Q. What is an End User Certificate (EUC)?
A. An End User Certificate (EUC) is a clear written undertaking of a buyer / importer in a foreign country that any controlled goods transferred from the United States of America or any other country of export, is for its sole use. Furthermore, that the buyer / importer has to certify that the controlled goods are not destined for transfer or re-export to any other entity or State in its original form, without the prior written consent of United States Department of State Directorate of Defense. Such consent will have to be obtained by United States Government who views the sale, export, and re-transfer of defense articles and defense services as an integral part of safeguarding U.S. national security and furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives. The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR Parts 120-130), is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML). EUCs are required by many governments to restrict the flow of the materials to undesired destinations, such as embargoed states or rebel groups, governments with bad human rights records or states which are considered a threat by the original supplier of the arms.There are a variety of Import and End User Certificates currently in use by various governments. The control exercised by the government issuing the Import or End User Certificate is in addition to the conditions and restrictions placed on the transaction by the United States Bureau of Export Administration Department of Commerce. The laws and regulations of the United States are in no way modified, changed, or superseded by the issuance of an Import or End User Certificate. The Bureau of Export Administration Department of Commerce describes exceptions and relationships true for both Import and End User Certificates, and applies only to transactions involving national security controlled items destined for one of the countries identified in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 15 Commerce & Foreign Trade Chapter VII – Bureau of Export Administration Department of Commerce, Subchapter C – Export Administration Regulations, Part 748 – APPLICATIONS (CLASSIFICATION, ADVISORY, AND LICENSE) AND DOCUMENTATION. § 748.9(b)(2) of this part.
Q. What should the EUC contain?
A. The EUC identifies the transferred controlled goods as well as the quantity of the controlled goods. The information pertaining to the controlled goods on the EUC must correspond with the order from the buyer / importer regarding the specific transaction of the controlled goods (this includes any Annexes). The EUC must at all times bear witness of: the place and date of issue; a reference number; the signature and name, as well as the title and position of the buyer / importer; conditions imposed by the United States; and it must include an official stamp and or seal authenticating the EUC by the appointed Government authority in the buyer / importer’s country indicating that it is an authentic document. Other required documentation may include official purchase orders or a delivery verification certificate. These documents play different roles in the licensing process and impose different legal obligation on the entity that receives or issues the document. The foreign buyer / importer has to declare in the EUC that no controlled goods will be transferred or re-exported to any other entity in or outside the buyer / importer’s Country without the prior consent of the United States Government. It has to state that the controlled goods will not be used for the development of weapons of mass destruction programs. It must also state that the controlled goods will not be transferred or re-exported to any country or entity, against which an Arms Embargo by the United States has been imposed or who have been identified as a terrorist organization. The EUC must be an original document.
Q. Who is responsible for obtaining the EUC?
A. It is at all times the responsibility of the seller / exporter in the United States to obtain the EUC from the buyer / importer in the foreign country. The EUC must be validated & authenticated.
Q. What does Authentication of an EUC encompass?
A. The term ‘authentication’ is often utilized as a more defined description of the process. In present context it is the formality by which an original signature on a public document is verified, as well as the capacity in which the signatory acted and where appropriate, the identity of the seal which the document bears. Authenticating documents means that public documents are affixed either with an Apostille Certificate (between countries party to The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 abolishing the requirement of authentification for foreign public documents, hereafter referred to as “The Hague Convention”) or with a Certificate of Authentication between countries that are not party to The Hague Convention. Apostille certificates are issued by designated “central authorities”. Such authentication means that the signature of the person who signed the foreign public document is verified by a competent authority of the country of issue, usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in terms of Article 41(2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. EUC’s are public documents. If the buyer / importer’s country is a state party to The Hague Convention the designated central authority in the buyer’s or importer’s country may authenticate (or legalise) the EUC with the prescribed apostille and it may be submitted in United States without any intervention by a United States diplomatic or consular representative abroad. The Department of State Authentication process for non-Apostille countries is conducted by the U.S. Department of State and private companies. There are 81 countries that do not subscribe to The Hague Apostille service, but still need to have official documents verified in order to be used in those countries.
Q.Which United States Authority is the final authority regarding exports, End User Certificates and temporary imports?
A. The State Department’s Directorate for Defense Trade Control (DDTC) is charged with controlling the export, temporary import, and brokering of defense articles and defense services covered by the USML and with taking final action on license applications for defense trade exports and matters related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting. By law, all exporters and temporary importers must be registered; all exports and temporary imports of Small Arms & Light Weapons must be authorized pursuant to implementing regulations administered by DDTC and all permanent imports by BATFE.
Q. Which United States Authority can authenticate EUC’s?
A. The United States Department of State Directorate of Defense (DoD). Such authentication is only done subsequent to a statement issued by the DoD that there is no objection to the sale. The mailing address, phone number & email for the United States Department of State is:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
Q. Will an EUC bearing an apostille be accepted?
A. An EUC from the importing country, duly authenticated by means of an apostille is usually accepted by the exporting country as authentic if the latter is also a state party to The Hague Convention. Exceptions may occur if irregularities are suspected or the format and text of the documents are not in compliance with prescripts.