notaries, particularly with regard to their capabilities and conduct. The bureau will conduct spot checks on private notaries to review their effectiveness and efficiency, and the condition of their facilities and equipment.

In order to staff the additional checks, the DSAJ will need to hire extra people, or “strengthen the human resources in this aspect,” as the bureau noted in a statement.

The bureau’s second initiative is ensuring that users are able to access a consolidated charge for notary services. A dedicated page will be put up on the bureau’s website with a list of all the fees and charges for notary services handled by government registries, public notary offices and private notaries. By doing this, the bureau believes it will be easier for users to budget for the services they need.

In addition to the disclosure of the proposed policies, 13 private notaries have recently been inaugurated. They join the 77 notaries already practicing, taking the total number of private notaries in Macau to 90.

Macau started its private notary mechanism in the 1990s. According to the Legal Affairs Bureau, the system is unique to the world. The obligations and duties of private notaries are in no way different from those of a public notary.

It is believed that with the addition of the private notaries, pressure on public notary services will ease.

As a witness at a recent inauguration ceremony for new notaries, DSAJ director Liu Dexue pledged that his bureau would continue to monitor the quality of private notaries. AL

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