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Frequently asked questions on End-User Undertakings

The following are questions that users may have about using an End-User Undertaking (EUU).

1. What is an EUU and why is it required?

This is a document from the end user which details who they are, where they are based and for what purpose they are using the goods.

2. Who should complete and sign an EUU?

The EUU should be completed and signed by a person in authority (ie a director) within the end-user business.

3. Does the end user have to complete the EUU form in English?

Each EUU, official purchase order, or copy of the relevant part of the contract covering the order, must be written in English or, if written in a foreign language, must be accompanied by an English translation. Every English translation must be verified by the proprietor of the business applying for a licence, or a partner, director or company secretary of the firm, or anyone authorised to sign the licence application. Alternatively, if you prefer, translations may be verified by a member of the Institute of Translators or a Notary Public.

4. How should the end user authenticate the EUU form?

It is the exporter's responsibility to obtain an original form from their end user or consignee as appropriate. Each page of that form must contain an original signature and be dated. With each completed form, the end user or consignee must provide a covering letter on their headed stationery. The letter must be signed and dated by the same signatory who has completed and signed the form. A model covering letter is provided at Annex A to the form.

5. When should the end user complete the EUU form?

If possible, you (the UK exporter) should send a copy of the completed form with your licence application. If you obtain the undertaking before you are ready to submit your application, we will normally accept EUUs as valid for up to six months after signature.

6. We supply to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who incorporate our products into their own which they then sell to their own customers. Who is the end user in this case?

The EUU should be completed by the OEM.

7. We sell to a distributor. At time of export we have no way of knowing who they will sell to or what the goods will be used for. Who is the end user in this case?

The EUU is completed by the distributor (or consignee). If the ultimate end user is known at the time of export then the Export Control Organisation (ECO) need to know.

8. Sometimes we are unable to obtain an End-User Undertaking (EUU) from our end user. What should we do?

The ECO asks exporters to provide as much detail as possible, and they also encourage exporters to set up appropriate contracts with suppliers - as they are your goods, how do you protect your business from sales you wouldn't want to be involved in? If the agent sites commercial reasons for not providing an undertaking, they would accept them directly from the agent.

You need to perform due diligence. If an end user is unable to provide an undertaking then this might be a reason to be suspicious about the transaction.

9. Can the ECO accept any other documents instead of an End-User Undertaking?

The ECO would advise you to complete an EUU, but in some cases they will accept other documents, for instance if you are completing a government purchase or contract. If you provide documents other than an undertaking then you need to include the same information as requested on the EUU form.

10. How long are consignee undertakings (for OIELs) valid for?

Undertakings are valid for one year. Note that they must be obtained in advance.

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